Cannabis 101: Types of Products

Since cannabis has become more mainstream and retailers are popping up, many new products outside of traditional flower have been developed. There are more ways to consume cannabis beyond rolling a joint. The wide spectrum of products allows all types of users to interact with the product differently to achieve the desired benefits. Read more below to find out about the various types of cannabis products on the market today.

Flower

This product is the traditional way that people used cannabis — smoking flower or the herb itself. Before getting to the dispensary, cultivators grow the plant, harvest the buds, dry, and then cure them. Users can smoke the flower itself in a pipe, water bong, or or roll it into a blunt or joint. Most people are familiar with these methods, and it is among the most affordable products available at the dispensary. It’s high is also the most immediate and bioavailable — which means a higher percentage of cannabinoids make it into your system. Despite the effects being immediate, they also tend to wear-off sooner than other products; generally, within about one to three hours. There are also no standard dosing recommendations, so it’s up to the user’s discretion, which can make it difficult for newbies to gauge their optimal level.

Concentrates

Cannabis concentrates are made by removing the excess plant material and other impurities from the plant, leaving only the cannabinoids and terpenes. (See our previous Cannabis 101 blog for more information about cannabinoids and terpenes.) Because all of the byproducts have been removed, concentrates have a much higher proportion of terpenes and cannabinoids than flower. Legalization has made these products much more available due to the more sophisticated equipment that they generally require. Concentrates have many names that usually indicate their consistency. For example,  budder/badder, wax, shatter, crumble, kief, live resin, taffy, and rosin are a few of the common ones. The high levels of cannabinoids in these provide a much stronger high with less use, and also immediate onset similar to flower. It can be easier to overconsume, so concentrates generally aren’t recommended for novice users. Another downside is that you need specialized gear to consume most concentrates — for example, a dab rig or vaporizer.

Edibles

Edibles are cannabis-infused food or drinks that are made with cannabis flower or concentrates. There are many different edibles on the market nowadays from baked goods and gummies, to popcorn and beverages. As indicated by the name, edibles are eaten or drank by the consumer. Many people who prefer not to smoke cannabis, choose to consume edibles so that they don’t need to inhale. Another one of the pros is that each edible is labeled with precise doses, so that you can dial in on your preferred amount. One of the struggles with edibles is that they have a delayed onset due to the way the cannabinoids are absorbed through the digestive tract. It can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 hours for an edible to kick in. The effects can last anywhere from 4 to 6 hours, which to some is desirable to have a longer-term effect. Read labels carefully to avoid overconsumption!

Tinctures

Tinctures are similar to edibles, because they are ingested. However, they are not absorbed by the digestive system, but rather the bloodstream. This makes their onset more rapid, at around 15 minutes after being placed under the tongue (also known as sublingual consumption). Their effects may also be slightly delayed as with edibles. Tinctures also have a precise dosing and can be mixed with foods or beverages if desiring a more delayed experience. Some people do not like the taste of tinctures as they are made with alcohol, and they can be a bit pricier than other cannabis products. 

Topicals

Topicals are cannabis-infused products that are directly applied to the skin. This includes lotions, sprays, balms, salves, bath salts, and transdermal patches. These products are intended to provide a localized effect to specific areas of the body, and not have the psychoactive properties or “high” that other cannabis products provide. CBD is absorbed better through the skin, so many prefer CBD products as a topical. These products can be available at more general retail stores outside of dispensaries. 


There are so many products and supply needs due to the variety of cannabis products that dispensaries and general retail stores provide. As a result, businesses like laboratories, cultivation, transportation, and manufacturers are in high-demand! Contact Canna Business Services for advice on how to find your niche in the cannabis industry. 

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