Over the next few months, Leanne and Paul Thompson, co-founders of Little Leaf Cannabis Co. Inc., will teach us about the different types of cannabis products. This month, they discuss the most popular form of cannabis: dried flower.
Flower, often known as bud, is simply the dried part of the cannabis plant that is the starting point for all cannabis products. In its natural flower form, consumers burn dried flower both loose and as pre-rolled joints. Flower and pre-rolls account for about half of all of cannabis sales for legal retailers.
“Flower is great for connoisseurs and for those who enjoy the smoke whether prepared for a pipe, bong, or to roll joints. Pre-rolls offer customers a convenient option without the chore of its preparation providing the freedom to try different products without having to commit to buying the whole flower,” explains Paul.
Smoking dried flower is also the fastest way for individuals to experience its effects. For those who are using it for relaxation purposes, unwinding begins relatively quickly, and the full effects are typically felt within approximately 15 minutes.
Cannabis Flower Types
Within the flower category, the selection is incredibly extensive. The products available are broken down into the three main cannabis plant types: indica, sativa, and hybrid. Cannabis users get to know their own bodies’ reactions to each strain and often have some of each type on hand to use depending on their moods or the social atmosphere.
The sativa strain of cannabis is typically known for its energetic and focused effects. “Sativa may be the type of cannabis that people bring to a party or social gathering,” says Leanne. On the other hand, Cannabis indica is often chosen for a sedating effect. Paul jokes, “You can remember indica by ‘in-da-couch’ because people like it when they are looking to unwind.”
Technically, all dried flower is classified as a hybrid. While some are indica or sativa dominant, a true hybrid will produce a combination of sativa/indica effects when inhaled. “The effects from a good hybrid will be both relaxing and focused,” says Paul.
Cannabinoids and Terpenes
On top of the strain (sativa, indica, or hybrid), there are a number of other factors that affect the way in which individuals experience cannabis. Cannabinoids as well as terpenes impact the perceived potency of each product.
Cannabinoids, which include THC, CBD, CBG, CBN and many others, are naturally occurring chemical compounds found within the cannabis flower. Many consumers look for THC percentages on the package to help them to determine how potent the product is.
“Flowers can go anywhere from 1% THC up to as high as around 36% THC,” says Leanne.
Terpenes, which are the flavours and aromas that are unique to each type of plant, also play a significant role in the overall effects derived from using a particular type of cannabis. Similar to aromatherapy, terpenes in cannabis can change the way that a particular product affects each person.
According to Paul, the strain of cannabis, the combination of cannabinoids, as well as the terpenes all come together to create an ‘entourage effect’ that is unique for each individual.
Legal is Always Better
While legal cannabis retailers like Little Leaf carry a huge selection of dried flowers and pre-rolls, unfortunately there are still illegal operations muddying the waters. “Licensed producers have to invest huge amounts of money into their equipment to ensure their products’ purity. They are not allowed to use pesticides or spray chemicals. The legal market must adhere to very stringent laws and regulations through Health Canada,” says Paul. The illegal market does not follow any rules and studies have shown that illegal cannabis often includes high levels of dangerous chemicals and heavy metals.
In the end, purchasing dried cannabis flower, pre-rolls, or any cannabis product from a legal retailer like Little Leaf guarantees that it is following strict health standards and labelling requirements. It also means that their helpful team can assist you in choosing great products to try.
For more information about dried flower, pre-rolls, or anything cannabis related, visit Little Leaf at 804 Ontario Street in Stratford or online.
Next month, the Leanne and Paul will explain cannabis concentrates.