In this beginner's guide to cannabis flower, we will teach you everything you need to know to get started on your cannabis journey or towards a better smoking experience.
Before you light up, let's start from the very beginning:
The Buying Process:
There are a few important things to look out for when you're purchasing your cannabis flower for the first time.
Look for Strong Smell
If you open up a container of flower, you want it to knock you out with its scent. The stronger it smells, the better the curing process was. You always want to go for what smells the best to you. So, your nose knows.
Check for Visual Appeal
Top shelf flower is going to consist of a variety of different colors. If you look at the bud from the flower, you can see that it's also coated in all of these little crystals. The crystals are known as trichomes, and essentially, the more trichomes there are available on the plant, the better the quality of the flower is.
Check for Texture
Good quality flower should be sticky and spongy, and when you break the stems, it should snap easily.
Check the Structure
Nowadays, with all of these strains being more hybrid strains than straight indicas or sativas, there's an easy way you can tell whether or not a strain will be indica-dominant or sativa-dominant. Sativa strains tend to have a light and airy structure, whereas indica strains are a lot tighter and denser when it comes to their bud structure.
Look for the Chemical Profile
Contrary to popular belief, THC percentage isn't the only thing you should look for when purchasing cannabis flower. The cannabis plant consists of hundreds of different chemical compounds like cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that all work together in order to produce the entourage effect. So, when you're looking at different percentages when trying to decide which strains to buy, you have to look at the overall chemical profile, not just the THC percent. Look at what other cannabinoids are present in the plant, what terpenes are dominant in the plant, and all of those are going to work together to produce whatever effect you're looking for.
Check the Harvest State
Just like when you choose produce, you want to choose something that hasn't been sitting on the shelves for too long. After cannabis has been harvested and properly cured, of course, the closer you get to the harvest date, the fresher and more potent the cannabis flower is going to be. So, if you're at a dispensary and you're trying to choose between two different strains, maybe go with the one that's been harvested more recently because the effects on that are going to be more true to the plant profile.
Storing Your Cannabis: The Do's and Dont's
If you're a cannabis enthusiast, you know that purchasing high-quality weed is not cheap. That's why it's essential to know how to store it correctly to make it last. Proper storage is not only important to preserve the potency and flavor of your weed, but it also ensures that it remains safe to consume.
Let's discuss the dos and don'ts of storing your weed to help you get the most out of your purchase.
Do's of Storing Your Weed
Store It in a Cool, Dry, Dark Place
The ideal temperature to store cannabis is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The key is to keep it away from heat and moisture, which can affect the chemical profile of the strain. It's also important to keep it away from direct light or UV rays, as they can degrade the cannabinoids and terpenes that give your weed its flavor and aroma.
Use Air-Tight Containers
The best way to store your weed is in an air-tight container that will keep it fresh and prevent moisture from seeping in. Mason jars are an excellent option as they are readily available in most households, but you can also use pill bottles or the containers you received your purchase in from the dispensary.
Keep Your Paraphernalia Separate
Storing your weed with your paraphernalia can cause it to smell and taste like an ashtray. It's best to keep them separate to preserve the quality of your weed.
Handle Your Weed Carefully
The trichomes on your weed are responsible for its potency and flavor. When you handle your weed, you risk breaking off the trichomes, which can affect the overall quality of your bud. Only handle your weed when necessary and be gentle when doing so.
Don'ts of Storing Your Weed
Don't Store Your Weed in a Cigar Humidor
Cigar humidors are not suitable for storing weed. The oils in the wood can change the taste of your bud, and the humidity can promote mold growth.
Don't Store Your Weed in Plastic Bags
Plastic bags are not air-tight, and they can cause moisture to seep in, which can degrade the quality of your bud. They also tend to create static, which can cause trichomes to stick to the bag.
Don't Store Your Weed in the Sun
Exposing your weed to sunlight can degrade the cannabinoids and terpenes, causing it to lose potency and flavor. Always store your weed in a dark place.
Don't Touch Your Weed Too Much
As previously mentioned, the trichomes on your weed are essential to its potency and flavor. Touching your weed too much can break off the trichomes and affect the quality of your bud.
Storing your weed correctly is crucial if you want to get the most out of your purchase. By following these tips, you can ensure that your weed remains fresh, potent, and flavorful.
Always store your weed in a cool, dry, dark place, in an air-tight container, and away from heat, moisture, and direct light. With these simple steps, you can make sure that your weed lasts as long as possible, and you get the most bang for your buck.
How Much Cannabis Should I Use?
Now that you know what to look for and what to avoid when purchasing your cannabis flower, how are you supposed to know how much to actually use if you're new? It's important to start with a low dose and work your way up from there.
When you're smoking, you can always take another hit, but you can't take back what you've already smoked. So, it's better to start with less and work your way up to the level that you want to be at.
Typically, a beginner should start with a single inhalation of smoke or vapor. Wait at least 15 minutes to an hour and assess the effects before deciding to consume more.
It's important to note that the effects of cannabis can vary greatly from person to person, and can also be affected by factors such as the method of consumption, the strain of cannabis, and the individual's tolerance level.
In addition, it's important to use cannabis responsibly and in a safe and legal manner. Make sure to follow local laws and regulations regarding the use of cannabis, and never operate a vehicle or heavy machinery while under the influence.
Preparing Your Weed For Smoking
Before you light up, it's important to prepare your weed first. We'll cover how to break up your weed and the best methods to ensure a consistent and enjoyable smoking experience.
Break Up Your Weed Ahead of Time
Always break up your weed ahead of time, and try to make sure it's evenly broken up. The size of the weed doesn't matter in terms of how much you grind it and break it up. What's important is to make sure it stays consistent all around. Breaking up your weed by hand is one way to achieve consistency, but it can be a bit annoying, and your fingers may get sticky and weird. Additionally, you may damage the trichomes that are on your bud.
Use a Grinder
Another way to break up your weed is to use a grinder. The KLIP by HOJ Grinder - Herb Slicer is one of the only grinders available on the market that slices your weed with a blade rather than crushing it, which preserves more of those trichomes. Using a grinder is a convenient and easy way to break up your weed, and it ensures that your smoking experience is consistent every time.
Use Scissors or a Knife
If you don't have a grinder and don't want to use your hands, you can always use something like scissors or a knife that you have laying around your house. While not as efficient as a grinder, these tools can still do the job and give you the consistency you need.
Break Up Only What You Need
The most important part of breaking up your weed is only breaking up the amount you need for that session. If you leave it broken up in your grinder, it's going to dry out, and that's not what you want. Dried-out weed can be harsh, less flavorful, and less potent, so it's best to only break up what you need.
Preparing and breaking up your weed is an essential step in enjoying a smoking session with your cannabis. It's important to break up your weed ahead of time and make sure it's evenly broken up. While you can break up your weed by hand, using a grinder like the KLIP by HOJ Grinder is the best way to ensure consistency and preserve the trichomes on your bud. If you don't have a grinder, you can always use scissors or a knife, but make sure you only break up what you need to avoid dried-out weed.
Different Methods For Consuming Cannabis
So, you've got your weed all broken up and ready to go. But now you're faced with the all-important question: how do you want to smoke it?
Luckily, there are many ways to smoke weed, and each one offers a unique experience.
We'll explore some of the most popular ways to smoke weed and discuss the pros and cons of each method.
One of the most classic ways to smoke weed is through a joint. Joints are made with a thin paper, either rice paper or hemp paper depending on the company. The benefits of joints are that they allow you to get the full flavor profile of the cannabis flower. The downside is that they burn faster than some of the other options.
Blunts are similar to joints, but they're rolled with a tobacco leaf instead of paper. The tobacco leaf creates a thicker smoke that burns slower, but it also affects the overall flavor profile of your weed. Additionally, tobacco is not good for your health, so smoking blunts isn't the healthiest option. However, some people enjoy the taste of blends for certain occasions.
Hemp wraps are similar to blunts in that they burn slower, but they're a lot more beneficial for your health. They don't contain tobacco or nicotine like blunts do, and they're made from the same material as your weed, providing a more natural experience.
Cones are a pre-rolled joint that doesn't have weed inside, making them easy to stuff and pack with your cannabis flowers. They're available in many different options, including joint paper, blunt paper, and hemp wraps. Cones are ideal for people who are new to rolling or who have mobility issues.
Pros of smoking with papers and wraps:
Easier to consume.
Better for social gatherings.
Some people enjoy the process of breaking down the weed and rolling it up.
Cons of smoking with papers and wraps:
Makes your fingers and environment smell more.
Not the most efficient way to smoke.
Constantly burning, which wastes weed.
Bongs and Pipes
Bongs and pipes are the second most popular way to smoke weed. Bongs come with all sorts of cool features that provide a unique and dialed-in smoking experience. For example, MyBudVase creates a bunch of different models designed to blend in with your home decor. Vitae Glass offers modular bongs that let you create a custom piece that looks and functions exactly how you want it to.
Hand pipes are also a great alternative to using a bong. They're smaller, don't require water or percolators, and are easier to clean. For example, the KOL by HOJ is a unique design that features dimples in the middle of the pipe, which cools the smoke down and gives you a smoother hit.
Pros of smoking bongs and pipes:
More efficient in saving your cannabis
Ability to add different filtration systems
Ability to use smaller amounts of weed
Cons of smoking bongs and pipes:
Requires more space for storage
Not as discreet
Requires consistent cleaning
Not ideal for group sessions
Vaporizing weed is a healthier and tastier way to consume cannabis. Vaporizers heat up your weed to a temperature that allows you to inhale the cannabinoids without inhaling smoke. This method of consumption has grown in popularity over the years due to its health benefits and the fact that it's a cleaner way to consume cannabis.
Pros of smoking with a vaporizer:
Healthier than smoking
Tastier than smoking
Most efficient in saving your cannabis
Cons of smoking with vaporizers
Vaporizers can be expensive. Especially for a high-end model.
More time consuming.
No big clouds if you like smoke.
More learning curve.
There are many different ways to consume cannabis, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Whether you prefer the convenience of a joint, the potency of a bong, the portability of a pipe, or the health benefits of a vaporizer, there is a consumption method that will work for you.
It's important to remember that cannabis consumption is a personal choice, and what works for one person may not work for another. Experiment with different methods to find the one that suits your preferences and lifestyle.
This beginner's guide to cannabis flower has covered a lot of important information for those who are new to cannabis or those who are looking to improve their smoking experience.
When purchasing cannabis flower, it is important to look for strong smell, visual appeal, texture, structure, chemical profile, and harvest state.
Additionally, it is essential to start with a low dose and work your way up to the desired level of consumption. Remember that the effects of cannabis can vary from person to person and are affected by many factors.
Furthermore, we have explored some of the most popular ways to smoke weed, such as joints, blunts, and hemp wraps, and discussed their pros and cons. Ultimately, the method you choose to smoke weed depends on your personal preferences and desired experience.
Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned smoker, it's always important to prioritize safety, respect local laws and regulations, and enjoy your cannabis in a way that works best for you.
We hope this guide has been helpful in your journey towards a better cannabis experience.