Types of Weed: What Are the Different Cannabis Forms?

by Emjay
Emjay's Cannabis Type Guide. Photo by Franco Zen on Unsplash.

Types of Weed: What Are the Different Cannabis Forms?

If you’re new to the weed game, you may sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed by all of the different lingo you hear. Even if you’ve been enjoying cannabis for a while now, it’s understandable if you’re confused by the many forms of cannabis.

Well, we’re here to help you make sense of it all. In this comprehensive guide, you will learn the difference between joints and dabs, resin and rosin, shatter and budder, and many other facts. You may even discover a new variation of weed that you’d like to try.

Flower

Those looking for a traditional cannabis experience will often stick with smoking cannabis flower, also called bud. Every cannabis plant contains a wide array of cannabinoids that are designed to latch onto your brain receptors, delivering a potent high to your body’s endocannabinoid system. There are a plethora of different ways that you can choose to use flower. 

Smoking weed is the most popular method for consuming flower. People will roll joints, blunts, or use pipes,  herb vaporizers, and waterpipes or bongs. The only potential issue with smoking cannabis is its smell which potentially puts consumers at risk in public scenarios. Vaping cannabis is one way to reduce the smell. Otherwise, there are many air freshener-type products on the market that aim to eliminate cannabis scent.

What are the types of cannabis flower?

Cannabis flower comes in all shapes and sizes and are defined as either male or female, although it’s possible to create androgynous and hermaphroditic plants. There are three main types of cannabis flower that you’ll come across when choosing traditional bud to smoke: sativa, indica, and hybrid.

Let’s look at each in detail so you’ll have a better understanding of the effects they provide. Depending on how you’re feelingand how you want to feelyou need to keep different flower types around for various scenarioss

Sativa

Sativa is the type of cannabis that may be the most popular among users today. This plant typically grows to be quite large and can reach heights of up to 15 feet. It’s not the thickest plant type, but growers may prefer it due to how tall it can grow.

What’s more, sativa leaves are long and narrow, and as such, they are ideal for growing outdoors. Sativa’s seeds are soft and have no spots or notable markings. If you’re planning on growing your own sativa plants, you’ll need to be patient–it’s not a type of cannabis that grows quickly.

Sativa grows rather slowly compared to other types. Even making adjustments to your lighting or water is unlikely to have an effect. Once you have successfully grown sativa, it’s best consumed after curing it.

Most people choose to either smoke or vape sativa. It’s an ideal flower type for those looking to boost their creativity. Many users love the effects of sativa, as it is packed with mental high-inducing THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

However, you shouldn’t expect a lethargic high. On the contrary, sativa is best served as a flower to consume when you want or need to be active throughout the day. This is because some sativa strains may increase your energy levels while giving you better insight, creativity, and ideas.

Are you an artistic person? Then there’s a good chance that you will appreciate what sativa has to offer. It’s full of effective properties that can aid in the creative process. As such, you may find that it’s the perfect companion for creating a new masterpiece. If you’re a writer, sativa could help you overcome the dreaded writer’s block so that you can churn out your best prose.

Sativa can come in handy in other ways, as well. While it is certainly an excellent flower type for the arts, it can also effectively combat unwanted moods and emotions. Many seasoned smokers know sativa is just what the doctor ordered for overcoming the blues. One prominent study found sativa strains can elevate mood and reduce anxiety. 

Moreover, some people rely on sativa to help them cope with symptoms of ADHD. This data is further evidence of the benefits of cannabis. As more people are actively avoiding pharmaceuticals, weed is the ideal alternative to help you fight various conditions. Of course, it’s always best to talk to your doctor, as there are some medical conditions that require specific medications.

Sativa is a wonderful flower for overcoming fatigue. Given that it’s an energy-lifting strain, you can count on sativa to keep the Zs at bay so you can tend to your responsibilities. With so many clear benefits, it may sound like sativa is the be-all-end-all of flower types. But what if you don’t want to feel up and active? What if you have no need for creative thinking when you’re high and you just want to chill out? 

Yet there are other flower types offering a rainbow of different, and equally useful, benefits. 

Emjay Cannabis Types Guide. Photo by Diyahna Lewis on Unsplash

Indica

Indica plants produce wider, thicker, and shorter cannabis than sativa.  Indica doesn’t get quite as tall as sativa plants. Whereas sativa can reach gargantuan heights of 15 feet, indica tends to hover around 3 to 6 feet during its cultivation. Also noticeably different are the shape of indica’s leaves. 

Sativa’s leaves are long and narrow. Indica’s are just the opposite, with robust, shorter, and rounder leaves that give the plant a bushy presentation. The seeds are also different. Instead of being spotless, indica seeds take on a marbled look. They are still soft, but you can easily tell the difference between the two.

Since Indica plants typically only reach a max height of 6 feet, it’s perfect for growing indoors. If you’re considering cultivating flowers of your own and want to keep it safely inside, Indica may be your go-to. You will need to give this plant some time to flower, but you can speed up the growth process by adjusting your lighting.

Because of the amount of resin that many indica strains contain, it’s typically a popular flower type for making cannabis concentrates. 

So, what kind of effects can you expect from indica, and what are its health benefits? As a matter of fact, indica is loved the world over for its healing effects and pain relief qualities. It’s a wonderful tonic for reducing inflammation, calming sore, achy muscles, and works wonders for a headache.

In fact, some people who suffer from migraines rely on indicas to soothe their symptoms. And whereas sativa provides a nice pick-me-up and gets you moving, indica helps you relax. It’s even a common choice for people who struggle with insomnia, making it an excellent flower to smoke before bedtime. Studies show indica flower, working along with other cannabinoids, helps people fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. 

If you suffer from chronic aches and pains, you may find indica to be the perfect all-natural solution for pain relief. It’s no secret that prescription pain medication can be addictive and habit-forming. Why not use an indica strain instead and avoid the risk altogether? Indica is also widely used as a way to overcome anxiety. This, too, is an area where you might want to go the natural route for your relief. Cannabis is less harmful than Benzodiazepines, a type of drug that is commonly prescribed as an anti-anxiety medication. 

If you’re working at a stressful job and just want to come home and relax, indica may be your preferred type of weed. If you’re not already regularly taking advantage of this flower, you’re in for a treat. It has exceptional calming properties that will assuredly help to melt away life’s stressors.

Some people like to smoke indica during the weekdays after work and smoke sativa on the weekends. The choice is yours, but you definitely have options to consider. But what if you want a balance⁠—the best of both worlds? 

Hybrids

In today’s advanced world of cannabis breeding and cultivation, you have a wide variety of options available. One of which is Hybrid. In fact, hybrid cannabis strains make up almost half of the nearly 800 different marijuana strains in the world.

As such, you can find a seemingly endless variety of characteristics from each different type. Some hybrids may provide more relaxing effects, while others may boost your creative flow to the nth degree. Still, others might aid in your anxiety, moods, reduce pain, put you to sleep, or keep you energized. 

It all depends on what you’re looking for. You’ll need to do plenty of research to determine which hybrid flower best suits your needs. Keep in mind that you may need to try several types of hybrid strains to find your favorite.

Hybrid strains typically have more than one characteristic in their effects.. For instance, you and your friends could all be smoking the same hybrid flower. One friend might feel calm and relaxed, but you could feel giggly and creative.

Like many modernly bred strains, there is a good chance that your hybrid flower will be potent. If you’re a beginner who isn’t quite yet experienced with handling highs, it’s best to take it nice and slow at first. Always start low, with one hit, and then build from there.

Types of cannabis prerolls

A preroll is a joint that has already been rolled for you. There are actually quite a few different types of prerolls that you’ll find for sale. What kind you choose depends on the effect you’re looking for, the accessibility, price, potency, flavor, and how much weed you want. 

Joints

Joints are undoubtedly the most popular, iconic, and preferred way to consume cannabis. Thanks to their small size and portability, joints are a convenient way to consume weed that requires minimal preparation. 

Since joints are made up of cannabis and rolling paper, you don’t need any pipe or other items to get high. Many cannabis consumers have their preferred material of paper. You can find rolling papers made out of plant fibers, rice, hemp, and other materials. While there are no wrong answers, many consumers today prefer “unbleached” rolling papers made with GMO-free hemp or plant fibers.

Classic cone

The classic cone joint comes with anywhere from 0.5 grams to 1.5 grams inside. Cones are rolled in a variety of different paper types, such as rice or hemp. There is an inch-long carb or filter on the mouthpiece for a more enjoyable experience.

King-sized cone

Essentially a larger version of the classic cone, the king-sized variety offers smokers even more cannabis, ranging between 1 gram and 1.75 grams. You will also find this type of preroll with large filters attached.

Kief-infused joints

Kief-infused joints are similar to other prerolls, but with a layer of kief infused on top of the weed. Kief is the resinous trichomes that are present on cannabis plants. This crystal substance that is often sifted from cannabis contains cannabinoids and terpenes, thus adding even more potency to the high.

Caviar-infused joints

Also known as moonrocks, caviar is premium cannabis flower that has been dipped in rosin or concentrate, and then rolled in hash or kief. These prerolls are a bit more costly, but ensure a potent, long-lasting buzz.

Hemp blunts

Wrapped in pressed hemp leaves, hemp blunts pack a punch by giving you anywhere from 3mg to 10mg of CBDA infused in the hemp. They are often the size of a blunt, which are historically rolled in tobacco leaves. Hemp leaves replace the tobacco, since tobacco cannot be sold with cannabis in most regulated markets. Thus, when you buy a hemp blunt, you can look forward to a luxurious, potent, and long-lasting high.

Cannabis cigarettes

These prerolls will look and feel just like tobacco cigarettes but with cannabis in place of the tobacco. Although the type of paper used can vary depending on the brand, these prerolls often come in packs and with fibrous filters. 

Emjay Cannabis Types Guide. Raw Garden_Photo by Lindsey Bartlett

Cannabis extracts

Cannabis extracts make up a variety of different products, including vape oils, dabs, hash, tinctures, CBD oil, and much more. Each product is derived from cannabis but processed into a concentrated form.

Instead of smoking extracts, oils, and tinctures, they are usually meant to be vaped or eaten as sublinguals. In doing so, you can look forward to the same beneficial effects of edibles, drinks, and smoking cannabis, just with a different method of consumption.

Types of cannabis concentrates

Extracts, also commonly referred to as cannabis concentrates, come in a wide range of types. Here are some of the common types of cannabis concentrates you will find on the market today.

Kief

It’s understandable that some users want to compress their cannabis. After all, carrying around large amounts of flower isn’t always practical. So, what are you supposed to do? Enter: kief. 

Many other plant types have been shrunk down into a powdery form, so why not weed? Kief collects at the bottom of your cannabis grinder, and it’s also made when cannabis flower is ground down many times into a small, powdery form. Kief piles up for people who grind their own cannabis and is considered potent, as it is concentrated. You can get the same benefits from smoking kief as you do flower.

Hash

Hashish, or hash as it is known commonly today, is a beloved cannabis form. What is hash, exactly? It is a concentrated cannabis flower that is either pressed or extracted from the plant. Hash becomes sticky resin and is often sold by the gram.

When cannabis flower is cured, it is then pressed or concentrated into various forms of hash. Hash is great for consumers looking for a quick, easy, and potent way of smoking marijuana. Hashish is a versatile compound that is easy to put into joints, pipes, bongs, or vaporizers.

But you’ll want to keep in mind that hashish also consists of a very powerful aroma. Be mindful of the scent. Hash is also strong. If you aren’t yet a seasoned cannabis consumer, you’re going to want to start low and build from there. 

Hash will provide you with a potent high.

Wax

Wax is a highly concentrated form of THC, often containing anywhere between 40% and 80% THC, significantly more than what is found in traditional flower. Wax is derived from trichomes, which are the gland heads that line the surface of marijuana plants. Specific processes are performed in order to get resin separation, including rosin presses, extractions with ice, or extractions with solvents.

The most basic process involves drying a female plant, retrieving its unprocessed flowers, and using chemical or mechanical methods to extract the resin. The best-made hash is called rosin. Rosin is potent, and consists of pure cannabinoids from a pressed cannabis plant

Many consumers seek solventless extracts. These include ice hash, water hash, live resin, or rosin. Some cannabis consumers want hash that is created using solvents like butane. These solvent extractions have not been found to be more harmful to consumers, but they do taste less like cannabis in its original form. When hash is put into a cartridge for a vape, regulated cannabis markets have ensured that vape products do not contain harmful additives like Propylene Glycol (PG, or PPG), Polyethylene Glycol (PEG), Vegetable Glycerin (VG) or other medium chain triglycerides like coconut oil (commonly called MCT). Cannabis concentrates in regulated marketplaces should contain only cannabinoids and resin. To be safe, always buy from regulated markets as these companies are lab tested to ensure they don’t contain harmful additives.

Budder

Cannabis budder is a type of wax or concentrate that has a soft yet solid consistency. As its name alludes to, cannabis budder is very reminiscent of a stick of butter. However, it tends to look more like crystalized honey than actual butter.

The way to consume cannabis budder is through a vaporizer or dab rig. The only real difference between a traditional bong and a dab rig is that the bowl accommodates the soft, gooey texture of dabs and budder instead of flowery nuggets. You will often find dab rigs with quartz bowls. The quartz bowl is then heated using a torch to a temperature below 455 degrees. 

Emjay's Cannabis Type Guide. Photo by Cambridge Jenkins IV on Unsplash.

Shatter

Shatter is a cannabis extract that is developed using a combination of solvents and a cannabis plant. Similar in appearance to budder, shatter is best enjoyed with a dab rig. It is called shatter because it has a translucent, glass-like appearance and breakable texture. 

Resin

Resin is the substance that is naturally found in the trichomes of the cannabis plant. As such, it contains the psychoactive properties that make weed so enjoyable. Concentrate companies today sell Live Resin, which refers to freshly-frozen cannabis that is concentrated to preserve the natural flavors and terpenes in the original flower.

Rosin

Rosin is a specific extraction process that consists of a combination of heat and pressure. In utilizing this extraction process, you can immediately draw out the resinous substance found in cannabis, as described above. Rosin is pressed, expensive, and it is one of the most “purist” cannabis extracts.

The final rosin product resembles a gooey honey-like substance. It provides users with a versatile and potent formula for taking dabs.

Emjay's Cannabis Type Guide. Photo by Photo by Cannabox on Unsplash

What are dabs?

Dabs are an extremely potent way of consuming cannabis concentrates. Because this method is so powerful, you only need one dab to feel its effects. Although dabs were introduced in America in the 1960s, they rose in popularity in the last decade with the invention of vaporizers. 

Many seasoned cannabis users prefer dabs due to their efficacy. Dabbing is vaporizing cannabis concentrates, any of the concentrates on this list like hash, rosin, resin, and wax, can be dabbed at low temperatures. Experts recommend below 450 degrees, some say up to 550 degrees. Any higher than these settings, the terpenes and cannabinoids may burn. Dabs provide an incredibly potent high, and immediate effects of pain reduction. Unlike a traditional joint, you only need to dab a very small amount of the concentrate to enjoy a powerful high. The most common dab size is .1 grams. Concentrates are popular with the younger generation of cannabis consumers.

It’s important to note that dabs can be pricey when compared to traditional flower and other cannabis products. Because of the amount of flower, the time, and the labor going into making good cannabis concentrates, one gram of hash can often cost $60 to $100. In medical cannabis markets, hash can be more affordable, close to $20 per gram before tax. The bulk of concentrate users are happy to pay more for dabs because of the effectiveness of the product. 

In fact, one dab can provide users with incredible pain relief, relaxation, and other benefits to the same degree of effectiveness as  an entire joint.. A little goes a long way. Some consumers smoke cannabis for the experience, while others need to treat ailments as quickly and effectively as possible.  It’s up to you. Dabs are loaded with THC, users can expect a near-instant high. 

If you suffer from chronic pain or struggle with another medical condition, it’s completely understandable that you would rather dab and feel immediate relief. So, how much THC do dabs actually have?

On average, the maximum amount of THC concentration in weed is around 25%. Dabs, on the other hand, can reach concentration levels between 70% and 90% THC. And since dabs are concentrated cannabinoids, consumers may feel dabbing cannabis concentrates offers a “purist”  experience. You aren’t combusting any plant matter, you are only vaporizing cannabinoids.

Smoking cannabis involves hot smoke and combusting plant matter. Some consumers choose to avoid smoking weed. This is where dabs can prove to be quite beneficial, allowing you to enjoy marijuana to its fullest extent with less irritation on your lungs. Studies show vaping cannabis and cannabinoids is less harmful than smoking.

Types of cannabis vapes

Vapes allow you to inhale cannabis vapor instead of smoke, with studies dating back twenty years showing that vaping cannabis is a safer method than smoking. Besides the possible health benefits, vaping highs kick in fast, often taking just 5 to 15 minutes. What’s more, the effects can last between 40 minutes and 2 hours. 

Not only does data show vaping is safer for you, but it’s also incredibly easy and discreet. Many people prefer vaping to smoking because it is so convenient. There is a less intense cannabis smell. Another big plus is that vaping doesn’t require as many hits to get you high.

As such, you can potentially save money by switching to vaping since you only need to use a small amount of vaped weed, concentrate, or wax to enjoy a nice buzz. Since it only vaporizes when you want it to, you won’t waste weed when you vape like you may when smoking it.

You see, whenever you light your flower with a lighter, you’re burning up unnecessary amounts of weed. Or, when smoking a joint, as it burns the smoke that goes into the air is lost. Conversely, vaping allows for ultra-fast heating, thus allowing you to inhale cannabis vapors at the touch of a button.

Vaporizers are designed to heat the cannabis or wax just before the point of combustion. It should be at a low temperature, up to 450 degrees. With low-temperature vaping, you won’t burn any precious terpenes and cannabinoids. 

Here are the main types of vaporizers you will find on the market today: 

  • Pod and proprietary battery
  • 510 cartridge and 510 battery
  • Disposable

Vapes are made up of a cartridge and a battery. Some brands have their own proprietary cartridges, called pods, that only fit onto their specially designed battery. Popular pod and batteries include vapes made by companies like Pax, Stiiizy, and 710 Labs. The majority of weed companies offer 510 thread cartridges, which are convenient since they all will fit the most universal vape battery, a 510 thread battery. Another popular vape type you will find is called a disposable vape, meant for single-use. Dosist is one vape company that offers a disposable option. Most brands with disposable vapes are not refillable, but it depends on the company.

Emjay's Cannabis Type Guide. Photo by Elsa Olofsson

Types of cannabis edibles

Edibles are food products that have been infused with THC or CBD. You can find a wide variety of edibles on the modern market. Edibles are found today in:

  • Brownies and baked goods
  • Gummies
  • Ice cream
  • Mints
  • Teas
  • Drinks
  • Luxury chocolates like bars, truffles, peanut butter cups, and chocolate-covered espresso beans
  • Cooking oils
  • Healthy trail mixes

You’ll typically find edibles in the same categories as marijuana: sativa, indica, and hybrid. You may also find edibles that are categorized by their effect: calm, uplifting, energizing, arousing. The same rules apply when determining which type of edible you’d rather have for a given occasion.

Sativa gives you a nice lift while Indica calms you down. Hybrids, of course, offer effects somewhere in-between and can be a bit of a mixed bag. Fortunately, respectable brands often tell you on the packaging what kind of effects you can expect.

If you’d like the therapeutic effects of cannabis or wish to avoid the THC for whatever reason, CBD-infused edibles are just the ticket. You can enjoy many of the same medicinal properties found in cannabis, too. You won’t get high, but you’ll certainly feel the overall wellness boost. Many CBD edible offerings are used to regulate anxiety, sleep, and inflammation. Look for edibles that offer full-spectrum cannabinoids.

Cannabis drinks

Cannabis drinks are quickly becoming a hot commodity, and for good reason. By consuming cannabis drinks, you’re getting the health benefits of CBD or the high of THC in a convenient beverage. It’s a comforting, familiar form.

These drinks come in a variety of types and flavors: from infused seltzers to beer-type beverages, sugary juices, to even weed-infused wine. Drinks skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, as people have wanted to imbibe cannabis without inhaling anything into their lungs.

Emjay's Cannabis Types Guide. Photo by Elsa Olofsson on Unsplash

Cannabis wellness products

As we’ve already discussed, the health benefits of CBD can’t be ignored. As such, there is a multitude of cannabis wellness products designed to target a breadth of conditions. And since more people are looking for ways to move toward more natural remedies, it’s easy to see why there are so many CBD wellness products hitting the market.

While most CBD wellness products are available at dispensaries or over-the-counter, there is one type of wellness product that requires a doctor’s prescription, and that is Epidiolex. It treats seizures in children with epileptic disorders. Epidiolex is so far the only FDA-approved CBD product. 

Topicals

Topical cannabis or CBD products are meant to go on top of the skin. They are absorbed through the epidermis and are usually most effective for on-the-spot pain management. Topicals may include products like lotions, oils, skincare products, lube, bath salts, and even toothpaste. 

Tincture

Tinctures are alcohol-based marijuana extracts. Tincture is alcohol like ethanol that extracts the cannabinoids from the cannabis as it soaks. Largely used for medicinal purposes, tinctures provide users with fast pain relief.

CBD Oil

Derived from cannabis or hemp, CBD oil provides many of the benefits of marijuana but without the psychoactive high. You can buy CBD oil in bottles for a wide variety of uses, such as combating pain, reducing inflammation, or helping with ailments like insomnia, epilepsy, and anxiety.

THC Oil

Essentially the same as CBD oil but with highly-concentrated levels of THC. Consumers can vape, ingest, or cook with THC oil.

Other forms of cannabis

Thanks to the versatility of cannabis, a variety of products are available for users to enjoy, ranging from topical patches to bath salts, oral sprays, capsules, and more. New products enter the market every day.

Get cannabis delivered with Emjay

When you need cannabis delivered right to your front door, Emjay has got your back. We work hard to get your order delivered in half the time it takes other delivery companies in the LA area. Not only that, but delivery is free!

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