Every cannabis experience should be luxurious (you deserve it, right?). But if you’ve never tried cannabis before, you may feel apprehensive of the unknown. Before you visit our New Jersey cannabis dispensary, we want you to be informed about what you’re consuming — and hopefully, having all the information will help you feel ready to take home cannabis products of your own.
Cannabis in all its forms
You’ve likely heard terms like flower, pre-rolls, and edibles, and have a basic understanding of what they mean. But do you really know the differences between them? Cannabis comes in many forms, and people enjoy different types of products for various reasons. Further, it’s important to note that cannabis affects people differently, so you may have an experience with edibles or flower that differs from that of your friends.
Flower refers to cannabis in its most natural form. Dried flower comes in a seemingly infinite number of strains, which have varying effects due to their unique genetic makeup. Cannabis flower is typically labeled with its cannabinoid content (more on that later), which contributes to those effects on the body.
Consuming flower requires a little equipment: after breaking up your flower manually or through the use of a grinder, you may choose to smoke through a pipe, bong, joint or blunt. You can even use it to try making your own edibles — the sky’s the limit!
Pre-rolled joints and blunts, or pre-rolls, are exactly what they sound like. Purchasing pre-rolls is an easy way to get started with cannabis, because the work is already done: all you need is your product and a lighter. These are sold individually and in multi-packs, sometimes with several different strains.
Edibles are another great way to try cannabis, but there is a learning curve for those who haven’t used them before. These come in the form of gummies and beverages in New Jersey for now and then in December, chocolates and baked goods will be added to the edible market. It’s important to check the label of any edibles you purchase for the recommended dose and onset time, because these vary and aren’t always what you’d expect (for example, one square of chocolate might be equal to one dose, versus the whole bar). Some edibles can take up to two hours to take effect, while faster-acting products might only take a few minutes.
Crumble, budder, sauce, shatter — all of these terms refer to a range of cannabis extracts. They have different textures, but they have one thing in common: they are all highly concentrated forms of cannabis that have been stripped away from the plant itself. Extracts in some forms can be added to joints and blunts and smoked, but the most common consumption method is dabbing, or heating the substance to extreme temperatures in a dab ring and inhaling the vapor.
Tinctures & Topicals
Tinctures refer to cannabis oils that are consumed with droppers under the tongue. Like other types of products, they are sold in a wide range of strains and concentrations.
Topicals, on the other hand, are a form of cannabis that is applied to the skin. These can be especially helpful for those experiencing joint or muscle pain, as they are beneficial for easing inflammation and muscle soreness. They come in the form of lotions, creams and gels.
How it works
Why exactly does cannabis make us feel relaxed, or uplifted, or sleepy? And how does it interact with the body when you consume cannabis products? These are big questions, and you should have access to all the answers before smoking your first joint, or taking a bite of your first edible.
Cannabinoids and terpenes
First, let’s break down a couple of important compounds of the cannabis plant and their roles. Both cannabinoids and terpenes are naturally occurring compounds that are secreted in the trichomes of the buds and leaves. They also both contribute to the effects that cannabis has on the body.
Cannabinoids: THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are the best-known cannabinoids. They are just two of over a hundred other cannabinoids that have been identified in the cannabis plant. Some other cannabinoids include CBG (cannabigerol), CBN (cannabinol) and CBC (cannabichromenes).
Terpenes: Terpenes are compounds found in plants (including cannabis, of course) and some animals that are responsible for aromas and flavors they produce. A single cannabis contains many different terpenes, all of which have different benefits when consumed. Examples of terpenes include pinene (found in pine needles, rosemary and basil), limonene (found in lemons, oranges and other citrus fruit), and myrcene (found in hops, lemongrass and thyme).
Cannabis and the Endocannabinoid System
Within each of us is a system that regulates homeostasis, helping our bodies maintain stable conditions necessary for survival — even amid external changes. This is the endocannabinoid system, and it plays important roles in regulating things like pain, bone mass, metabolism, body temperature, mood, and much more.
The endocannabinoid system includes receptors called CB1 and CB2. When you consume cannabis, cannabinoids like THC and CBD bind to these receptors to produce various effects within the body, such as relaxation, stress relief, pain reduction, heightened senses, and more (reminder: everyone’s experience is different, and these effects also vary with the strain and form of marijuana consumed).
The Entourage Effect
In this rapidly growing industry, consumers have access to a diverse range of products with different concentrations of cannabinoids like THC and CBD, and even extracts that isolate specific cannabinoids from the many other compounds. Interestingly, though, the effects of each of these may vary when extracted. There is a theory that states that cannabis consumed in its natural form — with all its naturally occurring cannabinoids and terpenes — enhances the effects of each compound, producing the best possible benefits. This is called the entourage effect.
Still have questions?We’re here to answer them. Please feel free to visit our FAQ page or contact us directly. Better yet, visit our Plainfield dispensary to speak with our knowledgeable staff prior to purchasing cannabis products — they’ll be sure to give you the royal treatment!