When you think of smoking cannabis, images of joints, blunts, bongs, and bowls still likely dominate your subconscious. This is because flower continues to be the single consumption method to rule consumer sales.
While the emergence of more convenient and efficient cannabis delivery methods like vape cartridges, edibles, and concentrates are rising in popularity, flower still reigns supreme. In this post, we’re going to dive deeper into the reasons why this low-tech consumption approach continues to drive sales. In addition, we provide an honest commentary on why new methods are emerging and how you can overcome the challenge with flower.
Breakdown of Cannabis Consumption Categories
Now that we have legal recreational cannabis in 24 states and Canada, understanding consumer trends is easy. Below is the market share for each cannabis consumption category in 2020, according to Statista.
- Flower + Pre-Roll – 46%
- Vape – 29%
- Edible – 12%
- Extract – 10%
- Other – 3%
Furthermore, we can see the year-over-year sales based on category. Check out the 2022-2021 graph below, provided by Headset.
What Exactly is in Cannabis Flower?
Before getting into what is driving consumers to continue using cannabis flower, it’s essential to understand precisely what encompasses a bag of old-fashioned buds. This knowledge will help you later when we introduce a new method to overcome the limitations of flower.
At the core of the cannabis flower’s potency are cannabinoids, the chemical compounds that interact with the human endocannabinoid system. The most well-known cannabinoid is THC, which is responsible for the plant’s psychoactive effects. However, there are many others, including cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), and cannabinol (CBN), each with its own set of potential benefits.
Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in various plants. They give each strain of cannabis its distinctive aroma and flavor profile. These compounds contribute to the flower’s sensory appeal and play a role in the entourage effect, enhancing the overall therapeutic benefits of the plant.
While less studied than cannabinoids and terpenes, flavonoids are another class of compounds found in cannabis that are believed to have potential health benefits. They provide color pigmentation and are thought to interact with other cannabis compounds in ways that influence the plant’s overall effects.
Trichomes are the tiny, hair-like structures on the surface of cannabis flowers where many of the plant’s beneficial compounds are concentrated. These glistening structures house cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, and their density can indicate the potency of a given strain.
Sticks, stems, leaves, and (hopefully not) seeds also make up flower. This aspect of cannabis is discarded when making products like edibles and extracts. The percentage of compounds in plant matter is one of the determining factors of flower quality.
The Advantages of Flower
There are clear reasons why flower captures some 50% of the market.
- Fast Onset: Cannabis flower provides a quick onset of effects, with cannabinoids entering the bloodstream through the lungs within minutes of inhalation.
- Fast Offset: Users can manage their experience and return to sobriety promptly due to the effects only lasting a couple of hours.
- Variety of Strains: Flower is available in numerous strains, each with unique combinations of compounds, catering to specific needs such as relaxation, creativity, and pain relief.
- Natural Approach: Flower remains the most natural way to consume cannabis because the product is free from solvents, flavoring, or additives.
- Whole Plant Experience: Consuming cannabis flower provides a holistic, full-spectrum experience, benefiting from the entourage effect as various compounds work together.
- Sensory Experience: Many users enjoy the sensory aspects of cannabis flower, from its aroma and flavor to the ritual of grinding and rolling, connecting to its rich history and culture.
- Flower’s Potential Drawback
While the advantages are clear, there are reasons why products like edibles and concentrates have been introduced to the market.
First, the convenience factor: it’s far less of a chore to eat a brownie or hit a vape than to break up weed and roll a joint. You also don’t have to consume as much product to get high. One or two hits of highly potent concentrate equate to a bowl or even a joint of flower.
Next is the efficiency. Concentrates are a highly potent extract free of plant matter. When you smoke vape oil or dabs, you are consuming strictly cannabis compounds without much of the plant matter. However, the majority of concentrates are THC-dominant; other cannabinoids and terpenes aren’t always preserved in the extraction process. Vaping manufacturers typically reintroduce terpenes to create a more balanced product, but it is never the same composition as in the plant. In addition, fillers like vitamin E acetate or propylene glycol may be added to concentrates to increase the volume of the product.
Hot smoke in the lungs, when it consists of elements that aren’t providing psychoactive, medical, or “entourage” effects, is a waste. In addition, smoking plant matter can be harsh and can be a massive turn-off if you don’t like hacking your lungs out every time you want to get high.
Spiritual Aspects of Cannabis Flower
Smoking is an excellent delivery method from a biological perspective. But there’s more going on here besides sending cannabis compounds to the brain via the lungs. Stopping to break up cannabis and roll a joint or pack a bowl is ritualistic. It allows us to gather with friends or enjoy our own company while getting up close and personal with the plant.
Other consumption methods lack this connection to cannabis. This is one of the most significant reasons why smoking flower has been and will continue to rule supreme as the preferred approach.
How to Elevate Your Flower
Understanding the components of flower and its shortcomings helps us curate a better smoking experience. Follow the recommendations below to improve the common THC-dominant approach to smoking cannabis.
Mixing potent cannabis strains with an herbal mixer is growing in popularity. Proponents of this approach use herbs and botanicals to create a cannabis cocktail. The most popular are lavender, rose petals, hops, and marshmallow leaf.
Maximize Cannabis Compounds
Most cannabis on the market consists primarily of THC. Even though you get the whole plant experience whenever you smoke flower, you fail to achieve ideal cannabinoid synergy because most flower has been bred to pump out as much THC as possible.
Overcome this misstep in the cannabis movement by incorporating other cannabinoids into your smoke sessions.
Balance Your High to Minimize T-Breaks
Hits of straight THC fry your receptors, requiring resets or t-breaks. Pausing gets your tolerance back to baseline so you can enjoy the effects of THC once again.
When you take a balanced approach to marijuana, you get CB receptor activation through other channels, ensuring building a tolerance won’t ruin the experience.
Save Your Bud
Finally, the best way to elevate your flower is by saving. When you are consuming other components rather than just your 30% THC bud, you’ll stretch it out. And if you follow our recommendations of adding other cannabis compounds and an herbal mixer, you won’t miss out on the uplifting effects.
Flower + Bud Love = Cannabis Harmony
Bud Love is an innovative way to elevate your flower experience. The herbal mixture contains marshmallow leaf, CBG, and cannabis terpenes for a synergistic approach that reduces the adverse side effects of smoking. Save your weed, cough less, and achieve the entourage effect while maximizing the euphoric effects of cannabis flower.
––This article comes to you from the Bud Love team.