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Common Forms of Cannabis Flower

Common Forms of Cannabis Flower

After harvest, drying, trimming, and curing, cannabis bud is broken down into a variety of options before being packaged and shipped to dispensaries. Grams and eighths are just the start of all the plant has to offer.

Explore the types of flower you can find at dispensaries, how to identify quality weed, the top ways to use cannabis flower, and more in our comprehensive guide.

Table of Content

Types of Flower

You have options when it comes to cannabis flower. Whether quick and hands-off or hand-ground and hand-rolled, popcorn or top shelf, explore the options that line the shelves at a dispensary near you.

Loose Flower

Loose Flower

Loose flower refers to the dried bud from the cannabis plant. When you purchase loose flower at a dispensary, it is bud that has been cured and trimmed for your consumption.

Before smoking or ingesting loose cannabis, cannabis users often grind it and pack it into a pipe or joint. Ground flower lends benefits to the consumer – it typically burns more evenly, and it is easier to measure, manipulate and smoke.

Loose Flower FAQs


Cannabis Pre-Rolls

Pre-rolled joints are packaged and sold in marijuana dispensaries—it’s a joint that someone else has rolled for you. Pre-rolls have become the preferred term, but many cannabis consumers still refer to them as “joint.”

Although you can roll your own joints at manually home, most dispensaries use a machine, ensuring a more consistent fill. Pre-rolls are crafted using thin paper, often rice, wood pulp or hemp, and include a paper filter tip.

Pre-Roll FAQs

Determining Cannabis Flower Quality

Determining Cannabis Flower Quality

As outlined above, Reserve or Private Reserve flower is typically a word or phrase used to describe the best available cannabis a dispensary offers.

Top Shelf

The trichomes, or crystals, on top shelf buds are bright and colorful. Topshelf buds don’t look airy or scrawny; they’re well-manicured and tight trimmed. Top shelf buds should almost shimmer in the light from the trichome density.

Lower Quality

Sometimes you can tell bad cannabis just by its appearance. You may see discolored flower or a lot of stems and seeds. However, lower-quality flower can also take on a musty smell that is often associated with “schwag”.


Cannabis Shake

Premium flower consists of a well-manicured bud with the marijuana leaves surrounding the flowers well-defined. In contrast to premium flower, popcorn flower consists of a loose bud with tiny leaves.

Since shake is loose plant material packaged together, it can consist of different types of cannabis plants that are harvested together. Because of this, some dispensaries sell shake a lower cost than premium bud. However, often times shake contains plenty of kief that also fell off the buds, making it a potent product.

Shake FAQs

Popcorn Flower

Popcorn Flower

Popcorn buds are buds that are just about or a little smaller than popcorn. They usually have an intermediate position between budget cannabis and high-quality bud. The potency of popcorn buds should be on par with, if not slightly lower than, A-grade buds of the same strain (by the same producer).

If you already love what a particular producer is growing, why not buy a pack of their tight nugs at a discount? The producer gets to sell their entire crop and you get A-grade buds at B-grade prices.

Popcorn Flower FAQs

Reserve Flower

Reserve Flower

Reserve or Private Reserve flower is the highest quality flower available at that dispensary or by that grower. Cannabis flowers can be graded as low shelf, mid shelf, top shelf, and Reserve. There are different price ranges for each shelf, depending on the quality of product. Private reserve cannabis commands the highest premium.

Reserve buds are exotic and are often grown by an influential grower or brand. Sometimes a rare phenotype of a common strain is considered Private Reserve because it has a different color, flavor, aroma, or other unique traits.

Reserve Flower FAQs

Common Cannabis Flower Consumption Methods

With many people discovering the healing properties of cannabis, there is a rising curiosity about how to best consume the plant. While many are inexperienced, others have not indulged in the herb for decades. Now, there are more options than ever to get the best experience from cannabis.

Common Forms of Cannabis Flower


As we touched on above, most professionals call joints pre-rolls these days. However, a joint is different than a pre-roll, technically speaking.

A pre-roll is a ready-to-use joint that you can purchase from a dispensary that has pre-rolled the cannabis for you. Although a pre-roll is indeed a joint, one can certainly purchase flower and rolling papers and roll their own joint at home rather than purchasing a pre-roll. It’s really just a matter of preference.

Joint FAQs

Pipes and Bongs

A bong is a cannabis smoking device made of glass, wood, plastic, silicone, ceramic, acrylic or metal.

Some of the most popular types of bongs include: Beaker, Bubble or round base, Multi-chamber, Percolator, Recycler, Straight tube, Zig zag and Carburetor.

Because a pipe is smaller than other smoking devices, like most bongs, it’s more discreet and easier to clean. Hand pipes are the most commonly used for those who like smoking on the go. You can simply throw your pipe in your bag and not have to worry about a bunch of accessories or storage space.

Pipes and Bongs FAQs

Dry Flower Vaporizers

Dry herb vaporizers are a type of vaporizer that is used to transform dry herbs into vapors. They are in contrast to e-cigs that use liquid cartridges.

One of the best things about dry herb vaporizers is that they’re easy to use, which makes them great for beginners. Whether you’re new to vaping or new to cannabis consumption altogether, a dry herb vaporizer can be a great introduction to these methods of consumption.

Dry Flower Vaporizers FAQs

Storing Cannabis Flower

Storing Fresh Cannabis Flower

To store buds successfully, you should always keep them in a cool, dark, and dry place. But just how dry, dark, and cool you need to be depends on a few things. The elements that affect your marijuana buds the most are humidity, temperature, air, and light.

Try to store your marijuana at temperatures below 74 degrees. Above this threshold, mold and mildew thrive, whereas the ideal temperature for storage is approximately 65 degrees Fahrenheit but no less than 55 degrees.

UV-Proof Containers

To prevent degradation of your flower after harvesting, you should store your stash in a dark environment. If you cannot store your stash in a dark place, use an opaque container or cover any parts of your container that would allow light through with stickers or tape.

Glass Mason Jars

Mason jars are made of glass and have a metal lid that offers a complete seal, making them airtight. Light degradation can occur when storing dried flowers in glass jars, so it’s best to store them in a dark place. It’s also optimal to store dried flowers in glass since they maintain humidity and temperature when stored.

Storage FAQs