When you think about smoking cannabis, the first thing you probably think about is grinding buds and rolling a joint. While this may be the classic way to get the beneficial compounds into your system, it’s not your only option. There are a few ways you can smoke, including pipes and bongs. You’re also not limited to smoking cannabis flowers. There is a vast array of concentrates that you could use as well. The two products are quite different from one another, though, so there are a few things that you need to keep in mind.

There Are Many Different Types of Concentrates

Sure, there are hundreds of strains of cannabis, but when it comes to smoking flowers, your option is purchasing buds. You just have to pick the strain you want.
If you’re looking for a concentrate, however, you might quickly become overwhelmed by the sheer number of options. There’s shatter, budder, crumble, sugar, oil, and many more. If you’re new to the world of concentrates, trying to figure out where to start might be a little daunting.

You Need Less Concentrate

Cannabis flowers range in potency, with some strains reaching more than 30% THC. Concentrates are much, much stronger. They typically range from 50% up to 90%. As such, you need much less to achieve the results you want. Your product will also go much farther.

The Matter of Plant Material

When you smoke cannabis flowers, you’re inhaling more than cannabinoids and terpenes. You’re also getting ash and burnt plant matter. These components can have adverse effects on your lungs. If you’re smoking using a bong, they can also leave a black residue on the glass, which doesn’t just affect the appearance of the bong, but can be a pain to clean.

With concentrates, cannabinoids get stripped from plant matter using a solvent, leaving behind only beneficial compounds. You won’t have to worry about inhaling charred buds or other carcinogens.

cannabis flower jar

Flowers Tend to Be More Flavorful (But Not Always)

Cannabis flowers are full of beneficial compounds. In addition to cannabinoids, they also contain varying amounts of terpenes, which lend incredible, complex flavors and aromas to the experience. Depending upon the terpene profile, strains might be fruity, floral, sweet, or citrusy. Some have more unusual aromas and flavors, such as diesel fuel.

While concentrates mean you’re not inhaling burnt plant material, the extraction process does take away from the original taste and smell of the strain. In many cases, more delicate terpenes and cannabinoids get destroyed, leaving behind a potent product that lacks the depth of flavor you get from smoking buds.

Producers have found a way around this. Some have started adding terpenes back into their concentrates, a process that sometimes provides a much more flavorful experience than the original flower.

Which Is Right for You?

The choice of smoking cannabis flowers versus concentrates is a purely personal preference. One person might prefer the complexities of the flower while another might enjoy the potency of a concentrate. Some people enjoy adding a small amount of concentrate to their joint or bowl, which offers a stronger, still flavorful experience. It’s all up to you.