How to Choose the Right Cannabis Product for You

Whether you’re new to the cannabis experience or a seasoned consumer who wants to try something new, when it comes to browsing a robust weed menu, the sheer number of choices can be overwhelming — even Grassdoor’s selection of 400+ products across 50 top brands. Marijuana products run the gamut and are labeled with all kinds of lingo from new strain names and cannabinoids to various consumption methods and terpene profiles, how do they all factor into picking out what you want to try?

In this buyer’s guide, we’ll provide some pointers to get you moving in the right direction, so the next time you’re buying cannabis products you’ll have the tools you need to get the most out of your experience. Remember, cannabis affects everyone differently, and what’s worked really well for, say, a friend or family member may not necessarily affect you in the same way. While there are many factors at play — including your personal biology, body weight, age, gender, and previous cannabis experience — here are some things to keep in mind when you’re browsing the delivery menu:

  • Potency
  • Consumption methods
  • Cannabinoids 
  • Terpenes
  • Desired effects

POTENCY

You’ve probably heard that today’s cannabis isn’t your “grandparent’s weed,” and in some contexts that’s true. Innovations in extraction technology have led to wide market availability of highly potent, psychoactive, cannabis products such as concentrates like shatter, wax, and budder, which often contain THC percentages soaring past 80 percent. 

Although concentrates are intended for a more experienced consumer, potency is a key factor to keep in mind when selecting products in general, especially if you plan to consume during the day to manage a health condition. 

However, it’s not only concentrates that can be very potent, cannabis flower can be, too. Be sure to check the label for potency and have a baseline understanding of your own reaction to THC before buying a weed product. If you’re uncertain, follow the cannabis golden rule; start low and go slow. 

CONSUMPTION METHODS

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Flower

One of the more popular cannabis products out there, consumers love it because of its versatility. Flower can be rolled into a joint, consumed from a dry herb vaporizer, used in a bong. smoked from a pipe, or baked into an edible. 

With cannabis flower’s popularity comes affordability and variety. Your delivery service is likely to carry many strain options, making it easy to find one that you enjoy. Flower has the added benefit of being very bioavailable, meaning that a larger percentage of cannabinoids are delivered into your system, and, if smoking, its onset is nearly immediate. 

Concentrates

Concentrates are exactly what they sound like; cannabis products that have been extracted down to their essential parts, typically cannabinoids and terpenes. Like flower, concentrates can be consumed in several ways including vaporizing using a dab rig, sprinkling kief on a bowl or into a joint, or using a portable or tabletop vaporizer. 

As mentioned earlier, concentrates can be very potent stuff with an immediate onset, so a little can go a long way and should be used judiciously.

Edibles

Cannabis-infused food and drinks come in every shape and size; gummies, candy bars, pretzels, popcorn, brownies, cookies, mints, sparkling waters, you name it. Edibles are very popular with consumers who prefer to ingest cannabis rather than smoke or vape since no combustion is involved. 

However, they do have one trick up their sleeve that takes time to master, and that’s finding your appropriate dosage. Since The New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd ate an entire cannabis-infused chocolate bar in one sitting (pro tip: don’t do that) back in 2014 and spent a paranoid night in a Denver hotel room, the industry has gotten much better at highlighting serving and dosing sizes. Such rookie mistakes can be chalked up to impatience as edibles can take 30 minutes or longer to kick in and can last up to twelve hours or more, although the peak of an edible high generally lasts from one to 3 hours.

Tinctures

Created by steeping cannabis in an alcohol solution for several weeks, many consumers take tinctures sublingually, or under the tongue, for maximal absorption. When taken this way, onset can occur after about 15 minutes. Tinctures are versatile for consumers because they can easily be added to food and drink — though the onset will more closely resemble the timing of edibles in this case. 

Topicals

Intended to be applied directly to the skin for targeted treatment, topicals come in lotions, sprays, balms, transdermal patches, and salves. Consumers choose topicals for everyday aches and pains and for skin conditions like acne or psoriasis. For those leery of cannabis’ intoxicating and euphoric effects, topicals may ease some of these conditions without getting you high. 

CANNABINOIDS

The most well known and researched cannabinoids are the psychoactive THC and the non intoxicating CBD, but more than 100 other cannabinoids have been identified and act in the body in specific ways. As the industry has matured, more cannabinoids have been introduced to consumers, including CBN (cannabinol), CBG (cannabigerol), and Delta-8 THC.

TERPENES

Cannabis plants contain oily, organic compounds called terpenes that emit a specific scent. Though the research is out, current thought holds that terpenes may play a role in cannabis’ ameliorative effects. Some common terpenes you’ll find in cannabis are limonene (citrus fruits), pinene (pine trees), linalool (lavender), and beta-caryophyllene (black pepper). 

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DESIRED EFFECTS

What are you hoping to achieve with your session? Some consumers simply want to blaze, others may want to take the edge off after a long day or a hard workout, and still others need a steady supply of specific types of cannabis to treat a medical condition. Before diving into the delivery menu, get clear about what kind of experience you’d like to have and don’t be afraid to use the Live Chat feature on the homepage and get guidance from an actual human being. 

Consumers report using cannabis for a number of reasons including feeling:

  • Aroused
  • Calming
  • Clarity
  • Creative
  • Energized
  • Euphoric
  • Focused
  • Giggly
  • Happy
  • Hungry
  • Relaxed
  • Sleepy
  • Talkative
  • Tingly
  • Uplifted
  • Sleepy
  • Relief
  • Relaxed

Keep these factors in mind and you’ll find a great weed product that gives you just what you’re looking for. 

Find the right cannabis product for you on Grassdoor’s expanded same-day Scheduled Menu.

Erin Hiatt came to writing about cannabis, hemp, and psychedelics after a career as an actor and dancer. Her work has appeared in Vice, Civilized, MERRY JANE, Hemp Connoisseur Magazine, Marijuana Goes Mainstream, Doubleblind, and others.

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