Speaking to a budtender while shopping for cannabis for the first time can be an overwhelming experience. The staggering number of options is enough to make any marijuana enthusiast second-guess their choices. So you’ll never be lost at the counter again, here is a breakdown of the different ways you can enjoy marijuana — from popular newcomers to reliable staples.

Dispensaries sort their items into specific categories based on the method of ingestion or product type. Below, you’ll find the most common categories found on dispensary menus, the products found within them and tips on consumption.


The original cannabis product, flower, refers to the dried buds harvested directly from the plant. Most shops will sell as little as one gram of flower, all the way up to full ounces. Flower is typically ground up and smoked in various ways, including pipes, bongs and joints. Many dispensaries will offer “shake” options under the flower category, and this is simply the broken pieces of flower buds typically left over after harvesting and packaging. Shake is cheaper than buying buds and works great for making cannabutter or oil.


Often listed under flower, a pre-roll is a joint or blunt that’s already constructed, rolled and ready for smoking. Most joint options come in half a gram or 1 gram, with pre-rolled blunts between 3 and 6 grams — but heavier options are widely available. Infused pre-rolls have grown in popularity and typically have a cannabis extract applied to the paper or the flower itself. Infused products have a higher potency, so use caution when first starting out.


The extract market has exploded in recent years, and enthusiasts can now find the perfect mix of flavors and potency. Extracts are also known as concentrates or oils, and specific products are based on the method used to process. Hash, shatter, wax, tinctures and capsules all use different extracts to deliver a powerful, clean product to consumers. Dab rigs have become the preferred method of consuming shatter, wax and live resins due to a cleaner, smoke-free experience. A couple of drops of tincture under your tongue is an excellent way to dose accurately and discretely.


Options in the edibles market have expanded faster than any other category. Many users prefer to ingest cannabis without smoking or vaping, and the results can often be even better. These products are usually infused with cannabutter or cannaoil, but extracts are starting to appear in many items. Chocolate and candy products are the most common, but you’ll find everything from granola bars to marijuana-infused sodas on most menus. Dosing remains the biggest challenge for beginners trying edibles for the first time. It’s recommended to let at least two hours pass after first ingesting edibles, as the effects can often be slow to appear and difficult to perceive.



A variety of topical products are also available at most dispensaries. THC and CBD-infused lotions and creams are used on achy muscles and joints as a natural alternative for pain management. Oils and skin patches can provide targeted relief to common problem areas while remaining out of sight. Topicals containing THC won’t create any “high” sensations, making them a go-to for users seeking pain relief without intoxication. With the increased demand for CBD products, the variety of topical options will only grow larger.

Cannabis enthusiasts are living in the golden age of marijuana. There’s never been a wider variety of products on the market specifically designed for consumer demands. From extracts to topicals, there’s truly something for everyone in the world of weed.

Cannabis Monthly is presented by Ionic.

Based in the Pacific Northwest, Ionic is passionate about crafting the finest small-batch cannabis oils and cannabis concentrates. Our pillars of Quality, Responsibility and Respectability are the guiding principles that have inspired the distinctive finish and curated experiences we create.

DISCLAIMER: This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit-forming. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. For use by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of reach of children.