Best Ways to Smoke Your Marijuana Flower: Tips, Tricks, and Methods
From joints to glass bongs and Sativas to Indicas, there are a lot of details to decide when it comes to both choosing your medical marijuana flower, and the best method to enjoy it. This article takes a closer look at exactly what cannabis flower is, and how you can get the most from smoking it.
What is Marijuana Flower?
Marijuana flower is the smokable part of the female cannabis plant. As the female plant grows, it will eventually "flower" and produce "bud or "nugs" that are rich in trichomes.
A female marijuana plant is made up of several different parts:
- Leaves: have five or seven blades. Cannabis leaves have lower THC content than flowers, but can be made into edibles, or even infused with tea.
- Cola: refers to the flowering are or bud of the cannabis plant.
- Trichomes: When you look at cannabis flower in your hand, (and especially under a microscope), you'll notice tiny white crystals covering the little nug. These are trichomes, where a majority of cannabinoids and terpenes are produced.
- Terpenes: give plants their smell and taste. Every plant has a terpene profile - not just cannabis - but growing evidence suggests that terps play a role in a cannabis strain's effects.
- Cannabinoids: naturally occurring compounds found in cannabis. THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol) are the most abundant cannabinoids in marijuana flower.
What Causes the Differences in Cannabis Strains?
With so many different cannabis strains and even more information online, you can quickly wind up in a rabbit hole of conflicting answers. But here's a little secret not everyone is telling you: grouping cannabis flower by category isn't always that helpful.
Traditionally, we often think of Sativa cannabis strains as the energetic, euphoric side of cannabis, while Indica ("in da couch") produces a relaxing body high. Hybrid strains are considered a mix of Sativa and Indica and can either be Sativa or Indica-dominant, but there's much more to a specific strain than just these three classifications.
Marijuana flower, depending on how it's grown, where it's grown, and even the seed which is was grown, can have different terpenes as well as cannabinoids. This means even the same strain of cannabis can vary from harvest to harvest.
So, while learning about strains you like most can help you find the right cannabis strain for you, familiarizing yourself with cannabis terpenes may help more.
Is CBD Marijuana Flower?
CBD flower is a type of marijuana flower, though these cannabis plants are labeled as hemp plants. Legally, hemp flower is a cannabis plant that has less than 0.3% of THC while cannabis plants have a THC percentage of 0.3 or higher.
Hemp plants are often thought to be different form cannabis plants, but they are actually the same species of plant. CBD can be derived from both hemp and marijuana. The only difference between the two are how much THC versus CBD the plants contain.
Some cannabis strains, such as 1:1 ratios, have equal parts CBD and equal parts THC. These strains offer a balanced experience between THC and CBD effects that can be especially helpful if you're prone to paranoia. You can also find strains that are 2:1, 3:1, and so on, where a strain has higher amounts of CBD than THC.
What is the Best Way to Smoke Marijuana Flower?
Depending on who you ask, you're likely to get a variety of responses. Everyone has their personal preference when it comes to smoking marijuana flower, and each method may have its own pros and cons according to the consumer. However, there is no shortage of great options. And you shouldn't be afraid to get a little creative with what's out there!
Tips and Tricks to Smoking Marijuana Joints and Pre-rolls
Joints are one of the most convenient and iconic ways to smoke cannabis. Rolled with thin paper wraps, joints are great for getting a sense of a strain's flavor. They're also often less harsh than blunts since joints aren't rolled with tobacco wraps.
Though they're a little tricky to roll at first, once you've practiced a few times, you'll have a tried and true method for quick smoke sessions. If you'd prefer an even easier way to enjoy a joint, pre-roll cones take away the tediousness of rolling and come with pre-installed filter tips.
Helpful tips for smoking joints:
- If you're rolling your own, be sure to include a "crutch" or filter at the end. You'll enjoy smoother hits, and your joint will hold its shape better.
- Want to make your joint a little extra potent? Sprinkle a bit of kief in with your flower!
- Although joints can burn quickly, don't compensate by taking a lot of hits in a short period. It may go without saying, but start slow, and respect the high!
One-hitters and Steamrollers: The Perfect Personal Session
One-hitters and steamrollers are the quickest way to hit cannabis. All you need to do is load up the end and spark the cherry as if you're lighting a joint. You don't even have to worry about a carb.
Though similar in both style, shape, and smoking method, one-hitters have much smaller bowls and chambers compared to steamrollers, which means they can get hot after just a few hits in succession.
If your goal is a quick, personal session without getting too high, a one-hitter is the perfect solution. If you want to unwind on a Friday night, a steamroller is likely the better choice.
Tips for smoking one-hitters and steamrollers:
- One-hitters are small and aren't meant to absorb a lot of heat. Take breaks between hits to avoid burning your lips.
- Steamrollers have the potential to be a little awkward since they're essentially large glass cigars. Pack the end somewhat tight or hold the end slightly up if flower keeps falling out of the end.
Loading and Smoking a Marijuana Bong or Pipe Bowl
Pipes, bongs, and bubblers are universally loved in cannabis culture, and it's easy to understand why. They can be as simple as a one-chamber pipe to as intricate as a colorful blown-glass bong with multiple percolators.
To start your sesh with a marijuana bong or bowl, simply grind up your herb by hand or with a grinder, and fill up the bowl. Try not to pack the bowl too tightly. You still want airflow through the bowl. Typically, bongs have a removable bowls while pipes have small holes on the side called "carbs." They function in the same manner - their removal or uncovering allows you to inhale the smoke.
For bongs, you'll want to put your lighter near the bowl as you inhale on the mouthpiece to bring the flame to the bowl. After you have a "cherry" (the visible burning of flower, called a cherry as it looks like a red dot) and smoke has filled the chamber, pull out the bowl to clear the hit. It can be helpful to hold the bong on a table, or in between your legs when you're sitting on a couch.
For pipes, keep one of your fingers on the carb as you're lighting the bowl. Once smoke has filled the pipe's chamber, take your finger off the carb to clear the hit.
Helpful tips for smoking out of bowls and bongs:
- Smoking with bongs and pipes can quickly become overwhelming. Be cautious of how big of a hit you're taking.
- Be sure you have a glass or mesh screen for your bong or pipe bowl so flower doesn't fall into the chamber and get inhaled. Ensuring you have a screen can also extend the time needed between deep cleaning of your piece.
- Bong hitting too hot? Throw some ice cubes in the tube.
- Clean your pieces regularly with isopropyl alcohol and water. Dirty bongs aren't just gross, you'll also miss out on the taste of your flower.
For a Full Flavor Smoke, Try a Dry Herb Vaporizor
Dry herb vaporizers have quickly become a popular method for smoking marijuana flower. While they can have higher upfront costs than other pieces, the investment is often worth it. Vaporizers are hands-down the best way to enjoy the full flavor profile of cannabis. Though it's important to note that while some might say vaping is a healthier alternative than smoking cannabis, there simply isn't enough research yet to know for sure.
For both desktop and handheld vapes, be sure to give the device time to preheat. Load the bowl or herb chamber first, then set the device to your preferred temperature.
Lower temperatures around 320 to 355 F will produce low vapor, but excellent flavor. Temperatures of 392 and higher will produce milkier hits.
Tips for hitting dry herb vaporizers:
- Desktop vapes can easily fill oven bags since they often come with fans inside. Try this smoking method if you want to avoid inhaling from a warm piece.
- Every piece of a vape can get hot to the touch - especially the glass bowl. Be mindful while it's on, and don't try to reload the bowl until the piece has cooled down.
- Experiment with different temperatures settings. Different temperature ranges will offer different experiences.
New-age Smoking Methods - Taking Your Cannabis Experience to a New Level
From water-filtered vaporizers to all-organic flavored cones, new methods for using cannabis are growing daily. Thankfully, if you're accustomed to the traditional smoking devices above, you'll have no trouble trying out one of the latest innovations.
Generally speaking, you can expect a unique, enhanced experience with new-age methods.
- Organic, Flavored Cones: You can find pre-rolled cones wit organically flavored rolling paper that complement the taste of your marijuana flower. They smoke like traditional joint or pre-roll.
- Laser Bongs: Yes, you read that correctly. Laser marijuana bongs are similar to vaporizers, except instead of using convection or conduction for heating, they use a blue laser to light ground-up cannabis. This approach is akin to a "solar hit" in which you hold a magnifying glass under the sun to spark your bowl. With a laser bong, you can choose from several different temperature settings - so you'll want to experiment. Laser bongs offer a much cleaner, flavorful smoke than regular glass bongs, and may even be smoother than most vaporizers.
- Water-filtered vaporizers: Water-filtered vaporizers are vaporizers that have a water-filled chamber to improve the smoothness of the hit. These devices come with temperature charts for your reference.
What is the Best Way to Light Cannabis Bowls?
Marijuana flower needs to be heated for you to enjoy its effects. A cannabis bowl should be heated evenly until a glowing cherry is lit. While using a lighter is the most common way to light cannabis bowls, they aren't the only option. Here's an overview of all the different ways to light a cannabis bowl.
The Argument for Lighters
Butane lighters are cheap, convenient, and fast. Simply rotate the spark wheel while holding the lighter to a bowl or joint end, inhale through the mouthpiece to bring the flame to the flower, and pull until the bowl or joint is evenly lit.
Though lighters are very accessible, butane can interfere with the flavor of your cannabis flower, and the chemical may have health risks. For those looking to avoid butane, other methods might be a better alternative.
The Benefits of Hemp Wicks
Hemp wick is a thin thread made out of hemp that's dipped in beeswax and comes wrapped in a spool. Hemp wicks may produce a better flavor than lighters since they're butane-free and have a lower combustion temperature.
You'll still need to light the wick somehow - either with a lighter or match. The benefit to the wick is that by letting it burn slightly, any residual butane should burn off. To spark the bowl, light the end of the hemp wick, let is burn for a few seconds, then bring the wick to your bowl and inhale through the mouthpiece.
Flameless Lighters - Lighting the Future
Have you stepped outside on a windy day and tried to light a joint? You probably had a challenging time getting your lighter to stay lit long enough. Instead of needing to cup your hands over and open flame or risk getting your fingers burnt, flameless, or flame-free lighters, light cannabis in a similar way as a car lighter.
Flameless lighters use plasma coils that heat to temperatures able to light a joint tip or pipe bowl. Follow the same steps as you would with a butane lighter or hemp wick to start your session.
Keep in mind that in the state of Florida, it is illegal to smoke outside in public spaces.
Frequently Asked Questions About Using Marijuana Flower
Whether you're thinking of smoking cannabis for the first time or you already have some experience, you likely have a few questions about using marijuana flower.
What Paper Should I Roll Flower With?
A rolling paper's material plays a huge role in taste, burn speed, and how easy the papers are to roll with. Certain papers can also include undesired chemicals like chlorine, so checking a paper's ingredients is crucial.
- Wood pulp paper: great for beginner rollers because they tend to hold their shape well. They also don't burn too fast or too slow. However, wood pulp rolls have a distinct taste.
- Rice paper: often made form all-natural ingredients that don't interfere with the flavor of your flower. While they burn slowly, rice paper is harder to roll with, and can go out quickly.
- Hemp paper: offer a steady burn rate. Since they're thicker than rice paper, they can also be easier to roll. Hemp papers usually have a delicate aftertaste. While Florida dispensaries are not allowed to use hemp when producing pre-rolls, you are than welcome to roll your own hemp joint - these papers can be found at smoke shops and even gas stations.
How Can I Mask the Cannabis Smoke Smell?
Not everyone wants their home smelling like cannabis. To keep the smell of smoke from lingering try one of these options:
- Incense sticks: can burn for up to 90 minutes, releasing strong aromas that cover up the smell of marijuana smoke. Candles are also a good option.
- Air purifier: those with HEPA filters can not only help you enjoy cleaner air around your living space, but also help remove the smell of burning cannabis.
- Odor eliminators: products like Febreeze aren't just air fresheners - they actually remove odors in the air on a molecular level.
What is the Safest Way to Inhale Marijuana?
A common misconception is that inhaling marijuana is safer than inhaling tobacco. And while that is true to a certain degree, inhaling smoke of any kind has the potential for health risks.
Here are a few ways to make smoking cannabis safer:
- You don't need to hold your inhale. The deeper you pull and the longer you hold the pull, the more tar your lungs are exposed to.
- Smoke joints rather than blunts as blunt wraps often have additive chemicals or tobacco. Also double-check the ingredients of you rolling papers.
- Avoid plastic pipes or bongs that may contain BPA chemicals.
- Regularly clean your pieces.
- Wash your hands before handling marijuana flower, and don't roll your week on unclean surfaces.
Does Cannabis Flower Have to Be Smoked?
Extraction methods, as well as our knowledge of cannabis, are evolving every day. Right now, you can find a myriad of options for enjoying cannabis outside of the traditional smoking methods covered above. Edibles, tinctures, transdermals, along with cannabis inhalers, offer a smoke-free, health-conscious way to use cannabis.
- Edibles: chocolates, fruit gummies, and lozenges are common edibles you can find available. Of course, if you make canna-butter, you can infuse your favorite foods with your favorite cannabis flower.
- Tinctures: perfect for optimizing your dosage and experiencing the full spectrum of a cannabis strain, you use cannabis tinctures by placing a dropper under your tongue.
- Transdermals: allow you to enjoy a steady release of effects by applying a patch to your skin. Transdermals are an excellent minimal-effort way of enjoying cannabis.
- Inhalers: believe it or not, cannabis is a bronchodilator. Bronchodilators help individuals with asthma increase their airflow. Marijuana inhalers offer a discreet, fast, and controlled method for receiving cannabis benefits.
Find High-Quality Marijuana Flower at MÜV Florida
Looking for the highest-quality marijuana flower in Florida? At MÜV, you'll experience exceptional customer service that helps you find the right flower for your unique needs. Notably, we offer Verano Reserve Flower in exotic, premium strains that have been specially pheno-hunted.
If you're ready to pack your next bowl, try taking our quick quiz, "What Cannabis Smoking Equipment is Right for Me?" It can guide you to the piece most appropriate for your needs. Happy medicating!
Content Manager for MÜV Florida and Contributor for Zen Leaf Dispensaries. A cannabis connoisseur with a passion for explaining the miraculous possibility of the plant, Swan began her journey with cannabis as a recreational user and quickly realized its positive impact on her depression and severe anxiety. She joined the cannabis industry as Receptionist and MedTender and witnessed first-hand the immense potential of the plant for a wide variety of ailments, deepening her passion for alternative medicine. Swan is dedicated to self-education on the plant and sharing its potential with all. She holds a Journalism degree from the University of Iowa.