- Eli Hunt
Virginia Cannabis Dispensaries Offering Plenty of Options: A Guide to What’s Available Right Now
There are a wide variety of medical marijuana products available in Virginia dispensaries today. If you have just received your Virginia medical marijuana card and are new to the world of cannabis, it can be overwhelming. What are the differences between all the products, and how do you consume them? Are there pros and cons associated with each? Navigating the world of dispensary products may seem complex at first, but with a bit of guidance you can easily find your way through to a product that works great for you.
Flower in Virginia Dispensaries
This is the one you know even if you have little to no experience with medical marijuana! “Flower” is the term used to reference the dried buds of the plants. Flower is relatively new to the Virginia marketplace, having been declared legal for sale at dispensaries as of September 1, 2021. It is typically sold in Virginia in 3.5G containers, and prices are averaging out right now at about $60 per 3.5G.
How Do I Consume Flower?
Flower offers some diverse options when it comes to consumption. To begin, most users break it up or “grind” it via their hands or with a grinder. One of the most popular methods for consuming it is to pack it into the bowl of a pipe and smoke it. You can also roll it into rolling papers like a “loosie” cigarette and smoke it that way. Finally, you can also consume it via a bong, which can deliver a more powerful hit per inhalation. This device uses water to tone down the harshness of inhaling smoke.
The Pros and Cons of Flower
Like all products, flower comes with its own pros and cons. Becoming familiar with these can help you decide whether it’s the right product for you. What are some of the pros of using flower? Well, for one, flower is available in a wide variety of strains, each with their own unique characteristics and “personality.” It also delivers a higher percentage of cannabinoids into a user’s system thanks to its high bioavailability. Flower can also impact a user’s system more quickly, since it is inhaled, delivering the product almost immediately to the bloodstream.
A major con for many users is the fact that flower involves smoking, which can aggravate the lungs. There is also no standard dosing structure for whole flower, as with other medical marijuana products, making it difficult for some users to get the right balance. Finally, flower products can have short-lived effects compared to some other medical marijuana products available in Virginia.
Pre-rolls are another popular product now available in Virginia dispensaries. This product could easily fall under the ‘Flower’ category since it, too, uses the dried bud of the cannabis plant. In this iteration, however, the ground flower is, yes, pre-rolled into a blunt or joint at a specified size. You can also find pre-rolls that have been infused with a cannabis extract in the wrapping paper for higher potency. Pre-rolled joints and blunts come in a range of sizes from 0.5 grams to blunts that contain as much as 6 grams of product.
How Do I Consume Pre-Rolls?
Pre-rolls are smoked. Adjusting to the inhalation process can take time if you haven’t smoked in the past. Typically, inhaling the smoke into the lungs, holding it for a moment, and then exhaling creates the best effect when using this product.
Pros and Cons of Pre-Rolls
Pre-rolls offer a lot of pros for those who are new to medical marijuana and want to try flower. One advantage of this product is that it has already been assembled for easier use. This is especially advantageous for those who are not used to rolling tobacco, et al. into papers. Pre-rolls also offer a defined dosing structure that helps ensure that patients get a dosage that works for them, while still offering the benefits of whole flower.
As far as cons go, pre-rolls are harsh on the lungs for those not accustomed to smoking. Infused papers can also create too strong a reaction in those who are new to medical marijuana products.
Concentrates is a wider category of product that includes concentrates, extracts, and tinctures. Concentrates and extracts are often blended together, but they are actually two distinct products.
Extracts are distilled using a solvent, while concentrates use a physical process and no solvent to extract trichomes.
One of the most popular ways to consume concentrates is via cartridges used with vape pens. These devices are used to inhale a “smokeless” iteration of the product. They can come in a variety of flavors and THC/CBD ratios.
Extracts are available in a wide mix of flavors and potency at Virginia dispensaries. A subcategory of concentrates, extracts come in a range of forms, including syringes and resins.
How to Consume Concentrates and Extracts
The most common way to consume concentrates, as mentioned above, is with a vape pen. Extracts and resins are often consumed using a dab rig. This set-up involves heating an element, then applying that element to the product so that it vaporizes.
The Pros and Cons of Concentrates and Extracts
Significant plusses for concentrates include fast delivery to the system and strong potency. Their very potency, however, can be a downside for some, especially those new to medical marijuana. Using some of these products when a dab rig is involved can also be quite complex, making these products a bit intimidating for first-time users.
Edibles are an increasingly popular way to consume medical marijuana, thanks to the fact that they are just easy and yummy! Classic edibles of the best often came baked into cookie form, but many of the edibles available today in Virginia dispensaries are some variety of candy, such as gummies.
How Do I Consume Edibles?
Exactly how you think you would— by eating them! Edibles in the Virginia marketplace come in the forms of gummies, most commonly.
The Pros and Cons of Edibles
Edibles are great for their ease of use, but they do have a few downsides. Pros associated with edibles include:
· Easy to consume— after all, everyone knows how to eat
· A good alternative to smoking, which can be aggravating for those with respiratory conditions
· Manufactured with exact doses in mind, so that you get exactly what you expect
The cons are more complex. Edibles can come with a delayed effect, thanks to absorption through the digestive tract. (Edibles can take as long as a few hours to kick in, in some cases.) This delay can sometimes cause patients to take more than they need. Serving sizes can also be confusing when edibles come in cookie form, for example, but this issue has been addressed in large part with gummies. Overall, however, the proper edible dosage can deliver long lasting effects that work for patients with more severe symptoms.
Virginia dispensaries also offer products known as topicals. These are just like the topical creams or salves you might already use on your skin or for muscle therapy, but these have been infused with THC and CBD. They are often used as spot pain treatment for chronic pain conditions. Patients who use topicals will not experience the ‘high’ that they would with other products, but they will experience relief within the area of application.
The exception to this rule is the medical marijuana suppository, which are also marketed under the “topical” category. This product is absorbed through the digestive tract and can create a high for the patient. Suppositories are popular treatments for menstrual cramps, lower back pains, and gastrointestinal inflammation.
How Do I Use Topicals?
Topical creams and lotions are applied directly to the skin. In the case of a suppository, the capsule is inserted rectally.
The Pros and Cons of Topicals
What pros do topicals offer to those with medical marijuana cards? Pros associated with this product include:
· A wide range of product types
· Medical marijuana without the ‘high’
In the case of suppositories, one significant plus is that it won’t aggravate the digestive tract, making it a good option for those with gastrointestinal issues.
And, yes, while not getting high may be a pro for some, the lack of a ‘high’ with some topicals can be a con for some medical marijuana users. The complexities of using the suppository version of topicals can also make this a difficult product for some.
Tinctures are cannabis extracts that have been created by processing the plant to extract cannabinoids via high-proof alcohol. The tincture liquid is sieved and separated from the plant material. Tinctures are packaged in small bottles with eye dropper tops for easy administration.
How Do I Consume Tinctures?
Tinctures are consumed orally. You can release a prescribed number of drops onto the tongue and then swallow the solution.
Pros and Cons of Tinctures
One of the most significant advantages of tinctures comes in how precise their dosage control can be. They also come in a wide variety of THC/CBD ratios and strengths, giving patients a range of options from which to choose.
As for downsides? They can leave an unpleasant taste in the mouth for some, and they can also dry out the mouth in some patients.
Get Your VA Marijuana Card and Start Exploring Virginia Dispensary Products
Yes, the list and diversity of medical marijuana products can be a bit much at first, but you can adjust quickly enough with the right information. Schedule an appointment with an online medical marijuana doctor today to start gaining access to safe, legal cannabis products, including tinctures, flower, concentrates and more. With the right guidance and the high quality of products available at Virginia dispensaries, you'll be able to find a product that ideally addresses your specific medical need.
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
At Virginia Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to MMJ. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (888) 633-5808, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
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