Minnesotan patients approved under the state’s Medical Cannabis program now have a new option to receive their medicine: dry flower. Whether you’re in Minnesota or not, if you’re new to medical cannabis, you may have questions about this form of cannabis and delivery method. Luckily for you, we have answers!
What is dry flower?
Dry flower, sometimes called dried flower or dried raw cannabis, is simply that – cannabis flowers that have been cured and dried. Dry flower goes through much less processing than some forms of cannabis, like tinctures or tablets.
It contains multiple different cannabinoids (like THC, CBD and CBG) and terpenes in varying amounts and different ratios, depending on the strain. Cannabinoids are natural compounds found in cannabis that are responsible for its effects, while terpenes are aromatic oils found in cannabis that make different strains smell and taste different, and work with cannabinoids to produce different effects. With dozens of different strains of dry flower available, that means dozens of different combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes!
How is dry flower different from other forms of cannabis medicine?
One of the biggest differences between dry flower and other forms of cannabis is price. Since dry flower needs less processing, its cost is lower than forms of cannabis like tinctures, tablets, or vapes.
Less processing also means dry flower cannabis typically retains its variety of cannabinoids – making it an excellent way to experience the ensemble effect, or the natural compounding effect where different cannabinoids work together to enhance the natural properties of each cannabinoid and create a stronger effect than CBD or THC alone.
(Feeling overwhelmed by the number of strains to choose from? Once we are closer to our flower launch date, our pharmacists and patient care coordinators will be able to help you understand which strains have which combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes, and which are most likely to help your situation.)
How do you consume dry flower?
Dry flower is typically consumed by smoking though a glass pipe, water pipe, joint or similar method.
And when smoked, dry flower cannabis has a much quicker onset time (typically 5-10 minutes) compared to ingested cannabis products like tinctures or tablets, which can take much longer – particularly helpful for patients taking cannabis medicine on an as needed basis, whether for pain or other symptoms.
Dry flower: pros and cons
We’ve already mentioned several of dry flower’s advantages, including a lower price point, a faster onset time, and a wide variety of strains with different cannabinoids and terpenes – and different effects.
But it’s important to remember that dry flower is typically consumed by smoking. Smoking any combusted plant matter may potentially introduce irritants into the airways and lungs. Additionally, smoking dry flower involves crumbling the flower matter into smaller pieces and using a lighter or a match, movements which may be difficult for people with some conditions, like neuropathy or Alzheimer’s, to do without assistance from a caregiver.
How do I know if flower is right for me?
Once we are closer to the flower launch date, our pharmacists will be ready to answer all your questions about dry flower and whether it might be a good option for you! You will be able to meet with them virtually. Look for more information about these consults, and more educational blogs about flower, coming soon!