The Beginner’s Guide To Shopping / Smoking Flower

Cannabis consumption has progressed over the recent decades, but one steadfast thing remains… The simple act of smoking the good old flower. Flower refers to the buds produced by a female cannabis plant, and what contains the THC that produces the effects of marijuana.

The biggest allure of smoking flower is the immediate effects it produces. There is generally no onset time. Of course, there will always be those strains where the high creeps up awhile after you put down the flower, but more on that later.

The large variety of in store options can be overwhelming for a new consumer. The easiest place to start is knowing what kind of effects you would like to experience. Cannabis strains are broken down into three major categories Indica, Sativa and Hybrid. We are all at least somewhat familiar with litany of the creative names given to the varieties of cannabis plants, but all of them fall into one of three categories. Understanding these categories will help lead you to the strain best for you!

Please note… Each person will have varying experiences with varying strains. This is not a one size fits all approach.  If  you are new to cannabis, it is always best to start slow until you know how the strains will effect you.

Employee at a cave creek dispensary

Each strain will be dominant in specific terpenes and cannabinoids. They take the lead on which specific effects each plant has to offer. Many of these terpenes and cannabinoids can be found in all three strains, however, they are found more predominately in some more than others.


Indica strains are most well known for their relaxing properties. For those suffering from insomnia, an Indica strain is ideal. Flower from these strains are also well known for alleviating pain and stimulating appetites. Anyone who may have a suppressed appetite due to other medical treatments, typically find help with something from the Indica family. Generally, there will be a higher amount of CBD found in most Indica strains. CBD is gaining popularity for its pain relieving  and anti inflammatory qualities. Many describe Indica strains to offer more of a “body high”. Indicas can sometimes produce the  “creeper” high referred to earlier. Strains which produce more of a body type high can have a tendency to be a bit more on the sneaky side with their effects.


Myrcene has an earthy fruity smell, known for its synergizing effects with other compounds (like cannabinoids). Myrcene is the terpene that gives Indica strains their “couch lock effect”, making it perfect for when you just need to relax.

Beta-Caryophyllene also known as the pepper terpene  has warm woody notes with a spicy aroma sometimes similar to cloves. This terpene actually binds with the CB2 receptors and helps to reduce anxiety, reduce cholesterol and treat seizures. Learn more about the endocannabinoid system here.

Linalool has a spicy woody yet floral aroma similar to bergamot, lavender or lily of the valley. This terpene effects the serotonin receptor which helps in treatment for anxiety, depression and insomnia. Some research also suggests it could also help treat several types of cancer.


Sativa strains are best known for their energizing effects. Are you surprised to hear cannabis can actually have energizing effects? Those who are looking for something to uplift their mood and boost their energy, the sativa strains are where you should be looking. These strains are also known for assisting those who may need some help coming out of their shells in social settings. Sativa, similar to Indica, can also help in alleviating pain, thought to be an effect of the mood elevating properties found in this flower. Sativa strains can sometimes be useful in regulating appetite. A large number of consumers say Sativa strains offer more of a “mind high”, leaving you stimulated without feeling heavy nor sleepy.


Humulene can be described with the spiciness of ginger or ginseng with subtle earthy and herbal notes. This terpene has an analgesic effect, which is an extraordinary pain reliever. It also has the ability to fight cancer cells.

Limonene has rich citrus notes such as lemon, orange and lime. This terpene is favored for its uplifting effects some describe as a sense of euphoria.

Pinene exhibits strong coniferous aromas some describe as sweet and spicy. Pinene can act as an anti-inflammatory which promotes pain relief and relaxation.


The name is precisely as it suggests. These strains offers effects from both the Indica and Sativa strains. Hybrids tend to lean more one way or the other, but there are a good variety of 50/50 varieties. Hybrids are great for all day use, and have become a favorite for those who are seeking a more balanced experience.

The terpenes found in Hybrid strains will vary based on the genetics of each plant and its parents.

How To Shop For Flower At ANC

Now that the variety of strains have been covered, we can shift focus to the actual shopping of the flower. Arizona Natural Concepts offers a service not offered by most other dispensaries, we offer what is referred to as “deli style”. Meaning, you are welcome to actually look at and smell the buds before you buy them. The nose never lies, and that is never more true than when it comes to picking out your flower.

We offer four different tiers of flower. Each tier varies based on the quality and presence of terpenes. The price varies as well, so there is something for every budget. Our Diamond shelf is going to be the highest quality flower in the shop, followed by our Top shelf, then our Premium shelf and finally our Value shelf. All four tiers offer quality buds, but as with all things, some are just finer quality than others, however, they will all get the job done.

Once you have selected your flower, your budtender will ask you how much you wish to purchase. Since we are deli style we can weigh out your exact desired  amount. General terms you will hear when purchasing flower; “an eighth” is 3.5 grams which is a considered a smaller amount, but good enough to get you started. A “quarter” is 7 grams and is a decent amount, if you find a strain you are particularly fond of, make the commitment and go for the quarter. A “half ounce” is 14 grams and an “ounce” is 28 grams. Both of which are a considerable amount, but for the right price and the right strain, a worthy purchase.

How To Spark Your Flower… Or Not

Now that you have selected some delightful smelling flower, it is time to spark it up. There are multiple ways this can be done. The most well known being putting it in a pipe. ANC has an entire collection of fair priced beautiful glass pieces, as well as your standard metal pipes.

For those who are looking to be a bit more adventurous, they may opt for a bong. This device is filled with water at the base and the bowl is filled with ground up flower. The flower in the bowl is lit while the smoke is sucked up through the tube, pull the bowl to release all of the accumulated smoke contained in the tube into your lungs.

There are also dry herb vaporizer options which can be used with flower. These are a favorite for those who are looking for a cleaner way to smoke cannabis.

Last but not least, there is the always faithful joint. You can roll your own with regular rolling papers or cones, or you can purchase some of ANC’s pre rolled joints. They come in three packs, which have three .5 gram joints, or they have full gram single joints.

A new arrival to the cannabis game in the last few years are the “loaded or ‘infused’ pre rolls” which are pre rolled joints infused with cannabis concentrates. These joints definitely pack a little more punch, so tread lightly if you are new to cannabis.

A few things to be aware of, some do have an allergy to flower. Just like any other plant that flowers, it does have properties that can cause an allergic reaction. Usually, the reaction is from contact of the flower to the skin, but there have been cases reported of individuals having an allergic reaction to the inhalation of cannabis smoke. In this case, it is suggested to discontinue use and instead try a THC tincture.

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