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Cannabis Product Types: An Overview

As the market for cannabis products grows, the list of different types of cannabis products expands as well. Differentiating the different cannabis product types can be difficult for both new cannabis users and even some experienced users. Here is an overview of cannabis products currently on the market.

different types of cannabis
Photo by Kindel Media


If any product comes to mind when you think of cannabis, it's likely cannabis in its basic, raw plant form, commonly referred to as a flower or bud. Flower is the least processed form of cannabis and is also one of the most popular forms of cannabis products due to its versatility and ease of consumption (Ali, 2022; Ramirez, 2021). Cannabis flower is dried, cured, and trimmed but is not altered like other cannabis forms on this list and some states even allow individuals to grow and possess cannabis plants (Ramirez, 2021; Whitelocke, 2023).

Cannabis flower’s potency will also depend on the individual plant’s genetic lineage, growing methods, and environment, which can impact the level of cannabinoids and terpenes present in the plant (Ramirez, 2021). Cannabis flower can be consumed by inhalation through smoking, allowing the product's effects to kick in within minutes (Whitelocke, 2023). Though, smoking as a method for consuming cannabis may not be for everyone.

Concentrates and extracts

Cannabis concentrates and extracts are similar cannabis products that are highly potent cannabinoids and terpenes that have been separated from the plant material, but they are not exactly interchangeable terms or products. Cannabis concentrates are products made with solvents like butane or ethanol and come in solid or liquid form, meanwhile, cannabis extracts are produced without a solvent but are still concentrated cannabis products nonetheless (Ramirez, 2021). Concentrates are highly potent cannabis products, with THC levels ranging between 80-90% whereas raw plant material typically contains about 10-20% (Ali, 2022).

This cannabis product typically fills cartridges and accompanies a vaporizing device to be able to smoke the concentrate or extract. Since these types of cannabis products are produced using harsh solvents, chemical analysis is necessary to ensure the safety of the product for consumption (Ramirez, 2021). Concentrates and extracts are cannabis products that will provide fast-acting effects, but caution is needed when consuming these products. Cannabis concentrates and extracts are not advised for those new to cannabis consumption, as they can be easy to overuse because of their high potency (Whitelocke, 2023).


Edibles are an easy and popular consumption method involving ingestible, cannabis-infused food and beverages. Food and beverages can be infused with either cannabis flower or cannabis concentrate (Whitelocke, 2023). Some popular forms of cannabis edibles include brownies, chocolate, coffee, gummy candy, and tea, but are also available in tablet and capsule form (Whitelocke, 2023).

Cannabis manufacturers produce edibles by adding cannabis extracts to food and beverages through a decarboxylation process. This process uses heat to change the chemical structure of terpenes and cannabinoids to activate their properties. The extract is then added to butter or oil and mixed into other ingredients for food and drinks (Whitelocke, 2023).

When administered as a food or beverage, the THC is metabolized through the liver meaning its effects can take much longer to appear, up to two hours after consumption as it goes travels through the digestive system (Ali, 2022; Whitelocke 2023). Though, once the effects set in they are likely to become more potent as your body slowly digests the edible and can last longer than smoking as it stays in your system for longer (Whitelocke, 2023).

Cannabis is a common method for those looking to avoid smoking methods and still experience its psychoactive effects, but caution is still recommended for consumption. Every cannabis user’s body will have a different metabolism and endocannabinoid response, so it’s recommended to start with a low dose and go slow. Taking more before you’ve given your body the time to digest your previous dose may provide undesirable results that are intense or uncomfortable (Ramirez, 2021).


Next on the list is known as one of the oldest forms of medicinal cannabis, called tinctures. Cannabis tinctures are activated or decarboxylated cannabis that has been steeped in a food-safe solvent such as ethanol. Cannabis tinctures are administered sublingually, ideally under the tongue, but they can also be added to food or beverages to act similarly to edible cannabis products (Ramirez, 2021; Whitelocke, 2023). Though, administering the tinctures under the tongue allows the active compounds to reach the bloodstream quicker for faster results (Ramirez, 2021). Cannabis users also have the option of different flavored tinctures so they can choose based on preferences (Whitelocke, 2023).

Topical and Transdermal

For individuals seeking a cannabis product for its medicinal properties without the psychoactive effects, a topical or transdermal method may be ideal. Topical lotions and transdermal patches are infused with cannabis and are applied directly to the skin for a “prolonged, controlled release of cannabinoids,” (Ramirez, 2021). Since topical and transdermal cannabis products only touch the skin and do not enter the bloodstream, they “provide localized relief without the psychoactive effect,” (Whitelocke, 2023).

These products come in the form of creams, lotions, balms, sprays, bath salts, and patches meant to target inflammation and provide relief (Whitelocke, 2023). Though, research supporting these medicinal effects are minimal and limited (Ramirez, 2021).

If you’re interested in learning more about cannabis products or the latest information on cannabis testing in the industry, visit our blog for more!

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Whether interested in laboratory testing, data analysis, or consulting services, you can always rely on Steep Hill Illinois to provide accurate, reliable results on the latest cannabis production practices. Email us today at to get started!


Ali, A. (2022, January 22). Every cannabis product in one graphic. Visual Capitalist. Retrieved May 5, 2023, from

Ramirez, U. (2021, September 22). The Basics of Cannabis: Product types. MCR Labs. Retrieved April 30, 2023, from

Whitelocke, D. (2023, March 19). Different types of cannabis products. OZARK MMJ CARDS. Retrieved May 5, 2023, from

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