Buying cannabis can be confusing.
It isn’t always clear which products are best suited for one’s specific needs, even for those carrying medical marijuana cards.
Cannabis flower is the most commonly understood choice. The traditional green buds pictured through the media are still one of the most popular ways to purchase cannabis—and one of the easiest ways to consume cannabis is with a joint. A joint contains ground cannabis and is rolled or packed into various types of paper.
Cannabis pre-rolls contain pre-ground cannabis flower, rolled and ready-to-go. Pre-rolls are simply cannabis joints that have been rolled ahead of time for you. Standard pre-rolls contain three components: cannabis, wrapping (or rolling) paper, and a small filter (crutch) at the end that goes into your mouth. Sometimes, pre-rolls contain infusions or other added cannabis products to increase their potency. Unlike bowls, bongs, or vapes, purchasing a pre-roll does not require any additional equipment or preparation. To smoke, a user simply lights the end and inhales.
Pre-rolls are one of the most popular cannabis products available. Beyond convenience, they’re effortless. Ideally, a pre-roll should provide the fullest experience of smoking a cannabis strain with the joy of not having to roll one yourself.
As with other cannabis flower products, there are different strains or varieties of pre-rolls you can purchase. The preferred type of cannabis strain varies by customer and depends on their desired effect. Pre-rolls are most often strain-specific. Here’s how cannabis strains are commonly categorized:
Keep in mind, while Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid are commonly used to label a cannabis strain’s effects, they are outdated. Strains have unique terpene profiles, which provide many strain-specific effects customers are looking for, such as help with sleep, pain, and euphoria. And, it’s important to note that not all strains affect everyone the same way.
One advantage to buying cannabis pre-rolls is there are several ways for you to purchase them. If you are unsure about trying pre-rolls or simply want to test a strain out, it is perfectly fine to purchase only one. If you know you like the brand or cannabis variety used in the pre-roll and want more bang for your buck, they are sometimes sold in packs. Unlike some other cannabis consumption methods, pre-rolls are not very expensive, making them a great way to experiment with the many flower strains available on the market today.
As with any cannabis ingestion method, pre-rolls have several unique perks. First off, rolling requires a certain amount of dexterity and patience. If joints are your dominant mode for smoking, you also know that the process to roll your own can be messy. It’s easy to get cannabis everywhere, and there is a lot of waste connected with rolling joints. For buying pre-rolls vs. purchasing cannabis flower to roll your own joint, a pre-roll is by far the less messy option. Besides, no matter how long you’ve been smoking weed, rolling a joint is harder than it looks! There are a few additional perks to buying a pre-roll:
A single or pack of pre-rolls is easy to transport. For medical marijuana cardholders, this is especially helpful. When you use cannabis for pain management or other medical conditions, it’s important to be able to carry it along, so you have it when you need it.
When you are just starting out your cannabis journey, the prices for marijuana equipment can be expensive. If you don’t know what form of cannabis consumption is for you, it’s not worth it to invest a lot of money in a high-end vape or an expensive hand-blown glass bong. What if you don’t like vapes or cannabis cartridges? Pre-rolls are much more affordable and often you can purchase them in singles, which is perfect for sampling a new strain without buying an expensive amount of the flower in a jar.
There are a few sweet perks that come with purchasing cone pre-rolls, but the disadvantages tend to outweigh them. As with any form of cannabis product, it is important to do your research. These are the most common shortcomings associated with purchasing a pre-roll:
It’s understood that many cannabis dispensaries use unsold shake—stems, leaf, and other bits of the marijuana plant to fill their pre-rolls. Others will mix in older cannabis products like stale flower or expired oils.
The best grind for a joint is one that is not too fine or powder-like or too coarse with stems and seeds. It will allow the joint to stay lit and burn evenly. A joint filled with cannabis that has been ground too finely becomes difficult to pull through. A coarse joint may have air pockets and weak necks, causing an uneven burn and equally inferior smoking experience.
This is technically true of all cannabis products, but it’s especially important to store flower products in airtight containers to be sure that they don’t dry out. Many are not stored properly, thus leading to a poor smoking experience.
Don’t let these shortcomings totally scare you off from trying a pre-roll for yourself. Overall, pre-rolls are a viable choice for many consumers, and lots of cannabis users still prefer them to other methods of consumption. Ultimately, whether a pre-roll is “worth it” or not is up to the individual. For those who use cannabis frequently, there are probably more economical options worth trying. For those who prefer other consumption methods, such as edibles or syrups, and are looking for something to smoke occasionally, a pre-roll may meet their needs.