Cannabis flower is the dried buds of the female cannabis plant. Learn more about cannabis flower and its uses in this cannabis flower shopping guide.

What is Cannabis Flower?

Cannabis flower, also known as “bud” or “nugs,” refers to the dried buds of the female cannabis plant. Cannabis flower is the part of the plant that contains the highest concentration of cannabinoids and terpenes, the compounds responsible for the effects and aroma of cannabis. 

Cannabis flower is harvested and consumed for its therapeutic and recreational effects. It can be smoked or vaped, or used to create edibles, concentrates, tinctures, and more. 

 Close up of cannabis flower buds

Cannabis Flower Morphology

The cannabis flower is made up of various components. Here’s a breakdown of the cannabis flower’s morphology (i.e. the external structure of a plant):

  • Calyx: The calyx is the protective outer layer of the flower, resembling a tiny leafy structure. It wraps around the reproductive organs, shielding them during development.

  • Pistil and Stamen: These are the reproductive organs of the cannabis plant. The pistil is the hair-like structure often protruding from the calyx, while the stamen produces pollen. In a female plant, the pistil is the primary focus, as it houses the ovule.

  • Trichomes: These tiny, crystal-like structures are where the magic happens. Trichomes contain the cannabinoids (like THC and CBD) and terpenes that give each strain its unique effects and aroma. They cover the surface of the calyx, creating a resinous layer.

  • Bracts: Often confused with the calyx, bracts are modified leaves that protect the flower. They can be visually striking and play a role in the overall look of the cannabis plant.

Different ratios of cannabinoids and terpenes contribute to the wide variety of effects, scents, and flavors users experience when consuming different strains of cannabis flower.

 Close up of cannabis flower trichomes

What are the Uses of Cannabis Flower?

The uses of cannabis flower extend beyond recreational enjoyment. Rich in cannabinoids like THC and CBD, these blossoms have therapeutic potential, which may offer relief for various conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety, and insomnia.

While cannabis flower is often consumed via smoking, flower can also be transformed into delicious edibles, tinctures, and oils, which all offer unique ways to experience the effects of cannabis.

Meanwhile, the unique fragrances of these blooms, enriched by aromatic terpenes, have inspired a growing trend of cannabis aromatherapy, harnessing the potential mood-enhancing and relaxing properties of their scents.

What are the Types of Cannabis Flower?

Cannabis flowers come in various types, primarily categorized as indica, sativa, and hybrid. Indicas are known for relaxation, sativas for energy, and hybrids with a blend of characteristics.

While these broad categories can be helpful, more experienced users may find that honing in on specific strains of flower they enjoy allows for a more tailored experience.


Sativa cannabis flowers are associated with uplifting and energizing effects. Originating from equatorial regions, sativa strains are characterized by a terpene profile often high in B-Caryophyllene and Limonene. Consumers often appreciate sativas for daytime use, as they are said to enhance creativity, focus, and sociability without sleepiness.


Indica cannabis flowers often contain relaxing and sedative properties and orignate in cooler climates. Indica strains are typically high in the terpenes B-Myrcene and Linalool. Embraced for evening or nighttime use, or for people looking to decrease symptoms of pain or anxiety, indicas are said to provide a calming experience by alleviating stress and pain while promoting restful sleep.

 SunMed's Snoop Dogg OG example of indica cannabis flower


Hybrid cannabis flowers are a fusion of indica and sativa genetics, offering a balanced experience. These versatile strains can cater to a range of preferences, combining the energizing effects of sativa with the relaxing qualities of indica. Hybrid flowers are popular for providing a well-rounded and customizable cannabis experience.

What are the Forms of Cannabis Flower?

Cannabis flowers are available in various forms. The most common include dried buds, pre-rolls, and concentrates. 

Dried Buds

Dried buds, the classic and versatile form of cannabis flower, are the go-to choice for smoking or vaping. They come in various strains, each offering a unique combination of cannabinoids and terpenes.

Dried buds allow users to experience the full spectrum of effects and flavors associated with different cannabis strains. Dried buds can be bought and sold in different forms, including full nug, popcorn flower, shake, ground, or trim.

Full Nug (Premium Flower)

A full nug is one term for a whole bud of cannabis (as opposed to pre-ground or trimmed cannabis). Nestled at the top of the cannabis plant, these buds bask in optimal light absorption and nutrient delivery, ensuring a show-stopping size and a rich cannabinoid profile.

Premium Flower - Full Nug from SunMed Growers

Popcorn Flower (Smalls)

Popcorn flower consists of smaller, popcorn-sized cannabis buds that are typically found on the lower branches of the plant. While they may be less visually striking than larger buds, popcorn flowers retain the same potency and diverse cannabinoid profiles. They may offer a more budget-friendly option without compromising on quality. 


Shake consists of loose, fragmented cannabis flower pieces collected during the trimming process. While it may not have the visual appeal of intact buds, it’s a cost-effective option.

Ground Flower

Ground flower refers to cannabis that has been finely chopped or grinded, often sold in pre-packaged form. This convenient option is popular for users who prefer the ease of preparation for smoking or vaporizing. Ground flower offers consistency in dosage and is a practical choice for various consumption methods. 


Trim refers to the excess leaves and stems removed during the cannabis cultivation and trimming process. While not consumed directly, trim can be used to make extracts, edibles, or other cannabis products. It showcases the sustainable use of the entire plant, minimizing waste and maximizing the plant's versatility.


Pre-rolls are pre-packaged cannabis joints, offering convenience for users seeking a ready-to-smoke option. They eliminate the need for manual rolling and provide a consistent dosage and portable choice for on-the-go consumption. Pre-rolls come in various strains of cannabis flower.

 Pre-roll cannabis flower


Concentrates are highly potent cannabis extracts which capture the essence of the plant's cannabinoids and terpenes. Available in various forms like wax, shatter, and oils, concentrates offer intense effects and diverse options for consumption, from dabbing to vaporization. Exploring concentrates allows users to customize their cannabis experience with precision. Beginners may want to approach concentrates with care, however, due to their intense effects.

What is the Best Way to Consume Cannabis Flower?

Choosing the best method for consuming cannabis depends on your personal preferences, the desired effects, and other lifestyle considerations.

Some users prefer the immediacy of smoking or vaping, while others opt for the subtlety and longer duration of edibles or tinctures. If you’re an experienced smoker looking to try a different method of cannabis consumption, keep in mind that different methods, such as edibles, will create unique effects and require different dosages than you might expect.

Experimenting with different consumption methods allows individuals to tailor their experience to suit their unique needs.

Cannabis Flower FAQs

What is the Difference between Cannabis Flower and CBD Flower?

Cannabis flower contains a spectrum of cannabinoids, including THC, responsible for psychoactive effects. CBD flower, on the other hand, is derived from hemp plants with low THC content. It emphasizes cannabidiol (CBD), offering therapeutic benefits without the intoxicating effects associated with THC.

How Does Cannabis Flower Smell?

The aroma of cannabis flower can vary widely. Common scents include earthy, fruity, citrusy, lemony, and piney notes. Different strains of cannabis flower can have really unique scents due to their various terpene profiles.

How Potent is Cannabis Flower?

Cannabis flower potency varies among strains and is measured by the percentage of cannabinoids, particularly THC and CBD. THC levels can range from low (below 15%) to high (over 25%), influencing the intensity of psychoactive effects. CBD-dominant strains offer therapeutic benefits without the euphoric high.

What are the Best Cannabis Flower Strains?

Determining the best cannabis flower strains is subjective and depends on individual preferences. Some popular choices include Snoop Dogg OG (indica), Cherry Pie OG (Hybrid), and Golden Pineapple (Sativa). Experimenting with different strains and seeing what best suits your preferences can be a fun way to explore cannabis flower.

How Do You Properly Store Cannabis Flower?

Properly storing cannabis flower is crucial for maintaining potency and freshness. Store your buds in a cool, dark place - preferably in an airtight container - away from light, heat, and humidity. This helps prevent the degradation of cannabinoids and terpenes, preserving the quality of the cannabis over time.

 Vibrant green SunMed Growers cannabis flower

Explore SunMed’s Premium Cannabis Flower Products

Our sun-grown cannabis flower, cultivated in a state-of-the-art greenhouse in Maryland, boasts top-tier genetics and optimal cannabinoid profiles. Find a dispensary near you to explore the diverse range of SunMed strains, from uplifting sativas to relaxing indicas. Trust SunMed Growers for quality and excellence in every bud.