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Opinion: Why smoking flower will always be the best consumption method

May 30, 2019
Can we have an honest discussion about cannabis consumption real quick? We can? Cool.

In my expert opinion, smoking flower in the form of a joint or blunt is the best way of consuming cannabis.

Yes, dabbing makes for the maximum experience when it comes to flavor; yes, vape pens are convenient and discreet; sure, edibles are delicious and won’t harm your lungs. But at the end of the day, none of these compare to kicking back with an L and putting it to the skies.

I’ll tell you why.


Why a Good Smoke Session Is the Ultimate Bonding Experience

Reason #1: the length of the session

There’s nothing I hate more than when my session ends so quickly that smoking didn’t even feel like a real recreational activity. Roll a joint/blunt properly and that thang’ll last a cool 20-45 minutes. But dabbing? Over instantly. Vaping? Over instantly. Edibles? Topicals? Sublinguals? All over instantly, which means, for people like me who love a good smoke-pass-hold-chill-laugh-pass-again type of session, these consumption methods simply will not do.

Reason #2: the complete ritual

Real smokers know the importance of the roll up ritual. There’s just something about coming home, setting up all of your goods on the table, breaking down your buds in a grinder (or by hand, if you’re on that Classic Stoner Shit), and twisting up some green in a white paper. It’s therapeutic because you know relaxation and blowing your troubles away in the form of big puffy clouds is right around the corner. This is why I opt for buying flower instead of prerolls.


Reason #3: that true plant flavor

Call me silly, as I am a shopper of flavor, but man … I need to taste that literal flower when I’m getting high. No added-back terpenes, no isolation of chemical compounds, i.e., a product that’s 99% THC.

Just give me the full, natural experience. I need to taste the days of pre-legalization; I need to hear the crackle of flower burning every time I inhale. Even when I’m dabbing, my most loved form is straight-up plant rosin.


What Is Rosin?

Reason #4: the availability of different strains

The biggest variety of strains is going to be purchasable in flower form, straight up. Why? Because it’s the genesis of all products. No matter what form of cannabis consumption you prefer, it still had to start in the soil and grow into a plant. So if you’re a chaser of different strains and experiences like ya boy, then straight up flower is always going to be the best bet for finding a new thrill.

Reason #5: I’ve never seen a rapper dab in a music video

Lastly, let me just ask you one question: How many rappers have you seen dab in a video? EXACTLY. The day I catch Drake firing up a quartz banger or hitting a disposable oil pen while telling me how great his life is over a Tay Keith beat is the day I’ll reconsider my stance on this.

And even then, probably not. Gimme that flower, baby.

Dante Jordan's Bio Image

Dante Jordan

Dante Jordan is an Associate Subject Matter Expert for Leafly, where he specializes in informational and lifestyle content pertaining to cannabis strains and products. He also manages the Leafly strain database.

View Dante Jordan's articles

  • Richard Lamb

    The only “perfect way” is the way that is perfect for me. This attitude is what I love the most about the cannabis community. We each let each other find our own “perfect way”.

  • Israel Barajas

    I am glad that some people still enjoy smoking flower. In my opinion, dabbing is like processed junk food. Stripped from all the other cannabinoids found in cannabis flower.

    • insaf

      Are you sure about that?

    • Peter Broome

      ropsin has them all

    • Randallpiz

      The only thing that comes out is plant matter. Terp sauce & crystals all day.

    • Randallpiz

      You do understand they put all the yummy terpenes in, right?

  • JeffWalenta

    You should try vaping flower especially with a flower vape in the $100+ range I get that there is a bit of style factor to the whole ritual of smoking but vaping flower can be just as ritualistic and tastes much better in my opinion. Vape pens are a different kind of experience from vaping the flower itself.

    • Highway 69

      Flower Power!
      Use a convection vaporizer for your flower!
      Definitely the #1 way today.

    • Highway 69

      And it’s healthier!
      Additionally, if you care about stinking up your clothes or house, having stained teeth and fingers, and bad breath — buy a quality vaporizer.

    • Angel of Death

      What vapes actually use flower rather than oil cartridges?

      • John Thomas

        There are various ones. – I think the most popular small,portable one is the PAX, but I have not had good luck with it. For me, the heat settings are too restricted. One setting is too high and burns the herb. The setting just under that one is too low and doesn’t heat enough to vaporize. – But that was a few years ago. Maybe they have gotten better. – I will not buy another vaporizer that doesn’t have a PRECISION temperature control (not presets or fixed) so I can choose just the right temperature.

        I have had great luck with three whole plant vaporizers.

        For my home unit that plugs into the wall socket, I like the Vaporbrothers “Vapor Box” – It looks like a wooden, electric pencil sharpener. It has served me well for 12 years! I recommend the “hands free” model which sells for around $200.

        I like two portable vaporizers. Both have rechargeable batteries.

        One is the Vapir NO2 V2 ($120) and the other is the DaVinci Classic vaporizer. ($150) – Both companies have newer, updated technology vaporizers, but I have not tried them. – These two are my mainstays that have worked well for years.

        Once you start looking, you will see there are MANY whole plant vaporizers out there. – The choice can be overwhelming. I recommend you start with one of these three, and then keep researching for the one that best suits you.

      • John Thomas

        I tried to respond with the vaporizers I have found work best, but Leafly doesn’t seem to want to allow it, for some reason.

      • Lori Fields

        Leafly did a review on several. I bought Sky Blue based on their review

    • jontomas

      Exactly! – I believe you can taste more of the plant with vaporization than with smoking. – I smoked for thirty years and then started developing a cough. I switched to vaporizing whole flowers and no more coughing.

    • tino castro

      I want to know more about this.
      Can you help direct me to where I can learn more about it?

      • Lori Fields

        Sky blue vapes. Leafly gave them a good review. The deluxe vape comes with dry herb atomizer

  • The “perfect” way to smoke is a dabbed up blunt. Extends the smoke session upwards of an hour or more, every hit puts you back, and everyone gets quantum baked. Duality.
    Love you Barbara <3

  • insaf


  • CBrains

    Smoking is very appealing, especially in social situations and passing of a joint–and I like the aroma of weed, too. I vape flowers now, after a cancer run-in, and that’s become a fun experience for similar reasons–need to prep, grind, fill-up. But I don’t share it. The taste is more distinct in vaping, and since I live in a big apt building where management could pop-in, it’s an advantage to not have a smell. All-in-all, I think an interactive experience is definitely the way to go, and I completely agree that flowers are exciting and diverse. Over 2 years, I’ve tried more than 100 strains. I don’t really like the ingesting experience, plus I can’t tell how much I’m getting with edibles, til it’s too late.

  • Kaye Buck

    Nothing compares to firing up that doobie with friends!

  • Peter Broome

    i rarely if ever smoke flower any more…why put the carcinogens from burning the plant into your body? I grow my own and squeeze the oil out of the plant for rosin…the taste and effect are my preference.

    mixing weed with tobacco makes me sick…hate blunts

  • Randallpiz

    Because cancer. Have a nice day.

    • The Resistance

      The evidence that smoking cannabis causes cancer is surprisingly thin.

  • Walter Green

    Let’s debunk his stupid opinion reasons using more objective facts
    1) Ever tried a vaping session? Over instantly? 0.1g lasts me 40 minutes
    2) Open up a Mighty kit and have yourself a ritual just as exciting and fun, and more professional looking
    3) True plant flavor? Are you dense? There is a very low plant flavor with a very high ash flavor, I don’t know about you but I don’t like the taste of charcoal. Take a vaporizer, set it to 180°C and take a hit – THAT is flavor
    4) Vaporizers use flowers, next.
    5) If I gave a shit about what those rappers think is cool…. I’ll stop here

    Now here are a few more reasons for vaping
    1) Money, I am not sure of the prices of weed at your place, but it’s high here. How much weed do you need to get high? I need much much less, why? Because decarboxylation on the correct temperatures preserves most of the cannabinoids, as opposite to burning them and destroying at least 80% through smoking
    2) Probably the most important one – Health. Smoke = solids that scratch and injure the lungs + cancerous materials + burning the lungs + toxins. Vaping? None.
    3) ABV – Instead of ash, what’s left after the usage is a slightly cooked bud that can still be used as edibles
    4) Reclaim – Throughout use, you slowly accumulate oils you can dab
    5) Choosig the effect – Indica vs. Sativa is a myth, 170° will give you a slight buzz, 180° will give the “Sative” effect, 190° will be calming, 200° makes you sleepy and 210° is a strong “Indica”.

    Now please, don’t have the arrogance to call yourself an Expert without really knowing your shit
    You can say it’s your opinion, but certainly not an expert one

  • Walter Green

    In case this comment is not going to be approved, please at least make sure the one who wrote this “expert” opinion gets to read it, for education purposes

  • Dan Neuwirth

    Honestly, I think the experience will be different for everyone, and yes, thank you for highlighting the word “OPINION” at the top of the article. Yes, I understand this is your opinion, and I enjoyed reading it; thank you!

    Me, I play the field, but MOST of the time, the fresh-ground herb is in the pocket-size handheld vaporizer. It’s convenient, discreet, no one 20′ away can smell it, and (as an asthmatic) doesn’t make me cough at all as smoke does. Over instantly? Nope, I suck on that thing for 20-30 minutes before the flower in the chamber is “used up.” The whole “puff puff pass experience,” yeah, it works nicely with a quality handheld vaporizer (top-tier ones can be had in the US $150-200 range, not substantially more expensive than a piece of nice glass). The flavor is 100% on the flower vapor (smoke, to me, interferes with the flavors I’m trying to taste, so with the exception of a few gassy strains that shine through, pretty much every strain tastes the same—“smoke”). With vaporizers I can truly taste all the terps as nature meant them without the smoke itself “clouding” all the flavors I’m trying to identify. And with vaping herb, I still get to pop open that Mason jar at the end of the day, stick my nose in it, and inhale all those lovely flower smells while I’m grinding and loading it up.

    That said, I do occasionally smoke (though I hand-pack pre-made cones rather than trying to figure out how to “roll my own”). For me, an asthmatic, I can get in about 3 joint hits before coughing tears are streaming down my face. I WILL say that those 3 hits on a joint hit a lot harder than 10 minutes on the vaporizer, but who wants to spend the first 5 minutes coughing so hard tears are streaming down your face? That’s no fun.

    Long and short of it, the “best way” is whatever way works best for the individual, and for the experience you’re aiming for. For me, the handheld is the best of all worlds, providing either a personal or a pass-it-around experience, little to clean, no residual lingering smoke odor indoors, and as a bonus, I’m getting all the meds and no carcinogens (yes, I understand that cannabis smoke and tobacco smoke are VASTLY different with respect to carcinogens, but there ARE carcinogens in cannabis smoke).

    • Timothy j flath

      My boy came back from Cali with some blue dream, I thought this was an indica dom hybrid , on the 3rd hit I knew I was in big trouble, paranoia , rapid heart beat, extreme anxiety, thought I was gonna die, ate 3 2mg orally disolveing xanax, and chewed on peppercorns, you can keep your blue dream, for me it was a nightmare.

  • Pat Reynolds

    I agree with Every. Single. Point. Even down to the preference for rosin. I worry that the younger generation will let flower smoking fall out of fashion, so articles like this give me hope. Keep on keeping on sir!

    @JeffWalenta:disqus Had a Volcano, used it extensively – but it just never got me as blazed as smoking a joint. Not sure why, but combustion is important for my own experience.

  • Mark Nichta

    Love the article and discussion! I agree that true perfect is for each to decide, but I side with the author. The ritual of rolling and smoking is therapeutic for sure and love the old school nature of it. Nothing better than a friendly calling out of a pal for bogarting that joint!! Haha!

  • Gary Miller

    Having been an X smoker and always trying to remain an EX-smoker, I have to consume other ways. Smoking leads to smoking again for me anyway. Others might have better self control; I don’t

  • MXJ222

    No one with cardio or pulmonary issues using medical marijuana can possibly make the case smoking is best or the best experience. However, if the culture of being stoned is your priority and your lungs and vascular system mean nothing to you then you should smoke, smoke, smoke while you wait for your number on the lung translpant list to be calledQ

  • Zombie Q

    concentrates and cartridges makes you feel like garbage the next day. I’ll take a smooth fatty any day.

    • Zeno Man

      I noticed that about concentrates too. Headache hangover. Why do you think that is? Something they are cooking out, or something they add in? I suspect the latter, but I don’t know for sure.

  • Shinbei Tanaka

    What I love about this piece, though not its conclusion because I disagree, but that this opinion piece breaks it down in such a way that everyone can sort of figure out what is best FOR THEM. Like the first and second point just solidified my choice, for me, to stick with vaping. My job (medical) is super stressful. I want to come home, take a hit, and have it hit right then and there. I don’t want to fuss with things or wait around. I need to chill _now_, but I get the idea that everyone will have a way that works for them. So great article even if I don’t agree for me ^_^

  • ticobird

    Thanks for the article. I live where cannabis has not been legalized so I had been wondering how I would partake when I did manage to take a cannabis vacation. Now I know and thanks for rekindling the old smoky memories.

  • John Connell

    Thank you Dante , great minds think alike, and I am an old white dad who teaches my kids the same, smoke flower and stay away from alcohol. Random thought of randy on South Park beating up vapers for not smoking flower. Blaze on my friends

  • Gaylord Phillips

    In 1969 while setting in a field waiting for class to begin, one of my buddies introduced me to smoking marijuana. I guess you could call it that.

    We all know things change rapidly in this world. Weed’s legal where I live. The flower that I smoke now is nothing like the stems, seeds and leaves we smoked then.

    I’ve smoked in pipes, bongs (the inventor of the acrylic bong deserves the same fate as the inventor of the speed bump), vapes and dabs. I’ve smoked and eaten pot for over fifty years.

    I still prefer the J. Same white zig zags. Same rolling tray.

  • Bob Anderson

    I’m with ya brah. Call me Classic OG at 64 years of age. Luv to break those buds with my fingers and get the real aroma. It was scarce for me in the day and I rolled em small and tight, usually carried several in my Marlboro cig box and passed them out to my friends at parties. Can’t wait for legal here in PA

  • Ole Sørensen

    Flower is not 99% THC. I suggest never ever smoke anything. Canna-tea for instance is a great way to get high.

  • Slotracer

    I completely disagree. The actual combustion of flowers and papers releases some nasty chemicals as well as tar. The best way to taste the cannabis goodness is to vape the flowers. I have 4 pocket sized herbal vaporizers and after experiencing them, smoking a joint is like breathing in burning newspaper. Herbal vaping allows you to get all of the flavor and terpenes, etc. Also, if the social aspect is important, you just pass the herbal vape around and voila!… instant party.

  • john Calderon

    I guess he hasn’t ever heard or seen a berner or b-real video cause they be dabbing in their videos hell they got a song and video called shatter

  • Phishn

    Why not touch on the different effects of each option? Here, I’ll do that for you:

    Dab / concentrates: highest of the highs, but shortest of the highs. When you dab or vape concentrates like wax, butter or shatter you get extremely high, but it lasts only for 30 minutes to 1 hour, after 2-3 “hits”.

    Flower: very good high and lasts 2-4 hours. Smoking more during that timeframe rarely extends your high due to the natural “coming down” phase.

    Oil distillates: good high that lasts 1-2 hours but it is easy to keep it going by ingesting more quantity.

    Edibles: low-grade head high but good body high, lasts 4-8 hours. Some people are not affected by edibles due to lacking the enzymes necessary to break down the drug.

    Marijuana is a drug and drugs affect all people differently. These are my observations having been a smoker, dabber and vaper now for over 38 years.

  • Mcozy333

    So, Smoking cannabis plant is actually vaporizing … how? the cinder ( heat cherry) releases heat… the heat from the cinder radiates outward vaporizing the plant material nearest to the cinder. the decarboxylated plant compounds then enter the slip stream and you inhale them. a vaporizer simply provides a heat sink instead of a smoldering cinder of smoot… any plant compounds to actually touch the burning cinder will be entirely destroyed and useless for man thereafter… smoking is about 15 to 25% effective @ releasing the active compounds while an efficient dry herb vaporizer is up to 95 % efficient at release of the actives and delivery of them

  • troy redington

    Not even a mention of a dry herb vape? Cmon bro, if you’re going to self-claim as an expert you need to represent.

  • Christy Mahmood

    Is it really good? I haven’t tried smoking flowers before. But it seems convincing with all the comments I read here. And I think we all should consume cannabis flower just the way it is 🙂 natural and unprocessed.

  • Minnie Crawford

    If that’s your opinion, well, I highly respect it. But, people are different individuals and have different preferences. Sure, smoking flower works for you best but, we can’t be sure if it will work with the others. Just sharing my thoughts 🙂