What forms does marijuana come in?

  • Jun 11, 2021

You just got your medical marijuana card, but you haven’t been to the local cannabis dispensary yet because, well, it’s all a little overwhelming. Vape pens? Tinctures? There are tons of options, lots of lingo, and it’s all foreign territory for you. Where do you even start?

Truth is, the sky’s the limit when it comes to cannabis products, especially for medical users who often get special perks and products available only to them. But while this can be overwhelming, it also means you have ample opportunities to find exactly what’s right for you.

As an initial step, we’ll break down several forms of cannabis you’ll find at a typical medical marijuana dispensary in MA, including right here at Sanctuary.

Science, Safety, Research, Technology and Cannabis - The Legal, Medical and Recreational Use of Marijuana


Even in its most natural form of smokable flower, cannabis is extremely versatile. There are innumerable strains to choose from that offer a wide range of effects, and the best way to determine what you like is to simply try them out bit by bit. Cannabis flower is most commonly sold by the eighth (⅛ of an ounce, or 3.5 grams), and certain strains are sometimes available by the gram.

There are many ways to smoke flower, such as through a pipe, bong or rolled joint, so you’ll need to choose your preferred equipment. It’s a learning process, but this part can be fun! You may also want to use a grinder to break up the flower before rolling it in your papers or packing it into your smoking device.


Pre-rolls are pre-rolled joints and blunts containing packed cannabis flower. This is an especially convenient way to purchase medical cannabis because it requires no additional equipment (besides a lighter) and the tricky rolling work has been done for you. Pre-rolls are typically sold individually, and at Sanctuary, you can choose from a wide range of strains. Joints contain about 0.5-1 gram of marijuana each, and blunts contain about 1 gram.


If you don’t love the idea of traditional smoking, you may want to consider purchasing a vaporizer. Unlike smoking flower, there’s no combustion involved in vaping; the cannabinoids are vaporized and inhaled through a device such as a vape pen (a thin vaporizer roughly the length of a pen).

In addition to the vaporizer itself, you will need to purchase cartridges filled with the strain of your choice. You can find both distillate and liquid shatter cartridges at Sanctuary.


For people who are new to medical cannabis, edibles are often appealing because they don’t need to be smoked and usually come in the form of a delectable baked good, candy or drink. For this reason, it’s important to check the serving size when consuming edibles so you only take the recommended serving.

Visiting Sanctuary? You’ll find cannabis treats like chocolate chip and snickerdoodle cookies, fruit chews, gummies and flavored seltzer.

Macro close up on a marijuana buds with gourmet salted caramel pot edibles


There are many types of cannabis extracts, which have a variety of textures and can be consumed in different ways. Methods vary, but in essence, extracts are created by stripping cannabinoids away from the plant matter through the use of a solvent, leaving a substance filled with highly-concentrated cannabinoids.

Extracts are usually consumed by dabbing, which involves heating cannabis extract in a dab rig and allowing it to vaporize. Some types of extracts, like crumble, can be added to joints and blunts or sprinkled over marijuana flower in a pipe. Sanctuary carries plenty of extracts, from crumble and shatter to the sauce.


Tinctures are cannabis oils that are consumed sublingually. They can be purchased in different amounts (at Sanctuary, tinctures are sold in 15 or 30-mL bottles) and, like many forms of cannabis, are available in varying concentrations of THC and CBD.


If you’re experiencing joint or muscle pain and soreness, topicals could help alleviate your symptoms. Products such as cannabis gels, lotions and muscle rubs may reduce inflammation. For example, our Deep Tissue Muscle Rub, containing a 3:4 ratio of THC to CBD, produces a long-lasting, cooling sensation that helps relax sore muscles.

Ready to take the next step?

We’re here to help! Find out how to become a patient at Sanctuary—we’d be happy to guide you through the next stage of your cannabis journey.

If you still need to be certified for a medical cannabis card, browse our list of evaluation and education centers with certified physicians in Massachusetts before setting up an appointment. They’ll assist you throughout the process and answer any questions you might have about obtaining your card. Before you know it, you’ll be visiting your dispensary to make your first medical cannabis purchase.