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How to Identify Different Types of Marijuana

One of the most exciting things about marijuana legalization is all of the different types of marijuana that are now legally available. Cannabis strains alone are available in all different types- there’s a wide range of indica, sativa, and hybrid strains to choose from. The same applies to cannabis concentrates, which also come in various different forms such as shatter, hash, wax, and budder.

Beyond that, there are even more types of marijuana products which require different methods of consumption. With all of these different products, it helps to know how to identify different types of marijuana. While it’s easy enough to tell the difference between flower and hash, it can get a little harder when you’re looking for the difference between indica and sativa or wax and resin.

These different types of marijuana have different properties when it comes to appearance, smell, taste, potency, and effects. Sometimes you can instantly identify exactly what a product is, some require you to test out the effects for yourself. Regardless, here’s a guide on how to identify different types of marijuana when it comes to flower strains, concentrates, and other marijuana products.

How to Identify Different Types of Marijuana Strains

Perhaps the most common and recognizable marijuana product is strains of flower cannabis. Also known as weed or bud, these are simply strains of cannabis plants which have been dried to prepare them for smoking or vaping.

You can find all kinds of strains in any marijuana store. Each strain has its own differences when it comes to appearance, flavor, and effects. The potency of strains often varies depending on THC levels. However, strains can be divided into three broad categories.

Indica strains – Cannabis indica plants are identifiable by their short, bushy nature and wider leaves. However, both indica and sativa strains can often look the same. The differences can be noted in the effects. Indica strains are much more mentally and physically relaxing. They often make users feel happy, euphoric, and highly sedated.

You’ll often feel like you’re locked to the couch when under the influence of a strong indica. These strains are ideal for nighttime use and they’re also ideal for treating pain, inflammation, headaches, and insomnia.

Sativa strains – Cannabis indica plants are usually tall and thin with narrow leaves. But once the strains are dried, there’s not much to distinguish them from other strains in terms of appearance. However, you can tell the difference in effects.

In contrast to indica strains, sativa strains are often energizing and uplifting. They can counteract fatigue and make you feel more motivated and productive. They also produce more of a cerebral head high which heightens your senses and spurs on creativity. You will also get physically relaxing effects, but they are milder. Sativa strains are ideal for morning or daytime use and great for those who want to counteract anxiety, depression, and fatigue.

Hybrid strains – Hybrid strains are made by crossing the genetics of both indica and sativa plants. As such, these plants often carry attributes of both indica and sativa plants. The strains they produce also give you both indica and sativa effects.

Hybrid strains can often provide both a physically relaxing and mentally uplifting high. Sometimes they’ll lean more towards sativa or indica, although some hybrid strains provide an almost even balance of both. These are fantastic strains for all-around use and can help treat a wide range of medical symptoms. Hybrid strains are particularly popular because of this.

Indica, sativa, and hybrid classifications aside, you can tell strains apart in many ways. Some have subtle differences in their appearance. For instance, Purple Haze is known for its purple hue whereas Blue Dream often has orange hairs. Strains also have their own aromas and tastes which sets them apart.

How to Identify Marijuana Shatter

How to Identify Marijuana Shatter

Differences between types of marijuana become even more extreme when it comes to cannabis concentrates. These are concentrated forms of cannabis with extra high THC levels. They’re made using various different processes, often involving butane and propane. Not only can concentrates be made from many different strains, but they differ widely in appearance depending on the method of extraction.

One of the most popular and common kinds of cannabis concentrate is shatter. You can instantly identify shatter by its thin, glass-like appearance. It may resemble a sheet of orange-brown glass. It’ll often have holes in it, similar to a slice of cheddar cheese.

It’s easy to break apart shatter and use small pieces either to dab, vape or mix in with a joint or bong. It’s known as one of the most powerful cannabis concentrates with extra high levels of THC.

How to Identify Hash/Hashish

Another popular cannabis concentrate which you’ll find in many stores and dispensaries is hash, also known as hashish. This is one of the easiest kinds of concentrates to make. If you rub together the resin left from a marijuana strain, you’ll end up with a small block of makeshift hash. However, high-quality hash takes a longer and more thorough approach.

Hash is identifiable by its solid form. It looks like a solid brown brick of marijuana resin. When you burn it and break it apart, it becomes much more crumbly. Like with other concentrates, you can dab it or vape it. Hash is also easy to break apart and use in a joint or bowl. This makes it one of the more versatile concentrates and a favorite for many.

You can also find different types of hash. Bubble Hash looks more crumbly and sandy whereas Afghani Hash is more solid and brick-like.

How to Identify Marijuana Budder

Budder is a kind of butane hash oil which takes a unique form that’s somewhere between solid and liquid. It’s softer and moister than concentrates like hash, but still solid enough to stay together in a somewhat honeycomb-like form.

It’s another strong concentrate which can contain levels of 70% THC or higher. It’s also very pliable and easy to break apart for use in a dab rig, vape pen or bowl. Its soft form makes it very easy to scoop up and use how you like. Budder also usually has a high terpene content and strong aroma, which will suit many cannabis lovers.

How to Identify Live Resin

How to Identify Live Resin

Live Resin is another type of cannabis concentrate which contains high levels of THC. Live Resin is a kind of butane hash oil extraction which focuses on maintaining the rich flavor profile of the cannabis strain. It’s made from frozen buds, meaning it retains its cannabinoid and terpenoid content.

This results in a very potent concentrate with a high amount of cannabinoids and terpenes. These concentrates are particularly aromatic as well as very strong when you vape, dab or smoke them.

In comparison to other concentrates, you can identify live resin by its more liquid-like appearance. It’s soft, golden, and easy to scoop up as its much more flexible and moist. It almost looks like small yellowish crystals. This makes it easy to separate the live resin into small pieces and use them in various ways.

How to Identify Other Types of Cannabis Concentrates

There are various other forms of cannabis concentrates, some of which are similar in form. All of these are well-suited to dabbing or vaping with a vape pen designed for concentrates. You can also mix concentrates in with bud to create a stronger joint or add them to a bowl. Here are some of the other types of cannabis concentrates.

Crumble – As the name suggests, this is a hard, crumbly kind of cannabis concentrate. It’s another potent, solvent-based concentrate which can pack seriously high levels of THC. It’s often compared to honeycomb due to its rigid texture.

Kief – Kief is a very basic form of concentrate which is simply the dusty particles of trichomes which fall off of strains of weed. In fact, if you use a grinder, you’ll find a lot of kief in the bottom of it over time simply from grinding flower. You can also get special tools to collect more kief from your bud. You can pack kief together and smoke or vape it.

Rosin – Not to be confused with live resin, rosin is a form of concentrate that you can extract without solvents. In fact, it’s easy to collect rosin from buds using just a hair straightener, parchment paper, and a collection tool. It has a solid golden-yellow appearance.

Wax – Wax refers to a range of cannabis concentrates which take a waxy form. Concentrates such as budder and honeycomb are often classified as wax.

Caviar – Caviar is a unique cannabis concentrate which is fairly simple to produce. It’s usually made by soaking cannabis buds in hash oil and sometimes coating them in kief. This results in extra strong weed which will give you a potent high. Marijuana caviar is often referred to as Moon Rocks.

Distillates – Marijuana distillates are cannabis concentrates which have been made into liquid form. These come in small bottles and can be infused into foods, drinks, other products or used for vaping.

How to Identify Different Types of Cannabis Oils

How to Identify Different Types of Cannabis Oils

Another popular product is cannabis oils or tinctures. These come in many different forms- some containing THC, some containing CBD, and some containing both. Not to be confused with oil concentrates, tincture oils are liquid cannabis products which you take by applying the oil underneath your tongue. Here are some of the different types of cannabis oils.

THC Oil – THC Oils or Tinctures are cannabis oils extracted from marijuana plants. These give you all of the same effects as you’d get from smoking marijuana or using other such products. You apply them under your tongue for a fast-acting high. These are ideal for users who want an alternative, smokeless way to get the effects of THC. They’re also great for medical users who need medical relief quickly.

CBD Oil – CBD Oils or Tinctures are becoming extremely popular. CBD Oils can be extracted from marijuana plants, but they’re often derived from hemp plants. This is because hemp contains high levels of CBD with only trace amounts of THC. As such, these oils give you the benefits of cannabidiol without making you high. They can help with relief for pain, anxiety, depression, seizures, glaucoma, insomnia, stress, cancer, and many other conditions and symptoms.

1:1 Oil – You’ll notice that some cannabis oils are labeled 1:1 Oil. These are oils which contain both THC and CBD in equal measures. As such, you’ll get a wide array of medical benefits along with the psychoactive effects of THC. You can also get THC/CBD Oils with different ratios of THC to CBD or vice versa, such as 2:1 Oil or 3:1 Oil.

Cannabis Vape-Oil – While regular cannabis oils/tinctures are designed for sublingual absorption, you can also get thin oils that are designed for vaping. These often come in cartridges, although you can also get bottles of cannabis vape-oils which you can apply to vape tanks or chambers. You can use these with a vape pen or vaporizer. Vape-oils come in many different flavors and strains. They can include THC, CBD or both.

How to Identify Marijuana Edibles

Marijuana edibles are edible marijuana products which come in all kinds of different forms. Some popular types include marijuana gummies, marijuana brownies, marijuana cookies, and marijuana chocolate bars. You can also find cannabis drinks such as tea and cocoa mixes containing THC.

Unlike most other types of marijuana products, edibles can take a while to kick in. In fact, you might need to wait an hour or two after consumption to feel any effects. However, they do give you extra strong effects that can last upwards of eight hours. Many recreational users enjoy THC edibles for this reason.

You can also find CBD edibles which give you medical benefits without getting you high. These often suit medical users who don’t want any psychoactive effects. Edibles are usually identifiable by their labels, which will tell you the amounts of CBD or THC each serving contains.


Marijuana users have more choice than ever when it comes to different types of marijuana. Whether you prefer cannabis strains, concentrates or other products such as edibles and tinctures, you can find something to suit your purposes. All of these can come in handy for both recreational and medical use. You can find a wide range of marijuana products available for delivery online at

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