At SPARC, we’re passionate about educating and helping customers. We’re here to help navigating the wide, exciting, and sometimes confusing world of cannabis to help you find the perfect product and effect. Use this guide for reference, and please come visit us at one of our several locations — our friendly staff is more than happy to help!

In this guide you’ll find information about:

CANNABIS 101: THE BASICS

CANNABIS 201: THE DETAILS

Why Choose Cannabis?

PRODUCT CATEGORIES

There are several different ways to consume cannabis. Smokable and ingestible forms are the most popular, but you can also apply cannabis topically. Click any of the icons below or simply scroll down to learn more about the various cannabis product categories.

SMOKABLE

Flower Icon

FLOWER

Cartridge Icon

CARTRIDGES

Prerolls Icon

PREROLLS

Extracts Icon

EXTRACTS

INGESTIBLE

Edibles Icon

EDIBLES

Pills & Capsules Icon

PILLS & CAPSULES

Tinctures Icon

TINCTURES

Beverages Icon

BEVERAGES

FLOWER

Flower Icon

Flower refers to the smokable, resinous part of the female cannabis plant, also known as nugs or buds. Flower is the most popular form of cannabis and can be consumed in multiple different methods including smoking in a pipe or bong, rolled in a blunt or joint, or vaporizing in your favorite portable or tabletop vaporizer. Flower is typically ground up before smoking or vaporizing because it burns more evenly and is easier to work with. 

There are several types of cannabis cultivation methods, the most common being Sun Grown, Indoor, and Greenhouse.

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CARTRIDGES

Cartridge Icon

Cartridges are one of the most popular forms of vaporizing cannabis oil. They are a glass cartridge pre-filled with cannabis oil or concentrate, making them convenient and discreet. The oil contains various combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes extracted from cannabis. The most common oils used in cartridges are distillate and live resin. Cartridges work in conjunction with vape pen batteries.  The battery powers and atomizer in the cartridge and heats up the oil.

There are a few different forms of cartridges, the most popular being the 510 Thread. There’s also proprietary cartridges such as the Pax Era Pod and the Dosist Dose Pen. Learn more about the various types of cartridges.

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PREROLLS

Prerolls Icon

Prerolls are joints or blunts that are ready-made and prepared before the intended time of consumption. They commonly consist of ground flowers or shake and rolled in hemp or rice paper. Prerolls can also be infused with extracts to boost potency. Infused prerolls typically contain kief, hash, distillate, and live resin.

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EXTRACTS

Extracts Icon

Extracts are derived from cannabis flowers that are processed into a concentrated form using various extraction methods. They are efficient and take less product to achieve the desired effect.

Cannabis extracts are extracted using either a solvent, ice water, or heat & pressure. The most commonly used solvents are butane, propane, ethanol, and supercritical CO2. There are also solvent-less extractions that don’t use a solvent to concentrate the cannabis.

 Learn more about the various types of extracts.

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EDIBLES

Edibles Icon

Edibles are food products infused with decarboxylated cannabis or cannabis oil. There are many different forms of edibles including baked goods, candy, chocolate, and gummies. Edibles are a popular method of consumption for people who are trying to avoid smoking and be discreet.

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PILLS & CAPSULES

Pills & Capsules Icon

Cannabis pills & capsules contain cannabinoids, either single origin or full spectrum, which make for an easier and convenient way to ingest cannabis. Pills & capsules provide precise dosing, making the effects predictable and consistent. Since pills & capsules are ingested and processed through the liver, they have the same effects and intensity as edibles, but with little to no flavor. Pills & capsules come in different forms including gelatin and vegan capsules, chewable tablets, and sublingual tablets, to name a few.

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TINCTURES

Tinctures Icon

Tinctures are alcohol-based or oil-based forms of cannabis extract, typically considered a wellness product. The most common forms of oil used are olive oil and MCT oil, while alcohol-based tinctures use high proof, food grade alcohol.   These infusions can be solely cannabis & alcohol or oil, or they can also be infused with medicinal herbs. Tinctures are a great for first time cannabis users and provide an easy and precise way to dose cannabis orally.

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BEVERAGES

Beverages Icon

Beverages are a type of ingestible cannabis where, through emulsification,  cannabinoids are infused into liquids. Because they are liquids, beverages absorb quicker and effects are usually felt in 30 minutes or less. Beverages are a convenient and discreet way to consume cannabis and come in many different varieties such as sparkling water, coffee, sodas, tonics, and more.

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TOPICALS

Topicals Icon

Topicals are cannabis-infused products that are applied to the skin. They are typically used for relief in a localized area. They are non-intoxicating and great for the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids. Topicals come in several forms including balms, salves, creams, lotions, and patches.

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PLANTS & SEEDS

Plants & Seeds Icon

Clones are a cannabis plant that is a genetic copy of the mother plant. When obtained from a reputable breeder, a clone is a young female cannabis plant with stable genetics. Growers typically select to raise clones instead of seeds when they would rather not risk getting a plant that’s male or with poor characteristics (e.g. low yield, undesirable smell, etc.).

CANNABINOIDS

Cannabinoids are a family of over 100 molecules that can be produced by the cannabis plant. They are responsible for the wide variety of effects and benefits of cannabis. THC and CBD are the two most common cannabinoids produced by the plant, but there are numerous other cannabinoids which have not yet been discovered or studied. The potency and combination of cannabinoids, along with terpenes, creates a complex spectrum of effects ranging from pain and anxiety relief, to energy and creativity.

Click any of the molecules below or simply scroll down to learn more about the various cannabinoids.

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CBD

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CBDa

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CBN

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d8THC

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d9THC

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THCa

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THCV

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11OHTHC

d9THC

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Delta 9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (d9THC, “Delta 9”, or just THC)

Regularly referred to as just THC, this is the psychoactive cannabinoid that causes a cannabis high. This cannabinoid has a broad range of benefits including anxiety and pain reduction, creativity, energy, and physiological modulation of the immune and endocannabinoid systems. THC can also cause anxiety and disorientation in higher doses, so use smaller doses of THC if you are inexperienced with cannabis.

MAIN USES

  • Relieve pain
  • Reduce nausea
  • Surpass muscle spasms
  • Stimulate appetite

11OHTHC

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11-hydroxy-THC

When THC is taken orally, such as in edibles or capsules, it is metabolized into 11-hydroxy-THC. While technically not a cannabinoid itself, this metabolite is often much stronger than smoked THC and can be more disorienting. At higher doses it can be anxiety inducing or heavily sedating. If you are inexperienced with edibles, it is recommended to take 5mg or less and wait 2 to 4 hours to see how it affects you.

MAIN USES

  • Relieve pain
  • Reduce nausea
  • Surpass muscle spasms
  • Stimulate appetite

CBD

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Cannabidiol (CBD)

A non-psychoactive cannabinoid with a variety of benefits including anti-anxiety effects, immune system modulation, neuroprotective activity, as well as pain and inflammation reduction.

MAIN USES

  • Relieve pain
  • Reduce nausea
  • Surpass muscle spasms
  • Stimulate appetite

THCa

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Tetrahydrocannabinol Acid (THCa)

The acidic, or non-decarboxylated, form of THC. THCa often exists in cannabis flower prior to being heated. THCa has stronger anti-inflammatory effects than decarboxylated THC, and can be more effective for pain reduction if a high is not desired. THCa must be consumed in non-heated consumption methods like edibles, capsules, tinctures, and topicals. Vaporizing or smoking will decarboxylate THCa into its psychoactive form: THC.

MAIN USES

  • Relieve pain
  • Reduce nausea
  • Surpass muscle spasms
  • Stimulate appetite

CBDa

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Cannabidiol Acid (CBDa)

The acidic or non-decarboxylated form of CBD. This form of CBD often exists in cannabis flower prior to being heated. CBDa has stronger anti-inflammatory effects than decarboxylated CBD. CBDa also has anxiety reducing effects. CBDa must be consumed in non heated consumption methods like edibles, capsules, tinctures, and topicals. Vaporizing or smoking will decarboxylate CBDa to CBD.

MAIN USES

  • Relieve pain
  • Reduce nausea
  • Surpass muscle spasms
  • Stimulate appetite

CBN

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Cannabinol (CBN)

This cannabinoid is the result of the oxidation of THC. It is often associated with sedating effects. CBN can help with sleep and anxiety reduction. CBN is non-psychoactive and typically does not cause a feeling of being high.

MAIN USES

  • Relieve pain
  • Reduce nausea
  • Surpass muscle spasms
  • Stimulate appetite

THCV

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Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)

This cannabinoid is similar to THC both in effect and chemical composition. It is an exceptionally rare cannabinoid, produced by plants in very small quantities. It provides a high that is similar to THC but is often described as less anxiety inducing and helps to provide more focus and mental clarity.

MAIN USES

  • Relieve pain
  • Reduce nausea
  • Surpass muscle spasms
  • Stimulate appetite

d8THC

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Delta 8 Tetrahydrocannabinol (d8THC, or “Delta 8”)

This cannabinoid is similar to THC both in effect and chemical composition. The effects of d8THC are much more subtle than d9THC, and often requires larger doses. Its effects are often described as being subtle and inducing less anxiety than d9THC.

MAIN USES

  • Relieve pain
  • Reduce nausea
  • Surpass muscle spasms
  • Stimulate appetite

TERPENES

What are terpenes and why do they matter? Here are the most common ones:

  • Myrcene — …
  • Pinene — …
  • Caryophyllene — …
  • Limonene — …
  • Terpinolene — …
  • etc.

CLASSIFICATIONS

What is the the spectrum of sativa to indica, and how does it work?

SATIVA

SATIVA-DOMINANT HYBRID

HYBRID

INDICA-DOMINANT HYBRID

INDICA

Types of Cartridge

Here are the most common cartridge types:

  • 510 Thread510 Thread cartridges are the most common type of cartridge.  510 refers to the threading at the end of the cartridge that the battery screws into. 510 Thread cartridges are only compatible with 510 Threaded Vape Batteries.
  • Pax Era PodsPax Era Pods are a proprietary cartridge created by Pax Labs and are only compatible with the Pax Era Device. The Pax Era is a compact, portable vaporizer which uses pre-filled pods, rather than a 510 threaded cartridge. Bluetooth connectivity allows users to pair the Pax Era device to an app where you can adjust the temperature settings to the precise degree.
  • DisposableDisposable Vapes are a pre filled cartridge and pre charged battery combined all in one unit. These require no charging and are meant to be “disposed” of after use. They are not meant to be separated from their battery.

Types of Extracts

What are the different types of extracts, and what are the pros & cons of each one? Here are the most common ones:

  • Hash — Hash is one form of solventless extract. The cannabis trichomes are separated from the plant using ice, water and agitation and filtered through different micron screens.
  • Rosin — Rosin is another form of solventless extract. Rosin is made mechanically by a combination of heat and pressure to extract the resin from the starting material. It can be made from flowers, hash, or kief.
  • Live Resin — Live resin is a type of cannabis concentrate that is produced using a unique technique and a light hydrocarbon solvent. Freshly harvested cannabis is frozen to a subcritical temperature prior to and throughout the extraction process, skipping the drying and curing phases. By freezing the plant immediately following harvest, the cannabis plant retains its valuable terpene profile, original flavor, and fragrance through the extraction process and into the final product. Live resin concentrates are able to capture the flavors and aromas of the living plant through extraction, compared to other types of cannabis concentrates.
  • Cured Resin — Cured Resin is another type of cannabis concentrate that is produced using a light hydrocarbon solvent, such as butane or propane. Unlike Live Resin, as newly-harvested plant material is dried and cured, the terpene content changes chemically and physically as the more volatile compounds evaporate off. This mellowing process is similar to letting a wine or whiskey age, bringing out a softer character that can at times be more interesting. Cured resin products tend to test higher for cannabinoid content, as live resin has a higher percentage of other compounds including terpenes. Folks looking for an extra potency kick may find that they prefer cured products.
  • DistillateDistillate is a highly refined form of extraction that contains mostly cannabinoids and little to nothing else, making it an extremely potent concentrate. It has little to no flavor, since the terpenes are completely stripped during the refining process. Distillate can be produced by refining almost any form of cannabis extract and is also the most commonly used oil in vape cartridges and cannabis edibles.

CULTIVATION METHODS

What are the different cultivation methods and why do they matter? Here are the most common ones:

  • Indoor — …
  • Sun Grown — …
  • Mixed Light — …
  • etc.

Learn more about the SPARC Farm, located in the heart of Sonoma Valley.

EXTRACTION METHODS

What are the common extraction methods, and what are the pros & cons of each one? Here are the most common ones:

  • A — …
  • B — …
  • C — …
  • etc.

Product Testing

  • X
  • Y
  • X

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