New Jersey Cannabis 101:

New to cannabis? Start here!

Being your neighborhood joint means much more than just selling weed.

We’re here to guide you at all stages of your cannabis journey, whether you’re a longtime canna-lover, brand new to the plant, or trying a whole new type of product for the first time. Queen City is your trusted resource for all things NJ cannabis, starting with this handy guide to the basics of cannabis.

What is cannabis?

Cannabis is a plant filled with compounds that can enhance our well-being, make us laugh, help us relax, and work up an appetite, among many other things. For thousands of years, societies around the world have consumed cannabis for ritual, as medicine, and for recreation.

Indica, sativa, and hybrid; What it all means

You’re going to see the words “indica,” “sativa,” and “hybrid” a lot when you shop at a cannabis dispensary. These descriptors relate to the species of cannabis plant. There’s tall and skinny cannabis sativa, short and bushy cannabis indica, and hybrid varieties that combine traits from indicas, sativas, and other hybrids. Most cannabis cultivars (strains) you see on a dispensary menu are hybrids.

You may have also heard that sativas are great for a burst of energy, indicas are best for sinking into your comfiest couch, and hybrids are balanced somewhere in the middle. While that’s long-held cannabis lore, it’s not precisely the case. The descriptors of indica and sativa refer to the plant’s physical traits, not the compounds contained within. And those compounds — cannabinoids and terpenes — are the ones that make the difference in your cannabis experience. So while you can look at indica, sativa, and hybrid as general categories, it’s much more important to review lab results and the cultivar profile to get an idea of the experience you can expect.

Cannabis compounds: Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids

The main compounds in cannabis you need to know are cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.

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Arguably the star of the cannabis plant, cannabinoids are key to cannabis “working” on your mind and body. There are more than 100 phytocannabinoids, or cannabinoids from plants, identified so far. The two most famous are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, and Cannabidiol, also known as CBD. Other famous cannabinoids include Cannabinol (CBN), Cannabichromene (CBC), and Cannabigerol (CBG).

Each cannabinoid offers its own properties and have been studied for their effects in your body. For example, THC has been observed to have anti-nausea, anti-inflammatory, appetite-stimulating, pain reduction, and relaxation properties, among many others. CBD has been widely studied for its own anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and anti-seizure properties, among many others.

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Have you ever smelled weed that reminds you of fresh blueberries, citrus zest, or even a funky cheese? That’s thanks to terpenes, the aromatic compounds in cannabis that gives each cultivar its signature scent.

Beyond smells, terpenes have been studied in their own right for their unique properties and how they may influence your body and mind. For example, linalool, a terpene made famous by lavender flowers, is linked to relaxation. Beta-caryophyllene, a bold and peppery terpene, behaves similar to THC in your body and may have similar anti-inflammatory effects.

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Flavonoids don’t get as much love as cannabinoids and terpenes, but they still play an important role in the plant. In the same way terpenes give cannabis its scent, flavonoids give cannabis its color and flavor. Aside from those properties, flavonoids have been observed to play a role in influencing your cannabis experience and have their own effects in your body. There are more than 6,000 flavonoids that we know of so far present in nature. More than 20 flavonoids in cannabis have been identified by researchers so far.

How does cannabis work?

Cannabis “works” because of your endocannabinoid system, or ECS. The ECS is a series of receptors, endocannabinoids made by your body, and enzymes that’s located throughout your body. The ECS is present in your central nervous system, brain, spinal cord, immune system, peripheral nervous system, organs — pretty much everywhere. It plays a role in homeostasis in your body, influencing everything from sleep to mood to memory. Every mammal has an ECS, including your best furry friends!

When you consume cannabis, its compounds interact with the ECS and its many receptors. Cannabinoids like THC and CBD (phytocannabinoids) behave similarly to the endocannabinoids your body makes naturally, enhancing and supplementing their effects to varying degrees. Some terpenes interact with your ECS as well.

What is the entourage effect, and is it real?

Cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids are believed to influence how you experience cannabis. This effect is called the entourage effect. The entourage effect is confirmed to exist, but little is understood about how it works just yet.

The entourage effect explains why you react differently depending on the content of cannabinoids and terpenes in your chosen cannabis product. The ratio of THC to CBD and other cannabinoids, as well as the types of terpenes and in which quantities, affect one another and modulate your cannabis experience. That’s why understanding what’s in your cannabis product, and not just relying on the indica, sativa, or hybrid label on the package, is so important to having a good time.

Types of cannabis products available at NJ dispensaries

Smoke it, roll it, vape it, eat it — there are plenty of ways to try cannabis. These seven product types are the main ones you’ll find at the dispensary.

Cannabis flower

The classic. Cannabis flower is the dried and cured buds of the cannabis plant. They’re sold in varying quantities at the dispensary, from a few grams to 1 ounce per package. When you bring your cannabis flower home, you grind it up to prepare it for use with rolling papers or a blunt, in a glass piece like a pipe or bong, in a dry herb vaporizer, or a one-hitter. You can also decarboxylate the cannabis flower to activate the cannabinoids and then use it to make your own edibles and topicals at home. You can use your oven or a device like the Levo 2 to achieve this.

In New Jersey, you can buy up to 1 ounce of cannabis flower in a single dispensary visit.

Cannabis prerolls

Don’t want to do all the work of grinding and rolling? Cannabis prerolls sold at NJ dispensaries like Queen City are an awesome alternative. They’re ready for use out of the package. Some prerolls just contain flower, while others include concentrates as part of the preroll for a more potent smoke. There’s no prep work here — just grab your lighter and enjoy.

In New Jersey, prerolls count toward the 1-ounce flower purchase limit you have in a single dispensary visit.

Cannabis concentrates

These manufactured products, also called “dabs,” involve extracting cannabinoids and (occasionally) terpenes from cannabis flower and treating it to make an ultra-potent cannabis product. There are multiple ways to create extracts, and each technique influences the final product you’ll find at the dispensary. Wax, shatter, live resin, and sauce are among the many types of cannabis concentrates you’ll find at dispensaries like Queen City. 

Concentrates are best for experienced cannabis consumers who are used to the higher levels of THC. They also require specialized cannabis accessories designed for use with these extracts.

NJ cannabis laws dictate that you can purchase up to 4 grams (or the milliliter equivalent) of concentrates per dispensary shopping trip.

Vape carts

Easily attached to a rechargeable battery, vape carts simplify cannabis consumption. Each cartridge is outfitted with a heating element that’s activated by the attached battery, and a mouthpiece you use to inhale the vapor. Just turn on the battery (or don’t — some are buttonless!) and you’re ready to go.

Vape carts are available in 510-thread universal fit connectors, brand-specific systems such as Airo Pods, and in disposable formats that include both the cannabis oil and the battery.

According to NJ cannabis guidelines, you can buy up to 4 grams of vapes per dispensary trip.

Edibles (soft lozenges)

The edibles in New Jersey’s adult-use cannabis program come in varying flavors, shapes, and dosages. You’ll find edibles, also sometimes called soft lozenges in New Jersey, in many formulations, including just THC and THC paired with other cannabinoids like CBD and CBN. Some have terpenes, flavors, and other herbal extracts added in. Edible cannabis products you’ll find in New Jersey include soft lozenges, beverage enhancers, and tablets, and the product assortment is growing as the market grows.

Unlike inhaled products like flower and vape carts, edibles take longer to have an effect. They must go through your digestive system before you feel the effects of the cannabinoids they contain. To that end, they also last longer than inhaled forms of cannabis.

NJ cannabis law states you can buy up to 1,000mg of edible cannabis products in a single transaction.


These liquid products are discreet to take and easy to dose. Simply measure the amount you want to take with the dropper top, place the product under your tongue, hold it there for a bit, then swallow. 

Tinctures are made by mixing cannabis extract with a carrier oil, often MCT oil from coconut. These products are unique in that they enter your body in two ways: Some cannabinoids enter your bloodstream directly through your mouth tissues, while the rest is digested like an edible. This means tinctures take effect quickly and last longer than other product types.


Topicals stand out because they’re the only product type that is not systemic — meaning, when you use it, cannabinoids don’t make their way throughout your whole body. Instead, their effects are localized, which means that you feel the effects of the cannabis directly where you apply them. There are some notable exceptions to this rule, including transdermal topicals that cross that barrier into your system.

Accessories you need to consume cannabis

What you’ll need to consume your NJ cannabis depends on what you buy and your preferences. Some of the accessories you might want to use include:

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  • A grinder to break up cannabis
  • Rolling papers, cones, filters, blunt wraps, and other rolling accessories
  • A rolling tray for easy preparation
  • A glass piece such as a pipe, bubbler, or bong
  • A lighter
  • Hemp wick

A dry herb vaporizer, whether portable or desktop, to skip combustion and vaporize your flower

The amounts are:

  • 1 ounce (28.35 grams) of dried cannabis flower, OR
  • 4 grams (or the milliliter equivalent) of concentrates, OR
  • 4 grams of vapes, OR
  • 1,000mg of edibles (soft lozenges)
  • Or a combination of various form factors that equates to the 1 ounce flower equivalent
  • A dab rig if you plan to consume concentrates
  • A dab tool to place your dab into the dab rig
  • A blowtorch or electronic nail (“enail”) to heat the concentrate in your dab rig
  • A dab mat to safely set down your hot materials
  • A rechargeable and portable wax pen instead of a dab rig for a mess-free dabbing experience
  • A vape pen battery to use a vape cartridge
  • An oil infusion machine to decarboxylate (“decarb”) cannabis

Frequently asked questions about NJ cannabis

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You need to be 21 or older and you must have a non-expired, government-issued ID with you. At an adult-use cannabis dispensary like Queen City, you don’t need a medical card. You’ll also need to bring cash or a debit card to pay for your cannabis purchase. Queen City has ATMs on site. You can also use Dutchie Pay to make a cashless payment.

You can buy up to the below amounts in a single transaction in a New Jersey dispensary.

The amounts are:

  • 1 ounce (28.35 grams) of dried cannabis flower, OR
  • 4 grams (or the milliliter equivalent) of concentrates, OR
  • 4 grams of vapes, OR
  • 1,000mg of edibles (soft lozenges)
  • Or a combination of various form factors that equates to the 1 ounce flower equivalent

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