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Does the difference between pre-rolls and flower truly matter? In our view, there’s no “right” or “wrong” choice, but there are reasons or occasions to choose one or the other. Prepare for takeoff with this pre-rolls vs. flower guide.

A comparison image with turquoise and white text on a black background highlighting ten differences and characteristics between pre-roll and flower cannabis products at USQTA. The headline states: "Pre-Rolls VS. Flower". Each side lists five items. The pre-rolls list states: "No commitment", Affordable price point", "Easy to carry around", "No rolling required", "Makes a great gift". The flower lists states: "Smoke how you like", "More variety", "Quality control", "Versatile consumption", "Control how you roll". There are turquoise stars in each corner and a squiggly turquoise line separating the lists.

Are pre-rolls the same as flower?

Pre-rolls and flower, while both forms of inhaled cannabis flower, differ in their preparation and presentation. Pre-rolls are pre-packaged joints containing pre-ground flower that are ready for immediate consumption. On the other hand, flower refers to dried and cured cannabis buds that you need to prepare on your own for use in a joint, vape, or glass piece.

Why pre-rolls instead of flower?

Unsure about reaching for a pre-roll? They may be appropriate in these circumstances:

  • Try new cultivars without commitment: Pre-rolls offer a convenient way to explore new cultivars (AKA strains) without committing to buying a large quantity of flower. It’s a great option for trying multiple cultivars as you find the perfect match.


  • Affordable price point: Pre-rolls are an attractive option if you’re budget-conscious. They’re also a great way to try rare or premium cultivars without breaking the bank.


  • Easy to carry around: Pre-rolls are meant for portability. It’s a good option when you want to bring just enough to enjoy after an event, with a friend at their place, or to enjoy before a comedy show.


  • No rolling required: No grinding, no prep, no practice to get your technique down pat. If you don’t know how to roll, don’t like rolling, or have physical limitations that make rolling difficult, pre-rolls are a great alternative.


  • Makes a great gift: When given to a consenting adult in New York, pre-rolls can make a thoughtful and enjoyable stocking stuffer, white elephant gift, or budget-friendly present. It’s an easy way to add a touch of joy to any special occasion.


Why are pre-rolls cheaper than flower?

Pre-rolls tend to be more cost-effective than loose cannabis flower because they are sold in smaller quantities by weight. Some pre-rolls may also use shake or trim from cannabis flower, which is still perfectly good to light up, just no longer attached to the manicured flower. Additionally, the streamlined manufacturing process for prerolls tends to reduce production costs.

How much do pre-rolls cost?

The cost of pre-rolled joints can vary. You can expect to pay anywhere from a few bucks to $50 or more. The price is influenced by the number of pre-rolls in the pack, flower quality, whether the joint is infused with concentrate, and taxes and fees.

Is a pre-roll the same as a joint?

All joints purchased at the dispensary are pre-rolls, but not all pre-rolls are joints. Other ready-to-smoke products may fall under the pre-roll category.

Why flower instead of pre-rolls?

For flower lovers, nothing beats a classic bowl or the calming experience of rolling your own just how you want it.

  • Smoke how you like: With loose cannabis flower, you have the flexibility to measure and adjust how much you want to consume. You can personalize the experience, using any bong, vaporizer, or paper you want.


  • More variety: Not every cultivar comes in the pre-roll form. Flower offers a broader cultivar selection. You can explore a more comprehensive range of flavors, aromas, and effects to find the perfect fit for your preferences.


  • Quality control: Some folks like to visually inspect their flower, something that’s not possible to do with a pre-roll. With loose flower, you can admire the flower’s density, colors, aroma, and freshness in a whole different way.


  • Versatility in consumption: While pre-rolls are designed exclusively for smoking, your flower possibilities are, well, sky-high. Aside from rolling or packing a bowl, you can use flower to make your own edibles or topicals, or even repurpose AVB (already vaped bud) into your own infused creations.


  • Control of the rolling process: If you prefer the hands-on, almost-meditative experience of rolling your own, flower is the way to go. In addition to simply enjoying the process, rolling your own gives you more precise control over the process, rolling technique, size of the joint, and other personal preferences.


Deciding between pre-rolls and flower? How to choose what’s best for you

This isn’t a trick question. Choosing between pre-rolls and flower comes down to your personal preferences, lifestyle, and why you’re shopping for cannabis in the first place. Pre-rolls might be the ideal option if you:

  • Value convenience and portability
  • Want to try a new cultivar
  • Don’t like rolling
  • Want to buy a stocking stuffer (for someone 21+ in New York, of course)

Flower might be your best bet if you:

  • Want to customize your experience
  • Like to choose from a wider range of cultivars
  • Want more consumption options
  • Appreciate the beauty of the bud


There’s a time and a place for pre-rolls and flower. It’s about finding what aligns with what’s best for the moment.

Gear up for your next dispensary visit

Whether you prefer the convenience of pre-rolls, the versatility of flower, or the moment calls for a bit of both, everything you need is right through our doors. Our extensive collection of carefully-curated cannabis products ensures you’ll find your perfect match. Explore our online menu or visit in person to discover a world of unparalleled quality and choice.

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