How to Know What You’re Looking for at a Dispensary

Are all the options for legally buying weed overwhelming you? Don’t sweat it. Here are some helpful hints for the dispensary.
How to Know What You’re Looking for at a Dispensary
Rick Obst/ Flickr

Legal weed is here to stay! In recreational states, anyone with a 21+ government ID or passport can purchase cannabis. But how do you know what you should buy? What products are best for you? After all, this was supposed to help your anxiety, not make it worse!

The first time at a dispensary can be intimidating. It’s possible you might be a little nervous: heart racing, head sparkling with sweat. You’re trying to convince yourself that your job and parents aren’t going to find out. Let’s just address this issue right away: everything is confidential at the dispensary, and you are in a safe place.

What Level Consumer Are You?

There are loads of different levels. The first time consumer, the intermediate, the Tommy Chong, and everything in between. Each consumer comes in with a different need, but budtenders these days are skilled and knowledgeable. For the most part, take their advice.

Oftentimes, people head into a shop because they have a specific ailment that they want relief from. “I truly feel all use is medicinal use,” says Dr. Dina, owner of West Hollywood’s oldest dispensary AHHS.

For the most part, it’s all about identifying your individual needs and preferred method of consumption. If you’re a beginner, remember to ask the budtender about dosage so you don’t overdo it.

How Do You Want to Feel?

There are loads of different feelings that the products in any dispensary can help you towards. Find a shop with knowledgeable budtenders, and tell them exactly what you’re feeling and looking for so they can guide you towards the right products and brands.

Though the differences between indica and sativa are really not as rigid as they’re made out to be, you can generally expect a certain feel from each. For help with sleep, relaxation, and anxiety relief, you might be more interested in indica or indica-dominant strains. For daytime and creativity, you might lean more towards sativas and hybrids.

Popular brand Canndescent, for instance, has made the process for choosing flower even easier by basing their products off curated experiences. Their motto is simply “How do you want to feel?” and their selection reflects that with options like “Calm”, “Connect”, “Create”, and more. It’s less about getting high and more about the experience you would like to have.

“Sometimes customers surprise you. Just because they look or dress a certain way is not indicative of their cannabis habits,” says Adrienne Airhart, manager of The Higher Path Dispensary.

How Do You Want to Consume?

Smoking isn’t the only way to consume cannabis. It’s 2018; the stuff is legal in a lot of places now. Technology and legal access have improved the pot industry in a ton of ways, and now there are countless ways to get high. Whether it’s chapstick, soda, chocolate, drops of oil, it’s about finding the right method of consumption that each person is happy with.

Vaping weed has become popular in the past few years, due to portability, convenience, and countless health benefit claims. The vape brand Dosist was voted one of Time Magazine’s Top 25 inventions of 2016, and for good reason. These are not your average vapes. Dosist comes in six different formulas ranging from bliss, to calm, to passion. The vapes vibrate when you’ve received a 2.25mg dose, making consumers more conscious of their consumption.

Edibles are also popular on the market, especially for people who don’t want to inhale smoke but still want the benefits of the plant. Cheeba Chews have options that come in the form of indica, sativa, and hybrid. This allows consumers to control their dosing and to customize the way they want to feel.

Topicals are great for pain relief and sleep. Whoopi and Maya created an entire cannabis line that is female-focused. The rub that they make is specifically designed to help relieve pain from menstrual cramps, although men have been known to purchase this product too to help with muscle aches and tension.

Feel like taking a medicated bath? No problem! Kush Queen CBD and THC bath bombs, sold at dispensaries throughout California, are another way to get the benefits of the plant without actually smoking it. Just drop it in the bath, sit back, and relax as you enjoy the soak.

With knowledge comes power. Luckily, budtenders get the opportunity to try a lot of what they recommend, so they know firsthand how it works. The more you know about your personal cannabis use, the more you can find what products and methods are best for you. It takes time, but the more you pay attention to what brands and strains you like, the more info you’ll be able to relay to your budtender. They’ll handle it from there.

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