Knowing what you want before you visit a dispensary can help your budtender help you make the right choice.

Cannabis is a very complex plant. Each variety and strain has its own mix of cannabinoids and terpenes, and therefore provides a particular set of effects. Knowing what you want before you visit a dispensary can help your budtender help you make the right choice.

Humans rely on a number of plants to help them get through their daily routines and achieve particular results. Specific plants are consumed for the unique active compound they contain — caffeine in coffee, ethanol (alcohol) in wine, and nicotine in tobacco. Caffeine and nicotine are both stimulants, and ethanol is a depressant. But cannabis is a plant of a wholly different kind. It can be both a stimulant and a depressant and also has a variety of other effects.

Knowing which effects you seek upon arriving at the dispensary, and communicating those desires to your budtender, will likely allow you to find the product that provides the effects you want.

Why Cannabis Has a Range of Effects

Cannabis produces a wide variety of active compounds. The most abundant and effectual of these are cannabinoids and terpenes. And each strain has a unique cannabinoid and terpene profile which accounts for its particular aromas and effects.

For example, indicas are generally higher in CBD and myrcene than sativas and produce a much more pronounced body high and may induce drowsiness, while Sativas are generally lower in CBD and higher in terpenes such as pinene and limonene which can produce more uplifting effects.

Hybrids are cross breeds of both indicas and sativas, and depending on their lineage they will have aspects of both.

What Do You Need?

Given the genetics of each specific cannabis strain, it is important to understand what effect you seek from cannabis. If you’re trying to get some sleep, you don’t want to be using a strain that has marked stimulant effects. And conversely, if you’re trying to maintain alertness and get stuff done, you don’t want to be using a strain that will make you sleepy and inactive. These are just two examples of a wide range of considerations.

In order to be sure you purchase the ideal product for your needs, you should determine what those needs are before you get to the dispensary.
Some of the questions you’ll need to answer include:

  • What are the effects I’m interested in experiencing?
  • Am I trying to accomplish tasks?
  • What activities am I interested in?
  • What mood do I seek?
  • What is the optimal method of consumption for my needs and lifestyle (smoking, vaping, eating, etc.)?

The responsible use of recreational cannabis requires an understanding that different strains have different effects in order to choose and use wisely. If you’re using cannabis in a social setting such as while attending an event, or while working, you’re not going to be well served by a strain that will put you to sleep. And conversely if you’re using cannabis for a little “Netflix and chill” session before bedtime, you’re not going to want a strain that makes you want to get up and dance.

Before you get to the dispensary, make a list of the circumstances in which you’ll be using cannabis so that the budtender can help you choose strains that are ideal for those settings. You may want to list a variety of settings and purchase a strain for each. (Make sure you keep them marked and separated.) You could get a strain that’s idea for helping you sleep, another for being creative, another for getting stuff done.

What Is Your Ideal Method Of Consumption?

Depending on your lifestyle and circumstances one method of consumption might be more ideal than others. Some of these methods include smoking, vaping oils, dabbing concentrates, eating infused edibles, tinctures, salves and balms, etc. We’ll discuss these in more detail in another article.

Before you get to the dispensary, it’s a good idea to narrow down your potential methods of consumption so that your budtender can help you choose wisely. Again, you might want to try a variety of methods to see what you enjoy. You might enjoy some dab sessions when you’re hanging out at home with friends, but be better served by using edibles or a vape pen if your out and about at an event.

How To Communicate With Your Budtender

As outlined in this article, it’s best to make a list of the reasons you’re wanting to use cannabis, the settings you’ll be using it in, and any preferences you have for methods in order to get the most out of your dispensary visit. This will not only help you get the ideal products for your needs, it could save both you and your budtender a lot of time.

If you do not provide a list — say you just happen to be driving by a dispensary — a good budtender who is knowledgeable and is truly concerned for the wellbeing of their customer will happily ask the right questions.

Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Budtenders are typically cannabis enthusiasts and are happy to share their knowledge and experience with you. Consider them like a sommelier when choosing a bottle of wine at a restaurant – it is their job to guide you towards the best choice for you.

Stop by our Aspen shop and have a talk with one of our expert budtenders. They are trained to not only fully understand the pros and cons of the strains and products we carry, but to carefully consider your wants and needs and answer any and every question you may have.

We hope to see you there!