Bud Dispensary 101: Questions to Ask and What to Expect on Your First Visit

marijuana dispensary

If you’re like most people who smoked pot under the table for years, the recent wave of weed legalization laws has you feeling stoked. You dream about picking up a bag of bud on your trip to the grocery store and puffing proud clouds for the world to see.

Now you’re about to take your first trip to an actual dispensary and all you feel is stress. Will you have any idea what you’re looking for? What if you end up with a weed strain you hate?

Here’s a look into what you can expect during your first trip to a bud dispensary.

Your First Trip to a Bud Dispensary

To make sure your pot shopping trip is a successful one, read up on what you can expect.

Distinguish Between Medical and Recreational Locations

Depending on where you live, marijuana may be legal for medical use alone or for medical and recreational use. It’s important to know that most dispensaries focus on one over the other.

Look for either a medical or recreational dispensary depending on what you want. Some dispensaries service both markets, but they may have different entrances or sections of the store. Make sure you’re in the right place.

Have Your ID

If you head to the dispensary without your ID, the trip will be over before it began. The dispensary will require a photo ID when you enter their shop. If you don’t have a driver’s license, you should be able to use your passport instead.

At some dispensaries, you’ll hand your ID to an employee who’s behind glass at the entrance. They might check it and give it back or they may give it back after you walk into the shop. Just don’t forget to get your ID back before you leave.

Research Prices Ahead of Time

A legitimate dispensary is less likely to try to overcharge you than a street dealer. Still, it’s a good idea to know if you’re getting a reasonable price.

Whether you’re a first-time smoker or you’re used to street dealers, keep in mind that dispensaries tend to charge more than dealers. Find out the average ounce price in your area.

Of course, pricing will vary based on the quality and strain you buy. Still, some research will give you a general guideline.

Know What Experience You Want

Without a doubt, the dispensary will have more variety than you’re used to seeing. There are countless strains of marijuana and each has a different impact on your experience.

Dispensaries have employees called budtenders who can help you choose the perfect product. An online store provides some information about each product too, but it’s not as personal as an experience budtender.

Think about how you want your weed to make you feel. If you’re an experienced smoker, the budtender may also ask you how certain common strains have affected you in the past. This can give them an idea of how you’ll react to the strains they offer.

Expect to See CBD to THC Ratios

A large part of marijuana’s effect depends on the ratio of two components: CBD and THC.

CBD stands for cannabidiol and THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is responsible for the high you get from weed, while many of the medical effects come from CBD.

Some dispensaries label each product with its ratio of CBD:THC. In simple words, the higher that ratio is, the less of a high you’ll get.

Ask About Your Purchase Options

Dispensaries don’t just specialize in offering a wide range of marijuana strains. They also sell their product in a variety of consumable forms.

For instance, you’ll be able to choose between flower, pre-rolled joints, edibles, vaping oils, and more. Find out what your options are in each strain you’re considering.

As you’re making your choice, make sure you understand how to use each form of marijuana. Most people are used to smoking marijuana so you may not know how much oil to vape to get the same effect, for example. A budtender will be able to guide you.

Expect to See Terpene Names

In addition to the CBD:THC ratio, some bud dispensaries also list the primary marijuana terpenes in each product.

Terpenes are natural oils in marijuana plants. They provide weed’s signature smell but they also impact the way each strain makes you feel. There are about ten terpenes you’ll see most often, but the list of options and combinations goes on and on.

A budtender can help you understand which terpenes you should look for. For instance, the terpene a-pinene makes you feel more alert while myrcene makes you feel sedated.

Rely on Budtenders for Edible Advice

One aspect of dispensaries that’s particularly misunderstood is the edibles they sell. Edibles are particularly common choices for first-time marijuana users who don’t like the feel or taste of smoking.

However, most edibles contain higher levels of weed than you realize. They can also take longer to take effect because smoking puts marijuana into your bloodstream faster.

If you’re buying edibles and you don’t have extensive experience with them, getting a budtender’s advice is a must. Be honest with them about how much marijuana you use on a regular basis and how much it takes for you to get stoned. They need to be able to gauge your tolerance.

Don’t forget to ask how long you should wait after taking an edible before you take another one. It often takes an hour to feel the impact of an edible, but each product can differ.

Enjoying a Legal High

Walking into a bud dispensary for the first time can be disorienting even to knowledgeable users. You could have decades of smoking experience under your belt but the type of selection you see at a dispensary can throw anyone for a loop.

Above all, the #1 rule is to feel free to ask questions. Budtenders are there to help you and give you the best experience you can get. Use the tips above and a trusted budtender to make your dispensary trip a success.

For more handy tips for any experience level, check out our blog about getting high legally.