10 Questions to ask Your budtender during your next visit

Published Feb 20, 2019 01:59 p.m. ET

With access to dispensaries still so fresh on the table, many have no idea how to approach the experience of buying weed in a store and fumble through their first several experiences as they slowly learn the ropes. If it is your first time using marijuana than it is essential you know what cannabis questions to ask your budtender if you want any chance at obtaining a product you will enjoy. If you have visited a dispensary before and are looking for better questions to ask about marijuana than you too have come to just the right place.

1. What’s new?
One of the most critical questions to ask your budtender is what’s new on the menu. This is for a few reasons, with the most prominent being that new product means fresh product that hasn’t sat around and degraded and the second reason is because even if the quality of a bud hasn’t gone downhill since it arrived, one of the first things cannabis shop owners do is try to pawn off unpopular inventory on unsuspecting customers. Be firm that you want something new and exciting to be shown the best green they have.

2. What is your favorite fragrance?
Terpenes are present across all strains of cannabis and are different in each kind of plant. Some carry aromas and flavors that are earthy or pine-like, while others have sweeter more berry scented profiles. Think of your very favorite relaxing smell and see if they have anything in stock that may resemble that. The aromatic effect of a scent or a taste can be almost as effective as THC or CBD in the experience that a specific strain of cannabis provides. Since the terpenes are noticed long before the high is there is no better way to start the personalization of a buzz than with the fragrance.

3. What’s your price range?
No matter which pot shop you find, you will likely see several higher end strains that are out of your budget, but that’s ok. This is why asking what they have in your price range might just be one of the most essential cannabis questions you ask. You can love everything about a product, but if you don’t have the funds then you’re wasting time, showing it off doesn’t do anyone any good. Tell your budtender what you have to work within, and they will be more than happy to show you some choices that won’t break the bank.

4. Will a strain suit an activity?
What is it you plan on doing after indulging in a little green? Hiking? Swimming? Are you attending a concert maybe? The activity you want to do will dramatically affect what strains you should be choosing from. Some will pair nicely with a night out dancing while others may make you want to sleep instead. If you want a product that will be thoroughly enjoyed ask for personal recommendations so that you don’t end up disappointed.

5. Discounts?
All store bought pot can run on the expensive side so a discount can sometimes really help in stretching a dollar. Some will offer daily discounts, the odd one will have a bonus points system in place where you earn for what you spend, others have some form of compassion pricing for those who can proof medical and financial need, and others will give bulk pricing of some kind. This is one of the best questions to ask about marijuana if you can purchase a more substantial amount at once rather than returning weekly, saving money on product and gas. Remember, it’s becoming more competitive out there and with competition comes extra perks to keep customers coming back.

6. How is it grown?
This is one of the essential cannabis questions because how it is grown will automatically affect the quality. Cannabis that is grown outdoors will never be provided the ideal conditions and will likely be less potent than indoor counterparts. Right now, in most of the world marijuana that is grown for recreational purposes must be grown indoors or inside of a greenhouse, so the implication of a plant being grown outdoors likely means it’s an unregulated product.

7. What is the THC or CBD content?
This is one of the questions to ask your budtender that doesn’t come up often as most pot shops advertise and label all of their products. However, if it is your first time using marijuana than you may want to clarify what percentages are considered to be higher or lower, and even many seasoned stoners prefer to manage their buzz by consuming a consistent dose of either THC, CBD or both.

8. What are the effects like?
Marijuana’s first time effects can be unpredictable and intense. This isn’t just true for those who are experiencing their first time using marijuana as many experienced users encounter strains that provide unique experiences that they weren’t expecting. To gauge the appeal of a strain before you buy it, you may want to inquire as to what the effects are like. This is also true for medicinal patients who are seeking relief from ailments like chronic pain that require or prefer specific characteristics from a strain.

9. Is it lab tested?
One of the least asked cannabis questions is whether the product carried is lab tested. If it is, has it been verified by a third party? If it has, can you see the results which should include a complete chemical workup and terpene profile? If you can’t, then this may not be the best place to get your product from. All legal sources are legally required to obtain third-party testing for all their products, and the results should be readily accessible once they have been requested. If they can’t offer you that, then I would seriously begin to question the validity of their claims in regard to their product.

10. Can you see and smell it?
This is one of the most exciting questions to ask about marijuana. While the majority of dispensary owners and salespeople won't be flaunting products out in an easily accessible place for customers to easily pocket, most will give you the chance to see and smell the product up close. This will allow you to get a visual of the bud that isn’t possible behind glass doors, and it will also give you the chance to see if the terpenes you were expecting to be present are there or not. If the bud feels damp at all then walk away. Excess moisture can lead to mold growth which can be hazardous to your health, and extra moisture means you aren't getting what you are paying for. A small squish of a bud should be enough to feel or hear a slight crackle of the dry plant materials.

Tips

- Pretend you have been in a dispensary before even if it’s only your first time. Many cannabis shop owners will jump at the opportunity to gain a customer from someone else. This tends to get you a more preferred treatment at many dispensaries.

- Find out about upcoming products you might enjoy before they hit the shelves, so that you know when to be present to be the first to get them.

- Call ahead. Not all dispensaries are able to update their websites immediately when stock runs out so it’s best to call ahead if you are after something specific.  

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