Newsflash: Cannabis retail stores sell more than just plant product. Alongside stock of your run-of-the-mill greenery, they’re also a resource for tools, education, and a variety of cannabis-infused products.

The good stores will host a full-service experience: You’ll be guided by budtenders trained to serve you and your specific needs. Even still, blind-purchasing products won’t necessarily guarantee you get what you’re looking for, and it’s best to approach the situation with an idea of what you want or need to get out of your experience.

 

  1. Why are you looking to purchase cannabis?

Entering a cannabis retail store with the knowledge of what you’re looking for can direct your experience from the get-go. Insight into your medical history, any ailments that are bothering you, or simply whether you’re looking to use cannabis recreationally or medicinally can better inform your budtender and speed up the process.

 

  1. How do you want to take cannabis?

Cannabis comes in many forms: concentrates, flower, edibles, drinks, pills, pens, topicals, candy. You’re no longer restricted to smoking cannabis using a pipe or joint – in fact, there are a number of consumption methods you can enjoy without affecting your lungs or even experiencing psychological effects.

 

  1. What is your experience level?

Know your experience level so a budtender can make an educated guess regarding your tolerance. The presence of cannabinoids in the brain and endocannabinoid system can build up over time and can, in turn, affect how your body responds to cannabis. Regular cannabis users (those who enjoy it daily, for instance) will be able to enjoy higher volumes of cannabis than users who partake more sporadically.

 

  1. How do you want to feel?

According to Statistics Canada, 14% of Canadians use cannabis for non-medicinal purposes. Recreational users like these typically have a good grasp on how they want to feel when they use cannabis. For instance, do you want to feel energized and creative? Then a Sativa-dominant strain will probably suit you best. If you’re looking to relax and sink into your couch after a long day, your budtender will likely recommend an Indica blend.

 

  1. How is the cannabis cultivated or extracted?

Cannabis plants and products are cultivated or extracted using a variety of methods. Some growers may use pesticides in their cannabis, while others are more organic in nature. Popular extraction methods like butane extraction might not be your thing. Before entering a cannabis retail store, consider what you need out of your product.

Additional resources:

The side effects of cannabis

The key differences between CBD & THC

Medicinal vs. recreational uses of cannabis

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