things to know before buying weed
things to know before buying weed

Five Things You Need to Consider Before Buying Weed for the First Time (GUIDE)

Go through this cannabis pre-buying checklist before you pay for that ganja!

Posted by:
Reginald Reefer on Thursday Apr 4, 2024

thinks to know before buying weed

Five Things to Consider when Buying Weed


There are millions of new stoners that are going to enter the marketplace in the coming years. For them, I wrote this very simple guide to help them get the best selection when going into a dispensary to buy weed.


Here we go!


Consider what kind of high you're seeking


When purchasing cannabis, one of the most important things to think about is what type of high or effects you're looking to experience. Traditionally, dispensaries have categorized strains as indica, sativa or hybrid. Indica strains are known for more relaxing, physically sedating effects, while sativas are associated with an energizing "head high". Hybrids fall somewhere in between.


However, recent research suggests this classification system is oversimplified and not very reliable for predicting effects. A strain's unique mix of chemical compounds called cannabinoids and terpenes are better indicators. Products high in THC tend to be more psychoactive, while CBD-dominant strains provide benefits like pain and anxiety relief with less intoxication.


Examining cannabinoid and terpene profiles, if available, can give a clearer sense of what to expect - but the only way to know for sure is experimenting to see what works for your individual body chemistry. Start with small doses of different types of products and note the effects to zero in on your ideal high.


Delivery methods: smoking, vaping, edibles and more

Cannabis can be ingested in a variety of ways, each with their own onset time, duration and intensity of effects. Inhaling smoke or vapor leads to rapid absorption into the bloodstream and near-immediate onset, but effects may only last 1-3 hours. Smoking the dried flower in a pipe, bong or joint is the classic method, but many prefer vaporizing as a gentler alternative.


Concentrates like wax and shatter are also vaporized but have much higher THC levels, so caution is advised for beginners. Edibles and drinkables must be digested and metabolized before effects are felt, so they have a delayed onset of 30-90 minutes but can last much longer, up to 8 hours or more.


Sublinguals and tinctures absorbed under the tongue split the difference, taking effect in 5-30 minutes and lasting 2-4 hours. Topical products applied to the skin provide localized relief without psychoactive effects. Consider your health goals, lifestyle and timeframe when deciding which delivery method(s) to choose.


Budgeting: how much to spend


The price of cannabis products can vary widely based on potency, quantity, and brand name. Location also matters, with costs differing significantly from state to state or even town to town due to local market conditions and tax rates. On average, expect to spend $10-$15 per gram of flower or $40-$80 on an eighth-ounce (3.5g) - but premium products can cost two to three times as much.


Edibles and concentrates are often sold in half-gram or 1g packages ranging from $15-$50. Vape cartridges go for around $30-$60 each.


If you're just starting out, consider purchasing the smallest quantities available of a few different products to sample. Certain dispensaries may offer discounted grams or pre-rolls, or daily/weekly deals to help you save while figuring out your preferences.


Once you discover a product you like, you can typically get a price break by buying larger quantities. Some stores also have loyalty programs that provide discounts or points toward future purchases.


Ensuring product quality and consistency


With so many new cannabis brands and products hitting the market, quality control and consistency can sometimes be lacking. Even if you find a product you enjoy, future batches may have significantly different cannabinoid levels, terpene profiles, appearance, taste and effects.

To minimize the risk of a disappointing experience, seek out brands with a solid track record and positive word of mouth.


Read reviews and ask your budtender for recommendations, especially if they've personally sampled multiple batches of a given product. Well-established brands tend to have more rigorous quality control and testing procedures to ensure reliability.


That said, don't be afraid to experiment with newer brands - you might discover a hidden gem. Just be sure to examine and smell the product if possible before you buy, and start with a small quantity to verify it meets your expectations before committing to a larger purchase. If you find something you like, stick with it - but periodically check in with budtenders and other consumers to keep tabs on a brand's ongoing consistency.


Asking questions and getting recommendations


Even with some basic cannabis knowledge under your belt, the sheer variety of products on dispensary shelves can be overwhelming, especially for a novice.

Thankfully, you don't have to go it alone - budtenders are there to help guide you to the best choices for your individual needs and preferences. Think of them like sommeliers at a wine shop, eager to share their expertise and steer you in the right direction.


Don't be shy about asking questions regarding the effects, flavors and recommended uses for different products. If you're not sure what you want, provide as much information as you can about your goals, past experiences (positive or negative), any health issues, and desired dosage/duration/intensity of effects.


Establishing a rapport with a budtender whose recommendations align well with your tastes can be invaluable as you explore all the options a dispensary has to offer. If you're not satisfied with the answers you receive, don't hesitate to do additional research or get a second opinion at another shop.


By being an informed and proactive consumer, you're well on your way to finding your ideal cannabis match.






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