How to Prepare for Your First Visit to a Cannabis Dispensary

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The first time you visit a dispensary can be a bit nerve-wracking. It’s important to know what to expect for your first time purchasing legal cannabis in order to have a successful experience. The first thing that you’ll need is an appropriate ID. In the state of California, a person is required to be 21 years of age in order to purchase cannabis because it is a recreational state. In some states, patients as young as 18 can obtain a medical card with a recommendation from their doctor. Make sure that you bring an ID with you so that you can prove your age. You can use your driver’s license, passport or state-issued ID card that includes your date of birth and a photo.

As a new cannabis user, it is very important to do research before you enter the dispensary. What products do they have in stock? Which strains of flower do they have? Do they have the CBD tincture that you’re looking for? With the right questions to ask at a dispensary already in mind, you’ll be better prepared.

It’s important to do research while you’re in the dispensary as well. Take a look at the shelves and see if there’s anything you might be interested in trying. Your first time in a dispensary can be overwhelming—a whole new world! Don’t feel pressured to buy anything, instead feel free to look around and ask the budtenders any questions you may have about cannabis products, gear, etc. If you’re interested in making a purchase, budtenders are happy to help steer you in the right direction!

What to know before before you visit a dispensary

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Start by setting your budget. Let your budtender know what you’re looking to spend so that they can help get the best products to you based on your budget. Some higher-tier products may be of great quality but a little too expensive for your wallet. Your budtender is a great resource for helping you make decisions, and at Weden, we do everything in our power to make sure that you get the best products available that fit your budget.

In most dispensaries in the US, transactions are usually made using cash. While some do take card, it is rare, so we suggest that you bring cash. Most dispensaries also have an ATM on-site that you can use to withdraw money. So if you’re not able to make it to a bank beforehand, they’ll likely have you covered.

In just about every state around the country, dispensaries have daily deals that you can take advantage of. Just like you would ask your server at a restaurant about daily specials, ask your budtender about their daily deals. Many dispensaries feature specific brands on certain days, with discounted prices for those brands. Dispensaries also invite brand representatives from companies that produce topicals, edibles, flower, or concentrates so that customers can talk to the brand ambassadors firsthand and get educated about specific products.

When you first visit a dispensary, it is likely that you will need to sign up for an account and register your phone number and/or email address. This allows dispensaries to reach out via text or email to keep you up-to-date about daily deals, as well as any upcoming events. Many dispensaries also use online websites like Leafly or Weedmaps to promote their specials. You can use these to look at dispensary menus and to schedule pickup or delivery.

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Your first trip to the dispensary can be packed with information, so we recommend knowing the basics:

  1. Know the difference between sativa, indica, and hybrid. Sativas are uplifting or energizing, while indicas are sedative and often encourage “couchlock.” Hybrids are right in the middle and encourage a euphoric feeling.
  2. Different products are good for different people. Your own personal experience can dictate what you’re looking for, but for your first visit, make sure to ask a budtender how you can best achieve the high that you’re after.
  3. Make sure to dose your cannabis out appropriately. Smoking too much or overdoing it during your first smoke session will not be an enjoyable experience. Make sure to start slowly and increase your dose as you become more experienced. For example, edibles affect everyone very differently, so make sure to start with a small dose and give yourself time to adjust while the THC kicks in.

How do I know which cannabis products to buy?

There are a few puzzle pieces to put together before you can decide on which products are right for you. The first is the quantity of which you’d like to buy and depends on what type of product you’re looking to purchase. When buying flower, everything is measured in grams.

Some strains of flower are denser than others, therefore weight is the only appropriate way to make sure that you’re getting the same amount of flower every time. Purchasing an eighth will yield approximately five joints, but can also be spread out across many sessions depending on the quantity and frequency that you smoke. As for edibles, if you plan to take 10mg per session, you don’t need to buy 500mg at a time, as they do have expiration dates. It’s a good idea to explain your consumption intentions to your budtender so they can make sure you’re buying the appropriate volume, especially if you are new to cannabis.

The second important bellwether for what you want to buy is whichever effect you’re looking for from the cannabis. For example, smoking a sativa before bed might keep you up, so if you’re trying to counter insomnia with cannabis, make sure to buy an indica. Try buying flower or edibles that have different terpene profiles and levels of cannabinoids, so that you can experience what each strain has to hold.

The last thing to keep in mind is to figure out what technique you plan to use to consume cannabis. If you’re smoking bud, you’ll need rolling papers, a glass pipe, or a bong to make sure that you can use your product. Concentrates require special equipment and adapters to vaporize, such as a nectar collector, banger, or a torch. Knowing what you’ll need in order to consume your cannabis is very important.

Questions to ask your budtender

Asking questions during your first visit to a dispensary is the most critical part of your experience. The way that cannabis education spreads is by asking your educated budtender questions. They’re a great source for cannabis education, smoking tips, and any cannabis-related questions you need to set yourself up for smoking success. You’ll be able to learn how you can enhance your experience in order to achieve optimal results. Here are some questions that we recommend asking:

  1. I want to feel _______, what is the best way to achieve that?
  2. How long will I feel high after consuming this product?
  3. I want to smoke on-the-go/at home before bed, what is the best type of cannabis product for me?
  4. How long will this product last?
  5. What is your preferred method of consumption and why?
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Step into Weden’s dispensary and check out everything we have in stock. You’ll be very pleased with our wide selection of cannabis products, from our edibles like the Platinum Caramel milk chocolate bar to our concentrates, like live resin sugar wax from Cresco Labs. Don’t forget to ask your budtender for advice when you stop in. They’ll know all about each product. And check out our menu online, at! We look forward to seeing you soon.

In the comments below, share some questions you had during your first few dispensary visits!

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