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Elizabeth Hollin's Within the Mind of a Budtender - November 2019

We can’t hide the fact that half of us started out with tin cans, brown buds, and the privacy of a dark garage. We’ve all been there. Those first steps into the industry. Beginners. Not knowing what exactly we needed, how to use it, or if it would really do the trick or not. Too many times I’ve walked into a provisioning center to be greeted with unprofessionalism, glazed eyes, and rudimentary knowledge. How does that help?

“Indidca or Sativa? Watcha lookin’ for?”

I’ve heard that line a million times upon walking up to the counter. My heart skips a beat when I think of all of the older clientele, and the beginners who may have walked right into the same experience. Being greeted like that can catch you off guard, especially if you don’t know anything about what you’re looking for. It can make you feel embarrassed, self-conscious, and can make your shopping experience that much more difficult.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have some questions in mind before heading in? Wouldn’t it be helpful just to have an idea of what types of questions to ask? This month, I want to provide you with just a few questions that you, a passionate individual who’s looking to learn more, can be well stocked with. Any well-trained budtender should be able to help guide you in the right direction in regards of products to try and should also be able to explain the variety of products, and their usages, to you with confidence. Keep in mind: if you walk into an establishment and they’re either not willing, or not able to provide you with the help you need, turn around and walk back out. Find someone that you are comfortable and confident with, and someone who makes you feel valued and cared for.

Now…for those questions…

What products do you think will provide me with the relief that I am looking for?

Granted, smoking flower is great and all, but it’s not necessarily for everyone. If you have breathing issues, or simply don’t want to smoke, there are a LOT of other options on the market. From sublinguals and transdermals, to medicated mints and tablets. Take the time to explore your options. Many products provide relief, but you want to be comfortable with the one that you choose.

What are the differences between Indica and Sativa?

You’ll see the words Indica and Sativa all over the place. Most people agree that Indica brings you down, and Sativa lifts you up. When discussing these things with your budtender, though, be sure to ask about details. Some individuals think that they just need to have a Sativa to wake them up, however if that individual also finds themselves dealing with bouts of anxiety, they’ll want to be careful which Sativa they choose seeing as how some have a tendency to boost your anxiety levels, or lead to increased paranoia. Not something you want to be dealing with, especially if you’re just trying to make it through your day.

What is this edible made with, and how much of it should I consume?

Edibles can be made with a variety of types of thc additive, some having a more potent effect than others with particular individuals. Many times, I’ve seen edibles sold to patients without being accompanied by the appropriate information in regards to dosage. Most of the horror stories I hear come from those who have had horrible edible experiences, eating far more than they should have. This can lead to an extreme long-lasting high, and hallucinations in extreme circumstances.

What are terpenes and how will they affect me?

This industry will continue to boom for years to come. More and more research is coming to light, and the science is taking a turn for the better. Some parts of the cannabis plant that we didn’t know much about before, we’re learning actually plays a pretty dominant role in everything from smell, to feeling. You may find that items with particular terpenes will be specifically beneficial for you.

Why do I feel different when I smoke, compared to when I eat a medicated candy bar? It’s all made with thc right?

The way our bodies process these cannabinoids will depend on how it is consumed, as it plays a big role in the products bioavailability. Whether choosing a tincture, a topical, a beautiful bud to smoke, or those delicious looking gummies that you’ve heard so much about, be sure to ask your budtender how each item will affect you, and for how long those effects will last.

Will you continuously be offering this product? If not, which others are comparable? 

Our Michigan market is over saturated in some categories, and undersaturated in others, and the market will do nothing but continue to change for quite a while longer. The products that your provisioning center carries now, may be swapped out for a different brand a year from now. Keep an open dialogue going between yourself and your budtenders to ensure that you continue to use products that will work for you, even if the brand name changes.

These are just a few questions that don’t even scrape the tip of the iceberg, but they are questions that would be beneficial to know before walking into some place new when getting started or shopping around. Don’t let yourself be pushed into a purchase that you don’t feel 100% comfortable with. Ask questions, get answers, stay in the know.

Keep your eyes wide, your mind open, and stay tuned each month for more industry stories, knowledge, and opinions.

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