Access to legal cannabis is now available to more people than ever before, and with that access come options and opportunity. Navigating the vast array of strains, products, and consumption methods that legal markets are offering today can be a dizzying ordeal, as there isn’t a “one size fits all” cannabis experience that’s right for everyone.

Narrowing down the selection process can be the differentiating factor between an enjoyable cannabis experience and an overwhelming, negative interaction. Here are a few helpful hints to help you determine which strain, product, and consumption method may be ideal for you.

1. Ask Yourself a Few Questions

Before reaching out to anyone for help in personalizing your cannabis experience, ask yourself some preliminary questions as a vetting tool. This exercise will help to limit your options down to smaller groups of strains, products, and consumption methods.


What is your experience level with cannabis?

First-time users should most certainly consider this when choosing a means of consumption. For instance, dabbing a high-THC cannabis concentrate through a large rig is not a preferable consumption method for a beginner. Instead, newcomers may want to start off with small amounts of flower and/or a low-dose edible. If, however, you’re experienced with cannabis and are looking for a more potent delivery option, concentrates may be a preferred method.


Do you have a preference when it comes to things like combusted cannabis smoke or dietary restrictions?

This consideration can impact what delivery method you choose. If you’re worried about lung health or thick smoke odors, you may want to shy away from smoking cannabis via joints, bongs, or pipes, and instead opt for using vaporizers. If you’re counting calories or have food allergies, edibles may be a more difficult consumption method than flower or topicals.

Where will you be when enjoying this cannabis, and who will you be enjoying it with?

If you plan on going out and about with lots of people and you know that you can enjoy a highly active strain, vaporizer pens are a perfect fit. On the contrary, a night snuggled in solitude may better benefit from a relaxing edible or infused bath product. If you’re sick, a tincture may be appealing. Need to be discreet? Infused candies, breath mints, and oral sprays work well.

2. Consult with a Local Budtender

budtenders can help you find your best marijuana high

(John Locher/AP)

Information in and of itself can be a labyrinth in disguise. There are thousands of distinct strain varietals indexed and numerous consumption options ranging from vaporizers to topicals and edibles, as well as a burgeoning product marketplace churning out new technology by the minute, make personalizing an experience with cannabis more complex of an endeavor than one may imagine. In fact, navigating your way through the options can be a full-time job.

And it is! Budtenders are your perfect ally when trying to narrow down the options. These industry professionals are there for one reason: to help you personalize your experience by eliminating the fear of the unknown. They’re trained to ask you questions in order to guide you through the jungle of options out there.

Find a reputable dispensary in your area and pick your local budtender’s brain with all of your cannabis-related questions. There’s nothing quite like a one-on-one experience with an industry professional if you’re just starting out with cannabis. Their expertise is invaluable and an interpersonal dialogue, even for just a few minutes, can often leave you with more information than an hour of searching the internet.


3. Check in with a Head Shop


Not all dispensaries are equipped to offer you the exact product you’re looking for when it comes to the plethora of cannabis delivery methods available, which is why building a relationship with the staff at your local head shop is so important.

What is a head shop? In simplest terms, a head shop is a place where you can go to find products that will help you consume your cannabis. In many places, head shops still advertise as a place to purchase tobacco-related products, and if you visit one of these establishments for your needs, understand that your communication may differ than a store specifically designed to serve cannabis enthusiasts. Nevertheless, don’t let this nuance steer you from seeking their business. Many tobacco “water pipe” retailers are incredibly knowledgeable and can help to answer your broader smoking-related questions just the same.

Head shop retailers can be an invaluable asset in learning about delivery methods and getting set up with a product that suits your cannabis consumption preferences. Pipes, papers, vaporizers, grinders, you name it, they know about it.

With your quiver of resources bursting at the seams, finding help with narrowing down options for an enjoyable cannabis experience should be a delightful undertaking. By arming yourself with the right questions and taking those considerations to your local professionals, choosing a strain, product, and delivery method is as simple as an afternoon out and about.

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