When you leave a dispensary, do you know what you’re smoking and why? Obviously, it’s marijuana in some form but is it a sativa or an indica? Do you know what terpenes are present, and what kind of body effects can you expect to experience? Someone who has anxiety issues who is looking for a potential sleep aid, is not going to want to go home with a sativa. The only way someone without that knowledge can gain it while at the dispensary counter is to have a well-educated budtender explain it to you.
Dispensaries, in a sense, can be like a bar. The place you walk into is either your kind of spot – or it isn’t. Part of that can be attributed to the atmosphere and part of it is the service. Does your bartender suck at making drinks or are they really good at it? Because whether or not your bartender knows what they are doing can really make a difference in whether you end up enjoying your drink or not. Similarly, walking into a dispensary and being attended to by someone who is…less than knowledgeable about the diverse, intoxicating product that you’re planning to ingest sounds like a less than perfect situation to find yourself in.
But, let’s ditch the bar analogy and take it down a more medical setting. Marijuana IS medical in 30 states (and the District of Columbia) and growing.
Pharmacists have long been regarded as the community caregiver. They are the last link in the healthcare chain before you actually begin ingesting medication. Likely, if you are chatting with the local pharmacist you’ve already been to the doctor at least once, had your medical issue diagnosed (hopefully) and received a prescription for the pharmacy to fill. Otherwise, why are you at the pharmacy – go to the doctor already! Your doc will take your medical history into account before prescribing a pharmaceutical but no one is infallible and that includes doctors. So, as a last line of defense, the pharmacist is there not only dispense medications but also ensures that no patient has been prescribed something that could or would negatively interact with another medication they are currently taking.
Likewise, as the last line of defense before you take home your sweet sweet legal marijuana stands the budtender – the pharmacists of cannabis. Do you hate smoking? Ask a budtender ways to ingest without actually smoking. Are you looking for a strain that is uplifting and also tastes like lemons? Ask a budtender! What are those crystal looking things on your cannabis and can you do anything with it once it collects in your grinder? You BET a budtender has answers for you. Just talk to them, tell them what you are looking to get out of your cannabis consumption experience. Never fear, budtenders (the good ones) are professionals and they are going to treat you and any questions you have with respect.
Budtenders are like your wise older hippie cousin who knows A LOT about weed and is happy to share their wisdom with you. So live it up when you find a dispensary you like that has budtenders that are a delight to converse with. Become a member, patronize the business often and refer friends there when you can.