5 Tips to Know Before Your First Trip to a Dispensary

September 28th, 2022

You’re finally ready to try cannabis, but it feels like you’re late to the party. You don’t understand what your friends are talking about. And there’s so many options, you don’t even know where to start. 

Don’t worry! There’s a first time for everything, and no one is an “expert beginner.” 

When it comes to cannabis, making informed decisions at the dispensary is the best way to ensure a safe, pleasant experience. There are many things to consider when taking that leap into the cannabis world. This is a guide with five tips that will guarantee your first high is a flight – not a fright. 

1.   Know what you’re looking for

As a beginner, how can you possibly know what you’re looking for? You don’t have to know everything about cannabis, but you do need to know enough about yourself when picking a strain or medium of consumption. 

Everybody is different, and the same goes for cannabis strains. To choose the right product, you should know what outcomes you want from this experience.

Do you deal with anxiety or any mood disorder? A fruity sativa is great for mood elevation and euphoric effects. But if you also deal with anxiety, consider picking something with lower THC. High levels of this cannabinoid can trigger anxiety attacks. 

Are you looking for pain relief? An earthy indica will deliver soothing results. 

Do you have gastrointestinal issues? Then edibles might not be the best option for you. 

Whether you want to try cannabis out of curiosity or you’re looking for a particular effect, ask yourself (and your budtender at the dispensary) questions before making any decisions.

2.   Mind your setting and mindset

“Set and setting” is a very important concept when it comes to any consciousness altering substance. It’s no different with cannabis. It refers to your state of mind and surroundings. 

To prevent adverse effects, it’s imperative that you feel safe and comfortable wherever you are and with whomever you’re sharing this experience with. This goes for anyone, and especially beginners. 

3.   Start low and go slow 

Commonly used for edibles, “start low and go slow” should be taken as a rule for any cannabis product you consume. You don’t want a story about the time you got too high, and this approach will prevent any bad experiences associated with too much THC. 

Start low and go slow to help you gauge what the appropriate dose is for your tolerance.

Did you know that every Massachusetts cannabis dispensary has a state limit of 5mg per dose for edibles? This is a consumer safety rule. Some dispensaries may carry products at 2.5mg per dose, catering to people with a lower THC tolerance.

4.   Choose with your senses

When it comes to edibles, just follow your taste and you’ll have a good experience. 

But what about flower? Looks matter, so first look at the buds. Does the bud structure look vibrant and dense, or dry and spread out? Does it have a fluffy trichome coat or does it look dull? The appearance of the flower can tell you how fresh and quality it is. 

Since the pandemic, many dispensaries no longer allow you to smell the sample flower in store. But you can still “smell it” with access to the strain’s terpene profile. 

Cannabis contains terpenes. These chemical compounds are responsible for the aromas, flavors, and effects of every strain. 

Do you enjoy smoking during the day? Pick up a strain with skunky Pinene or citrusy Limonene. 

Need help with pain relief? Look for strains with floral Linalool. 

Having trouble with insomnia? Strains with floral Terpineol might help.

5.   Stay Hydrated

Unfortunately, cottonmouth is not a stoner myth. This is a reminder to drink plenty of water before getting high. Keep water nearby, because you might not remember to get some afterward. Eye drops are also useful, as dry eyes are a stoner world problem.

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