When you go to a dispensary, the options can be overwhelming. For a novice consumer, it can be hard to tell one strain from the next, whether you should buy indoor or outdoor grown weed, or why one brand of Sour Diesel is better than another. Then there’s the whole question of which form of weed you want to consume anyways, whether you’re looking for flower, oils, edibles, topicals, or something else. Here are a few tips to make your next dispensary visit less overwhelming.
The difference between outdoor and indoor grown cannabis
The topic of longstanding debate, whether outdoor weed is better than indoor weed or vice versa is a matter of personal preference. Indoor grown cannabis tends to be more expensive — both for cultivators and consumers. The weed’s indoor environment is subject to more control and hence the plant can grow easily year round. Growers may have an easier time manipulating the plant’s qualities and potentially how it turns out. Many people argue that indoor grown cannabis is higher quality. However, outdoor grown cannabis doesn’t rely as much on industrial fertilizers and pesticides as indoor grows might, since Mother Nature tends to have her own hand at play. Plus, outdoor growers may tell you that pests and mold are more common in indoor monocultures. Natural light from the sun might also play a role in bringing out the plant’s natural cannabinoids and terpenes, or aromatic chemicals. Then there’s also greenhouse grown cannabis, which takes the best elements of both outdoor and indoor: A greenhouse will protect plants from the outdoor elements through its own environmental regulatory system, but is also much more environmentally sustainable than indoor cultivation.
Whichever kind of weed you choose, make sure it’s lab tested
If your bud is drenched in pesticides, is moldy, or contains other toxic chemicals, that defeats the point of using it for wellness or medicine. This is especially pertinent when you pick out vaporizable oils, which tend to contain a whole melange of different kinds of cannabis and chemicals. Make sure your weed is organic and pesticide-free.
Support small farms
Small-batch farmers tend to pay more care and attention to each individual plant than large-scale cultivators have the capacity to. Buying weed from mom-and-pop brands is akin to buying craft beer — you’re supporting a cottage industry in the face of Big Weed, whilst ensuring that you’ll get a quality product.
Smell your weed before you decide to buy it
Oftentimes, your sense of smell and whether you like a certain strain’s odor may indicate whether you’ll like its effects. Indicas tend to smell earthier, while sativas often smell more flowery. Also make sure you know the difference between an indica and a sativa, and keep an app like Leafly handy to look up a strain’s effects as you peruse.
Buy a few different products, but try them on different days
If you’re trying to figure out what you like and don’t like, you don’t want the overlapping highs to muddy your perception of a particular product. Try one at a time and sit with it for a few hours to see how it affects you. Then on a different day, try again with something else you bought. This will also be a good way to determine how you may want to integrate weed into your lifestyle — whether it’s starting your day with a few hits off your vape pen, or rolling a joint before bed.