Befriend your local budtenders
Young Kwak photo
Budtender Nicole Walker is ready to help you out at Royals Cannabis.

The world of cannabis is bigger than ever. Dispensaries offer products ranging from the traditional joint to concentrate products with names like shatter, wax or crumble that mean absolutely nothing to those not in the know. So, where to begin your cannabis journey? Unfortunately, there's no road map. You're going to have to decide for yourself.

You're not alone, though, and you'll realize that as soon as you set foot in a dispensary.

"Ask lots of questions," says Justin Hutcherson, general manager at Cinder North. "New customers who come in and ask to be educated are the most fun to help."

Budtenders are passionate about cannabis the way sommeliers are about wine, and they're just as knowledgeable. Good dispensaries train their staff to help guide everyone, experienced or novice, to the product that will best suit their wants or needs.

The first question you should ask yourself, though, is why are you looking to try cannabis? Is your curiosity driven by the therapeutic or the recreational value of the plant's effects? If it's the latter, you've got a lot of options.

"Prerolls are a great place to start because we have different sizes," Hutcherson says. "For the most part you're going to have 80 to 100 joint options to choose from."

Plus, a preroll is self-contained. Simply light and puff until you're ready to put it out. They're also great for honing in on your ideal strength and strain because of the variety available at low prices.

If you're looking for the therapeutic effects of cannabis, you may want to consider the other sections of the store, including edibles.

And once you stray from the smoking sections you'll start to find more products with a focus on CBD: edibles, tinctures, lotions, balms and more. Some products work in localized areas, only impacting the location they're applied, while others work generally throughout the body. Some get you high while others don't. If you're concerned about these things, let your budtender know.

There's a theme here, have you noticed? It's that interacting with your budtender is key as you embark on your cannabis journey.

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