A visit to a licensed weed shop, AKA a cannabis dispensary, should always be a pleasant experience. Not sometimes. Not most of the time ⎼ all the time. Whether you’re an adult-use or medical cannabis patient, learning, experimenting, and keeping an open mind is essential for a rewarding and positive cannabis experience. It’s important to remember that because each person’s body is different, cannabis products cause different reactions and effects from person to person. A good budtender can (and should) be your personal guide to cannabis and wellness. 

Got Cannabis Questions? 

It doesn’t matter if you’re new to cannabis or you’re a seasoned veteran of Prop 215, or an old-school “legacy” consumer, everyone can learn new things. That’s our philosophy and HPC takes great pride in training our budtenders to help fulfill your cannabis needs. We absolutely love it when our customers ask questions, but sometimes, you may not even know what questions to ask. To help, we thought we’d put together some suggestions for you and call it Ask Your Budtender (AYB).

AYB: What’s the Difference Between Indica and Sativa?

There are literally hundreds of cannabis strains created and grown here in California in the sun or indoors and are typically identified as a Sativa, Indica, or a  Hybrid. Technically, Indica and Sativa refer to the plant’s overall shape, height, leaves, and the best growing environment and conditions for a particular plant.  

When buying cannabis, the first question to ask is what effect are you seeking? Focus, creativity, energy, social engagement? Maybe you need relaxation, pain relief, increased appetite or better sleep? Maybe a combination of one or more effects or different needs? Different strains produce different results, and can vary from person to person as we mentioned earlier. In general, Sativa strains tend to produce uplifting energy, a creative bounce, increased focus and chattiness level (yes, it’s a thing), and pain relief. Sativa’s are best used during the day unless you want to stay awake at night. Indica strains are good for relaxing, sleeping, pain relief, increasing your appetite, and are best used at night. 

AYB: What’s a Hybrid? 

First off, we are not talking about a Toyota Prius. A cannabis Hybrid has been cultivated over time to produce two or more effects. For example, a hybrid like Coastal Sun’s 501st OG will produce a euphoric, mood-changing head high for the first hour or so, and then settle in for a nice body-relaxing effect. A hybrid can be the best of both worlds, so feel free to explore, experiment, and be sure to AYB!

AYB: What are Terpenes and Why Do They Matter? 

Terpenes are found in all plants and determine its aroma and characteristics. In cannabis, terpenes play a direct role in the effects you feel from a particular strain. In fact, many cannabis experts believe a strain’s terpene profile is more important than whether it’s an Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid. For example, linalool is a common cannabis terpene (also prevalent in Lavender) that helps the body relax. Pinene is its opposite, causing enhanced alertness and energy. It smells like it sounds, like a pine tree, and it’s also an excellent bronchodilator. Scientists are discovering more and more terpenes in cannabis, and the results will be truly exciting for both medicinal and adult-use consumers. 

AYB: What Do Labs Test and Why is Testing Important? 

The passage of Prop 64 legalized adult-use, recreational cannabis in California beginning in January 2018. It also required that cannabis be tracked from seed to sale, with batch testing done in certified laboratories to ensure safe cannabis products. Labs are required to test for a variety of things, including potency (THC and CBD percentages and ratios) contaminants like mold, mildew, and microorganisms, heavy metals, and pesticides to name a few. This is one of the main benefits of buying your cannabis from licensed dispensaries like HPC; you know it has been tested and you can ask to see the test results called a COA (certificate of analysis). If a batch fails a test, the entire lot cannot be legally sold. When you buy cannabis from an illegal weed shop, you have no idea where it’s from, who grew it, what’s in it, or whether it’s the actual strain you want to purchase. #BuyLegal and Get #Weedwise are two hashtags supporting licensed, upstanding dispensaries. 

AYB: How Will Edibles Affect Me?

There are many ways to consume cannabis. Traditional smoking using joints, pipes, and bongs remains very popular. Vaping is discrete, and with smoking, vaping, dabbing, etc., the THC, CBD, Terpenes, and other compounds enter your bloodstream through your lungs. However, when you eat an edible, the THC goes through your liver and tends to create a more intense, longer-lasting effect. This is why it’s important to never break the GLASS rule: Go Low And Start Slow. The effects of eating a cannabis product may take more than an hour to hit you, and when they do, you will absolutely feel it. So, start with small amounts and wait at least an hour before eating any more. The old adage truly applies here ⎼ don’t bite off more than you can chew because what is done can’t be undone. Fortunately, edibles provide an easy way to “microdose” and control how much you consume. AYB about dosing suggestions for the product of your choice, whether its a gummy, a yummy chocolate confection, a mint, or THC-infused beverage, and always remember the GLASS rule. You’ll thank us for it. 

That’s it for now and we hope this article provides answers to your initial questions. Variety in life and in cannabis is a good thing, so keep experimenting and keep your questions coming!

We’ll be posting more AYB articles so send us your questions on FacebookTwitter, and  Instagram, email us at [email protected] or call us at 805-874-3151. Even better, come visit us at 501 W. Channel Islands Blvd., Suite 302, Port Hueneme, California. CA LICENSE #C10-0000064-LIC

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