5 Things to Know Before Your First Dispensary Visit

Whether you live in a state with legal marijuana or are simply visiting on vacation, visiting a legal weed dispensary for the first time can be both interesting and a little intimidating. This quick guide will help ensure you know what to expect to make your experience easier and more fun.

Dispensaries Are Not Head Shops

If you've never been to a dispensary before, you may be envisioning something like a head shop with cluttered shelves full of bongs, glass pipes, and Grateful Dead memorabilia. In fact, most dispensaries are much more organized, sleek, and professional in appearance, more closely resembling a nicer pharmacy than a head shop.

You will also be asked for identification at the door and will most likely notice a security guard closely monitoring your actions. This isn't intended to scare you: these measures are simply in place to adhere to state law and prevent theft in an industry with expensive merchandise.

It's Best to Research Ahead of Time

One way to cut down on the intimidation factor is to do some research ahead of time. Leafly is a helpful resource for reading reviews of both dispensaries and specific marijuana strains. In general, indica strains promote relaxation and reduce symptoms of anxiety, sativa strains are energizing, and hybrid strains combine benefits of both.

Most dispensaries sell a variety of products in these strains, including loose marijuana, vape pens and cartridges, edibles, and joints. A simple joint is affordable and easy, while a vape pen with a pre-filled cartridge is a good investment if you plan to smoke often and don't want to the mess and odor of dealing with a pipe or bong.

There Is Some Etiquette to Follow

Believe it or not, there is some basic etiquette to keep in mind when visiting a dispensary. Most dispensaries do not allow photos inside, for example, and even if there is no signage indicating this, it's still typically frowned upon. It's also nice to bring cash to tip your "budtender" at the end of your transaction. In general, be mindful of the fact that a dispensary is a business and that many visitors are seeking relief for serious medical issues. If you act like you would in any business setting (as opposed to acting like you are at a party), you will fit in quite well.

Feel Free to Ask Questions

The "budtenders" are there to answer questions and help make sure you are happy with your experience and your purchase. You can ask them for their suggestions based on your particular needs (anxiety, pain relief, or simply looking for a fun experience, for example), lifestyle, and budget. Professionals are happy to provide educational information about the various strains and products available so that you leave feeling confident you made the best choice.

Don't Get in Over Your Head

If you are visiting a legal marijuana state from elsewhere or are simply an inexperienced smoker, it's important not to get in over your head. If you are visiting Colorado, keep in mind that marijuana can sometimes exaggerate symptoms of dehydration and altitude sickness, so be sure to drink plenty of water before, while, and after you partake. 

Edibles in the form of cookies and candy may look appealing, but they tend to have a much more potent high that builds very slowly. Be careful to only ingest a small amount and wait an hour or so for the drugs to take full effect before you decide to have more. A joint or a toke from a vape pen is a more gentle option if you are unsure of your tolerance level.

By following these tips, you will seem like an old pro during your first marijuana dispensary visit. Contact a company like California Herbal Relief Center for more information.