Cannabis curious: Top 3 tips to get your journey off the ground

Steven Stairs, Canadian Cannabis activist who has advocated for legalization for years, buys his first legal marijuana in Winnipeg, Man., on Wednesday, October 17, 2018. Marijuana is now legal in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

By James Matthews

Going to a cannabis store can seem daunting. This is especially true if you’re not sure what to expect or don’t know where to start. So, we reached out to some of B.C.’s best bud builders who shared their top three tips for beginners.

Aaron Kumar, Kiaro

Have a plan. To make your first experience rewarding and not too overwhelming, it is always great to have some information prior to coming in. One of the first questions we ask is how do you plan on consuming? With more categories available, this can be overwhelming for some customers. It’s always great to have an idea on how you plan on consuming, whether that is through inhaling, edibles or beverages. Our team members are there to help and support but most of this would be a personal preference.

Trust your sales associate. You might’ve heard something from a friend or read an article online, but there is a lot of inaccurate and misleading information out there. We provide an open space for you to feel comfortable in, while asking questions and learning more about the products that interest you. Feel comfortable knowing that regulated cannabis retailers have your best interest at heart.

Commit to moderation. As the saying goes: “start low and go slow”. Take your time with cannabis. Learn what you like and dislike. This will help you find out what your reaction is to particular strains and consumption methods.

Randy Tingskou, A Little Bud Cannabis

Stop on by! Don’t be afraid to come in, even if it’s just to look. This is such an important first step. We won’t pressure you into trying anything or purchasing anything at any visit, let alone your first visit.

Don’t rush. Once you’ve stopped in at A Little Bud, feel free to browse around and explore the store. It’s your time and your money. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and if you don’t understand ask for clarification.

Build a relationship. If you find a store or particular staff member (we like to call them Budtenders) you like and trust, stick with them. Building a relationship will give you a steady source of updates, tips and advice.

Megan Kelly and Cory Waldron, Mood Cannabis Co.

Start low, go slow. It is an ancient proverb in the cannabis world, but for good reason. It’s advice that anyone trying cannabis for the first time should listen to. Don’t go big for your first experience, you can always take more later. Give your cannabis some time to work its magic too – especially with edibles and oils. Give edibles one or two hours to kick in before you decide to take more. Many people who had a bad experience cannabis most likely took more than their tolerance could handle.

Better together. In the current cannabis retail market, we’re still seeing THC and CBD being treated as two separate experiences by consumers. But the reality is: both THC and CBD work better together. This is a phenomenon called the “Entourage Effect” which is the way cannabinoids (mainly THC and CBD) interact within the body. Adding some CBD bud to your pre-roll can seriously elevate your high. Adding a tiny bit of THC into your CBD tincture can help CBD absorb into your system and deliver the full range of healing and positive effects. Both first time and chronic cannabis users can benefit from the Entourage Effect!

Experiment! The products available in the legal cannabis market are constantly evolving. It seems like every week there are countless new genetics or consumption methods available. Try them all! Every type of cannabis flower has different properties based on the original genetics, growing methods, and curing process. And the effect of cannabis can vary wildly based on the consumption method you choose. Rather than going into a retail cannabis store looking for Sativa or Indica, tell your budtender (or “Moodmaker” if you come visit a Mood Cannabis Co) what kind of effect you’re looking for, or what activities you want to do while you enjoy your cannabis. They may recommend a completely different consumption method based on your desired effect! Don’t be shy to step outside your comfort zone.

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