Bud Tender 101 by Rachel Grimsley

This is Bud Tender 101, here to give you some of the necessary know-how to bring your best to bud tending. If you aren’t interested in working in the industry, this information will be helpful for your shopping and consuming experience. Recreational stores in legal states offer a variety of products that range from classic flower to baked edibles and tinctures to highly concentrated hash oil and vaporizers. With such a huge assortment of products, learning about processing techniques, dosages, and different options is important.

A selection of licensed, legal marijuana, from Buddy Boy Farms

First thing’s first, flower! Bud is available in cannabis shops statewide, sold in quantities from a single gram to an ounce. Many stores also offer pre-rolled joints for convenience and simplicity. For a higher cannabinoid profile, many users opt for hash oil concentrates, sold in smaller quantities starting at a half gram. Concentrates range dramatically in price depending on the solvent used to process them. Butane or propane extracted oils will often sell for a lower price point whereas CO2 extracted oils and solvent-less rosins can be rather expensive. Oil is also available in cartridges for vaporizer pens, simplifying and streamlining the dabbing process. If the flower doesn’t provide quite enough of a desirable high and dabs are too intense for you or your customer’s tastes, classic hash or kief add a little extra something to the typical bowl or joint.

A selection of Edible and Topical preparations of Legal Marijuana in WA

If smoking isn’t your cup of tea, then try brewing up a mug and adding a THC or CBD infused tincture to the mix. This is among hundreds of thousands of ways to consume medicated edibles, such as chocolates, candies, drinks and of course, “special” baked goodies. There are some very practical and clever edibles on the market today, from mints and breath sprays to flavorless capsules designed to be easily ingested. Legally they may only be sold in doses of 10 milligrams, though some people require multiple servings of ten milligrams to feel an adequate effect. Some people require as little as five milligrams in order to feel a strong high, so always start small and take significant time to allow the cannabinoids in the edibles to break down into your bloodstream before taking more. —–Note, some heavier consumers will need over 100 milligrams to feel the effects. —-If these options don’t appeal to you or combat the pain that many prescribed patients suffer from then topicals are the way to go. Topicals are often used to treat muscle spasms or soreness, joint pain, and to improve overall skin quality —-without delivering a psychoactive effect.—- They tend to be somewhat pricey but are incredibly useful in helping to cure a variety of aches and ailments and many customers swear by their effectivity. Of course, different highs will be associated with the different cannabinoids in each product and are altered through every step of processing. Edibles baked with a heady sativa such as Jack Herer may still give substantial body effects that could induce drowsiness whereas smoking or vaporizing the bud could give you a very different clear-headed or alert sensation.

A graphic depiction of differences between Indica and Sativa. Source: Leafly.com

So what exactly is the difference between a sativa and an indica? Cannabis Sativa plants tend to grow taller and thinner and prosper outdoors. Sativa buds are known to have a more head-oriented high commonly associated with positivity and creativity. Common medicinal uses for sativa plants are to treat depression, fatigue and ADD, amongst others. Cannabis Indica generally grows shorter and bushier than sativa plants, making it a prime option for indoor growing operations. Indica effects tend to fall more on the body-oriented side, often bringing on a more relaxed, fuzzy-headed sensation. Indicas are particularly helpful for patients who are looking for relief from anxiety, insomnia and muscle pain. Hybrids between the two are going to offer a huge range of effects in between, from a combined head and body high to a whole new, unfamiliar psychoactive experience.

Once you know what kind of high you’re hoping for, it’s easy to break down what kinds of products are best. For an intense, couch-locking body high many people opt for edibles or indica-based concentrates. For a more functional, mind or body-stimulating experience sativa-based buds and topicals are a great choice. Some people don’t desire the high but rather the medicinal effects of marijuana and therefore benefit more greatly from capsules, tinctures, and topicals as they tend to have more CBD-based options. Certain strains of bud are even grown specifically with low THC levels for those users who need cannabis as medication more than they desire the plant’s psychoactive effects. Frequent smokers of flower who have built up a tolerance over time would be more likely to enjoy the substantially higher THC content offered by BHO, rosin, CO2 hash oil, and live resin than a less-experienced user might. Other people may find this overwhelming or exhausting, so it’s important to ask a lot of questions and get familiar with the needs and boundaries of your customer – or yourself.

Written by Samuel Beresford