How to Buy Weed


Before visiting a dispensary – or buying weed online…we want to teach you everything you need to know about how to buy weed.


If you’ve been in a cannabis dispensary, you know there’s a lot of talk about Sativa and Indica. The conventional wisdom is indica is the sleepy, body-high kind of cannabis and sativa is more peppy and creative. It’s true that Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica are two different types of plants, but these broad generalizations just don’t pan out in terms of individual strains.

We recommend you ask yourself: How do you want to feel? Do you want to be energized? To laugh? Do you want pain relief or do you want to feel sleepy? The results you’re looking for are influences by the terpenes in the products as well.


The retail staff are called budtenders. They have answers to most of your questions related to the plant and ancillary products, but they can’t give medical advice.





Take stock of what you need and what you have. Many dispensaries have online menus or delivery services, so browse before you buy. 


Bring your government issued ID, cash, or debit card. 

How to buy weed: choosing the right CBD product

What is the right dose for CBD?

Try these tips to make sure you’re taking what you need:

  1. NON-INTOXICATING: The standard dose of CBD is 8-10mg taken 1-2x per day. To put your mind at ease – consuming too much CBD will not produce intoxicating effects. Which is good because over-the-counter CBD products are not always labeled with the correct CBD mg content found in the tested formulation. But we’ve got you – all hemp CBD products featured on The High Guide are labeled clearly and tested for safety.

  2. TESTED PRODUCT: The results of independently tested hemp CBD products available for purchase online concluded that a large number of products did not contain the CBD mg promised on the label. The tested dose proved to be either much higher or much lower than labeled. Too much is okay (see above). Too little and it’s unlikely you’ll get the effects you’re after, plus you’re not getting what you’ve paid for. If you don’t know the provenance of where your CBD was grown and processed and you don’t have an opportunity to look at the Certificate of Analysis, then you’re better off buying your CBD from a licensed dispensary.

  3. CERTIFICATE OF ANALYSIS: Maia Reed, the lead CBD educator at Equilibria, knows what makes CBD safe & clean. Here’s what to pay attention to:

  • The Certificate of Analysis (COA) should be from a third party. All companies should be running their own internal tests, but make sure the COA published on a company’s website is from a third party.

  • Cannabis is a bioaccumulator, meaning it naturally absorbs any toxins in the ground. Look for a COA that shows the product has no pesticides, heavy metals, solvents, mycotoxins, or microbials.

  • If you’re using a product that is broad or full-spectrum (not isolate) then the COA should also break down the cannabinoid and terpene content. The more cannabinoids and terpenes there are, the better.


How do I read labels of a CBD cannabis product?

  1. LEARN LABELS: If you’re in a state that has legalized adult use, there’s more and better labeling. What to look for? Packaging requirements vary state-to-state, but all states require a label for THC content. This is printed as a percentage and typically reads above 12 percent. For CBD dominant strains, the THC content can be as low as <2% with CBD rates topping 20 percent.  The package labeling for vape cartridges has much higher rates of THC and CBD (70%+) because the oil is in concentrated form.

  2. READ RATIOS: If you visited a legal dispensary, then you may be familiar with packaging labeled in ratios. Oil tinctures, creams and edibles that include both THC and CBD are labeled in ratios such as 1:1, 3:1, 20:1. The first number is the amount of CBD, and the second number is THC. For example, a 3:1 product has three times the amount of CBD as THC. When you’re buying flower and pre-rolled joints, you may need to do some mental math to figure out the ratios.

  3. DON’T WORRY: If you get it wrong one day and find yourself overly intoxicated with THC…the psychoactive effects of the THC are minimized when consumed with CBD. So if you’re too high, place a dropper full of a CBD oil tincture (hemp derived or minimum 1:1) under your tongue for 30-60 seconds and you’ll feel better within 30 minutes. In the meantime, drink water, get fresh air and, if possible, suck on a lemon or smell black pepper.



Terpenes, sometimes called the aromatherapy of cannabis, are aromatic compounds found in most plants. When you smell through your nose, terpenes are where that smell meets the back of your throat and your taste buds. Why do they matter for weed? When you smell cannabis flower, it connects with you, or it doesn’t. Some people like stinky, cheesy smelling nug. Whereas other are into “gas” – or strains labeled diesel – and others are turned off by it. Follow your nose. If it doesn’t smell good to you, it’s probably not meant to be consumed by you.

Connecticut and Nevada are the only states that require a “terpene profile” listed on package labeling. California and Washington only allow terpenes to be listed on products if the results can be verified by a 3rd party testing lab.

where do i shop for cannabis?

Do you know from whom you’re buying weed?

Who owns the local dispensary? Who owns the delivery service that you call? And who are they hiring? Support dispensaries that seem to be doing their part to make sure that everybody gets a chance to participate in this industry. Consumers of cannabis play a huge role in making sure the industry is equitable going forward.

We support women-owned, women-founded, BIPOC women-run companies. Buying consciously helps support an equitable cannabis industry and helps diverse women thrive in cannabis. Vote with your dollars.

good to know

Choose a licensed cannabis retailer. Where you choose to go may be based on the convenience of the store’s location, it’s selection, or the staff. You can trust it’s safe. Show up prepared.

How do I find a legal dispensary?

Cannaclusive’s The Accountability List shares the dispensaries and brands doing right in cannabis. Weedmaps lists dispensaries by city and state.


Learn more about cannabis

Everything Women Need to Know About CBD Oil Tincture
Cannabis Recipes: How to Make Cannabutter
The Next Best Weed Strains: 12 Alternatives
Cooking With Pot: 6 Best Edible Recipes


We cover legal weed

So you must be legal, too. Age 21+ invited to continue.


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