Welcome to cannabis in today’s world.
There is a good chance that you’ve heard about cannabis, marijuana, weed. Whatever the term, cannabis has been a topic of conversation, debate, and controversy for decades.
But why are you interested now? It could be because of something you saw, heard, or read in the media. Perhaps a legal retail store might have opened up in your city. Maybe a friend or family member has told you they’ve begun using it medically or recreationally. Or maybe it’s just time for you to learn more.
While cannabis has been around for more than 12,000 years, there is a decent chance that it’s new to you — it’s natural to have questions.
As legalization spreads and normalization gradually sets in, new questions arise. In this introduction, we cover the basics of public perception, where and how to buy, and brands and products in order to give you a good starting point in the wide world of weed.
Public Perception of Pot
Cannabis remains both one of the safest intoxicants and one of the most versatile medicines in the world. It’s capable of offering a vast amount of nuanced delight and inspiration in some, while providing therapeutic liberation from ailments small and large in others. Despite being considered an “illicit” drug, cannabis is widely used all over the globe by people looking to improve their quality of life.
Across the world, the regulatory changes in many nations are making it possible for more people to safely purchase, possess, and consume cannabis. This has led the global public to increasingly support the legalization of cannabis. The majority of Americans (64%) and Canadians (68%) are in favor of countrywide legalization; in 2017, Italian advocates collected signatures from 68,000 Italian citizens asking for legal cannabis.
And citizens across the map have incorporated cannabis-use into their everyday lives. One in eight U.S. citizens say they currently smoke marijuana, while one in eight Brazilians (14.3%) who regularly use cannabis claim to smoke a joint within an hour of waking up.
As laws expand and new technologies develop, the world of weed continues to open up, dissolving old stigmas and defying expectations as the most widely used substance on the planet.
Where and How to Buy
If you’re an American citizen looking to purchase cannabis in the United States, whether for medical or adult use, cannabis products must be purchased either through a dispensary (retail storefront) or delivery service.
Dispensaries are retail storefronts that are licensed to legally sell cannabis products. These storefronts will verify your age and eligibility by checking your physician’s recommendation and/or medical ID (in some states), or state-issued identification card or driver’s license. It’s good practice to always be prepared when it comes to identification — don’t get stuck outside.
After your ID has been checked and validated, you may wait before you enter the display room. This is standard and the wait shouldn’t be long. Many waiting areas have educational materials and info cards to read until it’s time to browse for products.
Tip: If you didn’t bring cash, get it now. While some dispensaries accept debit or credit cards, many don’t. You’d be hard-pressed to find a dispensary that doesn’t have an ATM on-site, however. On-site ATMs are usually located in the waiting room, which you can conveniently use while you wait.
Once you enter the display room, you’ll be greeted by an employee who will guide you through the buying process. In the marijuana industry, this person is called a budtender. Budtenders are there to answer your questions – What is that product? How do I use it? What are the effects? How much does it cost?
Delivery services allow you to skip the retail experience and have your order of cannabis products delivered directly to your home. These services allow you to place an order by looking at a menu online, calling, emailing or texting your ID (and recommendation in medical states) and a list of the products you wish to purchase. After that, simply wait for a delivery driver to arrive with your order.
It’s that easy and convenient.
Social clubs are a major component of the European cannabis experience. Sometimes referred to as a “coffee shop,” other times a “social consumption lounge,” these regulated businesses allow people to legally purchase and consume cannabis in a safe location. These businesses have an array of cannabis products similar to a dispensary, but are created with the idea of giving consumers a place to enjoy the product and socialize. This model of legalization exists in the Netherlands, Spain, and Germany and is expanding to other parts of the world.
Lab testing is a major benefit of purchasing cannabis from dispensaries and delivery services. Cannabis products are tested for mold, pesticides or other harmful materials. In addition to ensuring products are clean and safe, labs can test for cannabinoid and terpene profiles. These profiles indicate the strength, smell, and taste of a cannabis product, allowing people to have a better understanding of how the product will affect them before they purchase it.
Brands and Products
While the majority of cannabis users across the globe consume marijuana flower, cannabis products come in many different forms for many different experiences. Whether you’re a traditionalist who loves the feel of breaking apart buds, rolling a joint and smoking with friends, or you’re a contemporary user who wants to reap the benefits without feeling high, cannabis in today’s world means you can use it for a wide range of reasons, needs, and desires — it’s just a matter of finding the right product.
As more people enter the market, there’s a natural increase in the variety of ailments and needs to be met, creating a greater demand for newer types of products. This has allowed brands – cultivators, processors, and manufacturers – to create products that have proven successful in other markets. From portable vaporizers to lip balms, brands have seemingly figured out how to enhance a myriad of consumer products using cannabis.
But what does that mean for you?
It means that if you want to consume flower or concentrates to feel relaxed, euphoric, stimulated, sedated, or “high,” you can browse a wide selection of flower and concentrates from cultivators and processors who are perfecting cannabinoid and terpene profiles to provide that exact experience. If you’re looking for alternative ways to get the medical benefits of cannabis, you can choose from edibles, topicals, tinctures and more to avoid smoking or vaporizing. The options are vast and quickly growing to suit an array of preferences.
Training for your first marathon? Recover with CBD water. Looking for a discreet way to relax from your stressful job? A vape pen might be the perfect solution to turn a long day into a relaxing night.