A budtender is often the first point of contact for many medical marijuana patients. There is a large majority of customers who might not only be first-time patients but also first-time users of marijuana. These numbers are bound to increase as recreational use is legalized in more U.S. states. This is why it is essential for budtenders to be knowledgeable as well as effective communicators.
Patient's who are 'green' to the medical marijuana scene will assuredly have many questions upon entering a dispensary sales room. Every budtender should be prepared to answer the following:
1. What's the difference between THC and CBD?
This question is posed more than you might think. Many dispensaries now include the THC and CBD percentages on each individual strain of flower. Curious patients might very well inquire about the differences between THC and CBD. Budtenders will need to be able to explain that THC is the active cannabinoid in marijuana that causes a psychoactive effect or simply put, THC gets you high.
CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid and is used mostly commonly for medicinal purposes. A budtender can then recommend products with high percentages of CBD for patients looking to alleviate pain, inflammation, anxiety, and spasms especially epilepsy. Teaching patient's about this fundamental difference will help them decide what they prefer and help budtender's guide them to best medication.
2. How do Indica and Sativa differ?
This is perhaps the most frequently asked question by medical marijuana newcomers and one budtenders need to be able to convey in layman's terms. Budtenders should avoid the technical differences between these two and focus on relaying the effects. Indica cannabis strains are often more of a sedative and can be useful for treating insomnia also best consumed before bed.
Sativa strains typically produce an energizing effect for patients that is more cerebral and is best consumed for social settings, physical activity, and sparking creativity. It's also important for a budtender to point out hybrid strains, which are a happy balance of both indica and sativa. Information on effects, symptoms, taste, and smell can all be included in the product description on a quality dispensary POS system.
3. What's the correct dosage for edibles?
The potency of edibles can vary widely from product to product. A budtender should advise patients to tread carefully when consuming edibles. There are several factors that play a role in predicting the right dosage for a patient but most budtenders will recommend starting with a 10mg dosage. It's extremely important to remind customers to read the label and follow the suggested consumption instructions.
Patients will want to avoid eating edibles on an empty stomach as they might be tempted to up the dosage out of pure hunger. Everyone has a different tolerance to THC, so for those less experience it's important to stress small dosage amounts to start. A knowledgeable budtender will also advise waiting at least 45 minutes to an hour before deciding to up the dosage.
4. What's the advantage of vaping as opposed to smoking?
Vaping has become all the rage recently as it offers some unique advantages over smoking marijuana. The most persuasive advantage is that vaping has shown to reduce the amount of harmful carcinogens and toxins ingested by the patient. Vaping only heats the marijuana while smoking is the combustable form of consumption. A well-informed budtender will often recommend vaping for customers who have respiratory problems such as asthma, lung cancer, or COPD.
It has also been suggested that vaping is more efficient, producing a stronger effect with the same amount of cannabis. Many users also find that it smells and tastes better as well as being extremely discreet. These advantages also make it desirable for patients who might be new to medical marijuana as it's easier to intake smaller amounts.
With the good also comes some bad. Vapes require a lot of maintenance with constant cleaning and charging necessary for it to work properly. It can also be a pricey investment for someone who is just a casual user. While there are a few disadvantages it's fair to say the pro's definitely outweigh the cons.
5. What are the legal limits for medical marijuana use?
Once a patient has decided to purchase their preferred cannabis product, they might have questions regarding legal limitations. Every budtender should have a strong understanding of their state's medical marijuana laws to inform customers where and when it is safe to consume. Currently, every state has regulations regarding the use of cannabis while operating a motor vehicle and patient's should be made aware of these limits.
First-time users might also need to be educated on legal possession amounts as well as where they are allowed to consume their medication. It's always a good idea to keep this type of information in handy pamphlets or flyers that are easy to distribute to customers. High-tech dispensary POS systems can also notify a budtender of purchasing limits and compliance regulations to ensure both the patient and business are well within the law.