Ask a couple of potheads

by DGO Pufnstuf

Blaze and Puf answer your weed-related questions on tipping, popcorn nugs, and stoner paranoia

Hello out there! This is Blaze and Puf, your two friendly neighborhood potheads. Welcome back to our regularly scheduled column. We’ve been stoked with the amount of feedback and questions we’ve received on this here little thing, so please keep ’em coming! We freaking love talking to you guys about pot.

And, if you’re new to this column, here’s the deal. Because we keep getting texts and emails asking us about cannabis-related things, we decided to turn it into a Q&A session. Apparently we’re your safe place for answers on all things pot, and while we never mind chatting about the devil’s lettuce, we would appreciate you asking the questions sometime BEFORE midnight.

So, if you have questions, we want ’em. We want to know your deepest, darkest queries that you sit up at night thinking about. No question is too basic or noob for us! Send them our way, whether it’s something like, “How much THC is too much THC?” or “What is this that I’m vaping?”

You can ask us ANYTHING YOU WANT TO in here. There are no rules. You can even email us at 4 a.m. on a Tuesday if you want to. The world is your freaking pothead oyster!

Come one, come all with your silly, embarrassing, or just plain weird questions about weed. You can send them over to us at [email protected] and someone will eventually send them our way. Once they do, we’ll do our best to answer them in the best way possible. And here we go.

Every time I go to a dispensary, I’m never sure whether I should tip my bud-tender or not. Should I be tipping?

Blaze: When it comes to deciding whether it’s appropriate to tip or not, it usually comes down to customer service for me. I know lots of people have lots of different opinions on this, but that’s just how I feel about it.

In this case, however, I am a strong advocate for always tipping your bud-tender, if you can. Not only do bud-tenders do the very important task of getting you your weed, but a good bud-tender will take the time to make recommendations and educate customers on cannabis. Also, anytime you have to work a customer service job with a smile plastered on your face all day, you have my pity. So, yes! Tip your budtender, tip your barista, and tip your waiter.

Puf: Gurrrrrrrl (or boooooooy) — you better be tipping! You know how bartenders slang dranks for you in normal times when we’re not all stuck inside hating life? Yeah, it’s pretty much the same type of situation here. No, your budtenders aren’t using shakers to mix up your edibles (that would be cool as hell tho, right?) but they are offering you a service that you can’t get without them. Like, good luck getting the right dosage if your DIY-ing edibles. See you on the other side of that overwhelming trip, I guess.

And, you’re also really rewarding your budtender for their knowledge bank with your tip, too. Think about it. They’re the ones who know the answers to all your weird, noob, frustrating, out-there, or status quo questions when you aren’t sure what a strain is or what would be best for easing muscle soreness. They’re weed experts, man! Don’t you want to make sure they’re taken care of?

That said, I’m sure tipping isn’t **required** of you at any dispensary, but if you want to do the neighborly thing (and the good customer thing!) you best be tossing some dollar dollar bills their way when they ring you up.

And don’t just make it drizzle in the dispensary; make it raaaaaaain! If your budtender took a ton of time out of their day to tell you about the differences between Cheeba Chews and Ripple gummies, or if your budtender was extra patient while you counted out your cash roll, why not do them a solid and tip them out with a phat stack? You’d want someone to do the same for you, right?

I notice that a lot of dispensaries sell popcorn nugs. What is this and are they worth it?

Puf: Man, don’t you dare discount the popcorn nugs! These tiny little nugs aren’t cast-offs! They’re still the same weed you know and love. They’ve just had the unfortunate reality of landing lower on the cannabis plant’s branches as it’s being grown and cultivated.

Because these buds are usually found on the lower parts of the plant in areas close to the soil, they tend not to get the same amount of light, water, space, or nutrients that the buds that are higher up on the plant do. The lower location of the branches causes them to produce smaller, more airy buds with fewer trichomes. These buds, technically known as larf, are colloquially known as popcorn buds when you’re in the weed shop.

Think of it like this: Popcorn nugs are like the runt of the litter. They’re lovable, cute, and best of all? They’re cheaper than some of the more phat nugs that are hand-picked for their stellar qualities.
Because these little buds don’t have that WOW factor that you’d get with full-price bud, they’re usually discounted and sold for a cheaper price than you’d get on those thicc bois from the top of the plant.

But considering that you’re freak-ing smoking the darn things or making edibles or concentrate, do you really need Instagram-ready bud to show off to your friends? Maybe, and that’s your call, but the popcorn buds on the plant can be a great way to score some stellar weed for cheap. And who doesn’t love a goddang deal?

So again, don’t you dare discount my little friends the popcorn nugs. They’re the real MVPs of the weed shop if you’re broke. Remember that.

Blaze: I personally love, love, love pop-corn nugs. They’re just innocent mini nugs waiting to be smoked! Yes, they’re smaller and not as potent as normal bud, but they’re still just as lovable.
These nugs tend to grow on the lower branches of a cannabis plant and have lower levels of trichomes, thus making them less potent, because they get less light than the rest of the plant. Also, they tend to be a bit cheaper than regular flower so they’re also a bit easier on your wallet.

I know CBD isn’t supposed to make me stoned, but if I ingest it, how will it affect me?

Blaze: That’s a tricky question because everyone responds to CBD a little differently. Some people claim not to feel anything at all when they ingest CBD. Other people claim to feel a lot more relaxed, even tired. Like you said, CBD won’t make you feel intoxicated like THC products or alcohol will. In fact, CBD can actually make you feel better, especially if you’re having trouble sleeping or experiencing pain. CBD can be a great alternative to make you more healthy, wealthy, and wise, particularly if you use it medicinally.

Puf: Insert the obligatory “I am not a scientist/doctor/medical professional/someone who passed microbiology on the first try” here. That said, CBD can affect you in a variety of ways. It makes some people sleepy. That happens to my mom, which is why she won’t take it. She ain’t like being sleepy, I guess. Whatever floats your boat.

It makes others relaxed and at ease but not sleepy. That can be a great fix for anxiety or high-strung personality types, but whether it will make YOU relaxed and at ease really depends on how your body reacts to it.

If we’re going on how it makes ME feel, well…that would be nonexistent. I don’t really feel anything when taking just plain ol’ CBD oil. (Don’t @ me, CBD manufacturers. It’s just the way I am!) That said, if I smoke a strain with CBD and THC in it, I can definitely tell the difference. I get more stoned and less anxious. So again, it’s all in how your body reacts to it.

My suggestion, if you’re worried about getting sleepy or too relaxed, is to try it out on a day when you don’t have much to do. That way if you’re rendered useless via relaxation, you can just hang and let it ride. But I would definitely not try it for the first time when you’re anxious about a meeting or a big presentation or something. That right there is just asking for trouble.

I’ve noticed that whenever I smoke weed now it makes me super paranoid. Why does this happen and how can I stop it?
Puf: Speaking. Of. CBD.

This happens to me sometimes! I can get paranoid on some strains! And it freaking blows. I hate it. I don’t like being able to count my heartbeats because I can hear them in my head. I also don’t like feeling like I’m having trouble breathing, which is a new (and super fun!) side effect of some strains for me.

My first suggestion would be to stop going straight up sativa with your strain choices. “Stahp it, Rahn,” to quote the best (and I mean worst) show ever, Jersey Shore. Sativas can amp up the paranoia and anxiety, and you may want to knock that crap off. Go for an indica-leaning hybrid or a straight up indica instead.

My second suggestion would be to try and pair CBD with the THC you’re intaking. If you’re not finding strains with a good mix of CBD and THC, get some CBD gummies or tincture and try to take them when you smoke or vape. CBD can be a huge help with the anxiety from smoking weed, and I’ve tried it myself. It tends to make me extra stoned, but anecdotally, I have noticed it takes a lot of the edge off (even though I know Blaze is going to shit talk and say otherwise below).

If neither of those work, my suggestion would be to really reel in the intake. Maybe you’re overdoing it. Getting super freaking stoned can be super freaking fun, or it can super freaking suck. You never know how it’ll go, so be careful and don’t overdo it. That alone could be the source of your newfound weed anxiety, and cutting back could be the key to like, not hating life when you’re stoned.

Blaze: Getting paranoid if you ingest weed is definitely one of the less fun aspects of marijuana. I have multiple memories of sitting in my home, getting stoned, and becoming convinced that someone was trying to break in only to pass out an hour later without a care in the world.

Unfortunately, paranoia can be one of the side effects of THC because of how your brain connects with cannabinoids. You can avoid the heart-stopping terror of a marijuana-induced panic attack by, first of all, avoiding highly potent marijuana strains.

Instead, seek out CBD heavy products with lower amounts of THC. Though, if you’re Puf, this will only make you even more stoned. You can also watch how many increments of marijuana you ingest. Try taking just one gummy instead of two and how that affects your mental state when you’re stoned.

I’m new to Colorado and the pot scene and I have a dumb question I’m afraid to ask. I don’t want to look stupid, so I’ll just ask it here instead: What is a budtender?

Puf: Well, first of all, there are no dumb questions here. This is a safe space, internet friend.

Second of all, the short answer is that a budtender is your new best friend. They’re your tour guide to the wide world of cannabis. They are your safari leader through the jungles of bud. Ask them and ye shall receive (weed, once you pay for it). You get the idea.

In other words, budtenders are a really freaking useful resource for weed info — especially if you’re new to cannabis. These cannabis experts know EVERYTHING about weed and the products they carry. They’re there to answer all of your weird, uncomfortable, or common questions about the ganja, and while they may seem intimidating — what with their official badges and rules and whatever — they’re happy help out. So don’t be intimidated by them.

DGO February 2023 Page 23 Image 0002And don’t be too cool to ask questions either. There are always new strains or products hitting the shelves, and they know more about that than anybody. Even seasoned weed smokers like Blaze and myself ask (entirely too many) questions of the budtenders. They’ve never gotten annoyed, though. They just do the lord’s work and answer what we’re ask-ing, no matter how dumb it is. And they sell us weed and edibles and other fancy cannabis stuff.

True-ass angels on earth, those ones.
Blaze: Welcome to Colorado, the land of plenty of weed! In my opinion, budtenders can really make or break your experience at a dispensary. Thankfully, Puf and I have had many a good and saintly budtender answer all of our dumb questions. This is important because going to a dispensary can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time. People are waiting for you to speak up and say what you want, meanwhile you can’t tell the difference between the 800 chocolate bars on display.

The first time I went to a dispensary, I had no idea where to begin. A budtender took pity on me and made some great recommendations for me. I instantly felt better about the whole thing. Even if you’re pretty familiar with dispensaries, knowing which products to go with is difficult. There’s so many great ones out there!

That’s where your friendly neighborhood budtender comes in.

What happens if I get too high and need to clear my head? What do I do?

Puf: You die. /shrug
I’m just kidding. You won’t die, but you may FEEL like it if you smoke or ingest too much THC in one sitting. I’ve done this, in fact — Blaze and I were cooking because we’re BFFs like that and I kept hitting a vape pen I’d picked up earlier that day. That pen, unbeknownst to me, was filled with the creepiest of the creepers. I thought I wasn’t getting high, but it turns out that I was. It was just quietly compounding.

After approximately 8,098 hits in a row, it all hit me at once. I wasn’t just high, I was blaaaaaaazed-face, and everything sucked. I felt like I was going to hurl on my shoes and I had to leave some chopping to Blaze, who can’t even be trusted with a dull pencil. In other words, it was a total fail, and I really regretted being such a greedy asshole with the THC.

I’m not going to lie to you. It ruined my whole night. It wouldn’t have, though, if I’d had some freaking CBD on hand. CBD can, in many cases, get rid of the awful anxiety, nausea, and otherwise terrible feeling that comes with too much THC consumption. I don’t keep CBD on hand, though, because I just don’t, but I really could have used some of it that day. It would have helped temper the storm of overconsumption that was shit-ting on my night.

If you’re worried about overdoing it, my suggestion would be to not do that. Go slow. If you get to that anxious or nauseous point, track down some CBD by any means necessary. Blackmail your friend into getting some. Call for help via a carrier pigeon. Use the BBQ grill to send smoke signals that your ship is going down. Whatever you need to do to stop the pain.

Blaze: Hey now, that incident with the dull pencil was supposed to stay between us! In any case, listen to Puf’s advice — take it slow, especially if you’re experimenting a new strain or that strain has high THC content. I know I speak for both of us when I say that, despite being well-versed potheads, we’ve smoked strains that have knocked us through the floor after only one bowl.

Even if you’re an experienced stoner, some of these strains are creepers. Also, you’re only human. One minute you’ll be cutting chicken in your kitchen, the next you’ll be facedown on a couch because you got into a smoking competition with Puf. Not that I’ve ever experienced this before…

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