What is a budtender?

by DGO Web Administrator

Hello out there! This is Blaze and Puf, your two friendly neighborhood potheads. We’ve decided to try out a new feature in this here magazine called, well, “Ask a couple of potheads.” We’re doing this because we keep getting more and more texts and emails asking us things you guys think are too dumb to ask other people. 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. (Sorry to call you out, mom.)Otherwise, we want your questions. We freaking LOVE THAT, provided it’s at an hour when we aren’t passed out from too much of a good thing. For real. We like being the idiots who answer your deepest, darkest questions on things like, “How much THC is too much THC?” or “What is this that I’m vaping?” So, in order to get you guys to stop texting us photos of some blurry lump of bright yellow wax at 2 a.m., we thought we’d open up a Q&A instead. 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! So come one, come all with your silly, embarrassing, or just plain weird questions about weed, weed-related issues, and whatever else you can dream up. We’ll do our best to answer them in the best way possible. And here we go.> 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, 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 to help out. So don’t be intimidated by them.

And 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 asking, no matter how dumb we might think 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-o-plenty for 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 (yup, we used to think ours were too) 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 even tell the difference between the 800 chocolate bars on display so how will you come up with an order.

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 are 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, so much so that I had to leave the chopping to Blaze — a pothead 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 shitting 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 with a new strain or if 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 face down on a couch because you got into a smoking competition with Puf. Not that I’ve ever experienced this before…

> Are there really differences between the strains? Or is it just a clever marketing tool?

Blaze: I’m not much of a scientist (I mean, I’m not at all…) but there is a rhyme and reason behind different strains. Without going into a bunch of mumbo-jumbo science (just kidding, science is real — please believe in it!), here’s a basic breakdown of how different strains work.

When you’re shopping at a dispensary, there are three types of strains you’ll see on display: sativas, indicas, and hybrids. Sativas, Puf’s personal favorite, is the type of strain you’ll want to smoke during a party. They’re energizing, uplifting, and not only will they give you killer head-highs, but you’ll find yourself having serious bouts of laughter. Indicas, in the meantime, are known for their couch-lock abilities, aka body-highs. Indica strains are usually used for relaxation and help with sleeping. Hybrids are a mix of sativas and indicas and typically lean one way more than the other. From there, it breaks down even further into individual strains like Durban Poison and OG Kush.

Ultimately, though, it depends on you and how your body reacts to cannabis.

Puf: You know, I wish I could tell you that it was a marketing tool, but I know firsthand that it’s not. The reason I know this is because I smoke entirely too much weed, and most of the time I’m trying out a new strain for our weed reviews.

As part of those reviews, I have found that there are huge, giant, big-ass freaking differences from one strain to the next. For example, many moons ago I thought I was primarily a sativa-lover. I thought this until I smoked a specific strain of sativa that gave me terrible freaking anxiety. Like, paranoid and weirded out by everything. That strain, which I will not name, is probably fine for most people. I don’t blame the strain for my weird body. But something about it effed my head up enough that I couldn’t tolerate it. I can still smoke other sativas, though. The differences between that strain and other sativas are vast enough that I don’t get anxiety from other sativas.

Indicas, on the other hand, are mostly fine for me. But some indica strains will make me hella sleepy or hungry while others will have more of a couch-lock effect. I can certainly tell the difference between the strains UNDER that indica umbrella. Same goes for hybrids.

Not all mac and cheese taste alike, and not all strains act alike. It’s totally dependent on the strain, the percentage of THC, and like a zillion other factors I don’t understand.

> I hate edibles but I also don’t like smoking. Do you guys know of a happy medium that won’t knock me into next year?

Blaze: Oof! Felt this one — I too used to abhor edibles. They made me feel drunk, but not a fun drunk. Since COVID-19 quarantine started, however, I started experimenting more with edibles because, well, I was hella bored. Now, edibles are much more appealing to me than they were even a year ago because I know what I like now.

The good news is there are lots of options for you to test out should you be up to the task. More companies like Canyon THC and CannaPunch are making it easier to microdose with edibles. If you’re unfamiliar with microdosing, it means to eat or drink only a small amount of a substance, cannabis in this instance, so you can still enjoy the effects but not get high if it makes you uncomfortable. Canyon THC has an edible gummy line called ChewIT that comes in at just 2.5 mg of THC per serving (one gummy). Most edibles come in at 10 mg per piece so it’s a nice change of pace if you’re looking to have a bit more control over your intake. Plus, they’re delicious.

Puf: Ahh, good old edibles. Blaze will tell you that I used to freaking hate them too for the same reasons. Get too high once and you’re scarred for life. I did it the other day, in fact. Thought I was Billy Big Balls cause I took one and didn’t feel anything. The next night I ate two and was so high I felt like I was going to fall into a hole in my living room floor. I went to bed instead as punishment for my dumbass sins.

The good news is that there are so many freaking options out there these days. When we first started reviewing weed (and edibles), it seemed like the high-CBD to low-THC ratios weren’t available in edibles. These days you can get whatever the hell you want. You want a 20 CBD to 1 THC ratio? Sounds bunk to me, but have at it! There are options! You want a 5 milligram edible? Go for it!

My suggestion would be to try out different ratios and products and to start slow. For the most part, edibles are going to have different, more psychedelic effects than smoking would. If you start out slow and take half a dose, or quarter a dose, you’ll eventually know what your optimal dosage is. If you go balls-to-the-wall and take two or more, you’re probably going to feel like you need to throw up on your shoes. Facts.

I would like to say, though, that you may just find that you don’t like edibles at all, and that’s OK too! Those suckers aren’t for everyone. I still get real weird about trying them out because of a bad experience or six. So educate yourself, read reviews, talk to friends about what they like, and start freaking SLOW. That’s the only responsible way to do it.

Want to submit a question for Blaze and Puf? Email [email protected] with your questions. We’ll do our best to answer them in our rambling, semi-coherent fashion.

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Ask a couple of potheads

We’re here to answer your weird, wild, and wonderful weed questions all day, e’ry day Hey there, friends! This is Blaze and Puf, your resident

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