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Picking Weed at the Rec Shops

Discussion in 'Vaporizables' started by Smoke420, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. Smoke420

    Smoke420 Active Member

    I was wondering how people pick what weed they are going to get when they go to a dispensary. I live in Washington State and most of the shops have their menus online, some have percentages of THC and some don't. It definitely helps going into the shops, to know what to look for.

    I have asked the "budtenders" for suggestions and have only had one give me good green. The others I felt were new to smoking and didn't know what they were talking about, or more likely they were just pushing what needed to go. Either way the weed was low quality and overpriced. The pricing is all over the place too, I can go to two different shops with a few miles of each other and see the same product for 10 dollars more, so price doesn't mean much.

    I don't like spending more what I would pay on the street, a good deal is good, but I want good products and have found that there is too much to choose from and wonder if there a better way to find good strains. I look for good looking meaty nugs at the moment, and it works seems well.

    I have a Vapcap, The M and I using it to taste the different strains and some of them are just delicious. I want to find potent strains, Sativas are my go to since I work nights, but I am opened to try anything.

    What tips would you give or strains / brands work well for you?
    seaofgreens likes this.
  2. Boden

    Boden Aspie polymath

    In the shop
    I’m down here in Vancouver WA so we get the same selection. Take a jewelers loop with you. The biggest problem I have seen is companies double dipping by tumbling the bud in a trimming drum. This knocks most of the trichomes off and they sell that separately. If the sugar leafs are missing that is a big red flag.

    You want hand trimmed hand packed.

    Over trimmed bud is a waste product.

    Once you see it under magnification you will understand.
  3. Squiby

    Squiby Well-Known Member

    I have a lot of favorites but my all time fav is Durban Poison. It is an African Landrace Sativa. It is high in THCV which reduces appetite, promotes bone growth etc. The high is very energetic and clear headed. I love it. It's my daytime "gotta get things done" choice.

    Any Jack variety is usually also a winner. The Thai varieties are lighter than DP and are great for a nice afternoon break.

    You can always check out Leafly.com to look up the varieties offered at your dispensary. You can search for specific effects so you know what before you visit the store.
    C No Ego, Dynavaper, steama and 3 others like this.
  4. OldNewbie

    OldNewbie Well-Known Member

    I've gone to fully legal, legal medical dispensary, quasi legal (Acts like medical but with no local license.) and...let's go with...pirate places all in the last year.

    I've never had an online menu match the inventory. At the fully legal I went to, they had monitors on the walls with product and pricing inside the dispensary and THAT wasn't right either. (I'd look at the menu and ask for it and would be told they were out.)

    The most I'll rely on an online menu for is to see if a place carries a particular vendor or item in general. (For instance, I'm in love with the "dablicator" packaging.)
    Shooby, seaofgreens and asdf420 like this.
  5. psychonaut

    psychonaut Company Rep

    Follow your nose. Chances are you are going to enjoy the cannabis more if you are attracted to the smell. You can always ask the potency of the cannabis prior to purchase if you are concerned with that. Keep in mind a lot of flowers are going to have a range of potency. I have 6 different strains between 23-25% top end THC, 8-15% on the low end. There are definitely a couple of them that are more potent than the others, I chalk that up to overall cannabinoid content which you may only get to see the THC % on the label.
  6. asdf420

    asdf420 Well-Known Member

    At least in WA, the THC% in the packaging isn't very accurate. It's better to just look at the bud
    seaofgreens likes this.
  7. OldNewbie

    OldNewbie Well-Known Member

    In CA, looking at the bud is getting less accurate too. Because of the regulations, there is no looking at or sniffing the product that is actually sold. (At a fully legal dispensary.) The place will have a "representative" sample in a jar to look at and, if you like it, a package of it is given you. Some of the packages are sealed, but you can't really check even if you can open the package as, once it is opened, it can't be resold.

    § 5405. Cannabis Goods Display

    (a) Cannabis goods for inspection and sale shall only be displayed in the retail area.

    (b) The retailer shall not display cannabis goods in a place visible from outside the licensed premises.

    (c) Cannabis goods may be removed from their packaging and placed in containers to allow for customer inspection. The containers shall not be readily accessible to customers without assistance of retailer personnel. A container must be provided to the customer by the retailer or its employees, who shall remain with the customer at all times that the container is being inspected by the customer.

    (d) Cannabis goods removed from their packaging for display shall not be sold, shall not be consumed, and shall be destroyed pursuant to section 5054 of this division when the cannabis goods are no longer used for display.

    Authority: Section 26013, Business and Professions Code. Reference: Section 26070, Business ..and Professions Code.​
    macbill and seaofgreens like this.
  8. psychonaut

    psychonaut Company Rep

    Regarding the actual look of the buds, most shops have magnifying glasses, if they don't walk out and try another shop! There are too many options out there. Shop at spots that grow organic and sun grown if possible, you'll get the best expression of the cultivar. Also, I dont know how they do things where you are, but I've had caregivers break open nugs to show me the inside. I like to tell them what is important to me (i.e. resin for squishing rosin) and that helps them narrow it down. This is all just for my own convenience. If I wanted to spend an hour looking over the 30 strains they have, but I don't. You can certainly ask when the herb was harvested, again if they don't know, there should be options where they do (i.e. the smaller shops with only a handful of employees and everyone is in the loop on the garden/farm).

    My adopted son brought some herb that was honestly shameful to see, was $99 an ounce. Basically stemy larf and shake. Seriously, right around the corner, walking distance, you can get pristine organic sungrown cannabis (TOP COLAS) for the same price.

    Also look at the ingredient labels, here's an example of cannabis you can feel good about -


    Sketchy cannabis distillate ingredients from retail dispensary

    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  9. Mulchmaker

    Mulchmaker Veni Vidi Vapi

    Get the Leafly app for your phone. With it, you can see all the dispensaries around you, browse their menus, read descriptions and reviews of various stains, and find out about good deals (there's a dispensary near my house that cuts their prices to $5/g on Fridays for every strain they carry--that's cheaper than what I paid in high school in the '80s!).

    Armed with information like that, I look for good deals on varieties I've never tried before. Call it the smorgasbord method, if you will. I keep a little journal (similar to the ones I have for beer), where I can jot down notes on my impressions of each strain so if I ever run out of new varieties to try I'll know which ones to revisit.

    I don't spend much time with the budtenders. I walk in knowing what I want, get it, and go. I don't worry about staring at and sniffing the sample buds in the store. Competition around here is so fierce (there are more than a dozen shops within a mile of my house) that if a dispensary is moving crap product, they go out of business quickly.

    Get out there and enjoy the bounty of this golden age of weed!
  10. seaofgreens

    seaofgreens My Mind Is Free

    I have only gone in for years with the sole purpose of getting 1-3 single grams of flavor sampling. I like to do the following:

    When I get into the room with a budtender, I like to feel them out. I ask them if they can elaborate on something related to the growing process of a strain, or if they can describe a strain in general terms. Sometimes you get surprised, and the tender knows their stuff. Then I just ask them... "What's good?" And never been disappointed.

    If they have no idea about how the plant was grown or describe the strain in generic terms like, "well it's Indica," "Well, it's got 25% THC," I give them a polite nod, and move onto my sensory perception.

    Visually, I like to look at calyx size, then gland size and color. I tend to find (not always, but usually,) that the larger calyx also tends to have fewer stems/more bud for your dollar. I also tend to be more of a fan of larger elongated resin glands rather than the more sessile stalked varietals (although again, some will surprise you.) I'm also looking for a frosted flakes kind of hue to the resin glands, I don't like to see an amber hue as that usually (not always) means to me that it is a bit over-ripe for my tastes and will likely leave me more drowsy.

    After that, I look at the bottom of a jar or whatever, and observe the amount of shake at the bottom. This is a likely indicator of how dry the buds are without being able to handle them, and whether I want to bother further. I am looking for little to no shake as the buds should retain enough moisture so as not to create a pile of shake.

    I know some states have everything individually sealed, so this would be where I stop if in that case. In CO they tend to have a stash jar you can open up, look into, smell, etc.

    So here is where I would ask the tender to pull out jars x,y,z based on visual inspection above, and then I pop the jars and see what smells waft out.

    I pick what intrigues. I tend towards fuelly/citrus flavors and for some reason don't really like grape/anise varieties. Your preference will vary of course.

    Finally.... Never be afraid to walk away. Lots of people have no idea how to cultivate good marijuana, and they will still try and sell it to you for the same price. It is not your responsibility to purchase shitty product just because you made the mistake of walking into their shop. Don't feel like you have to buy anything just because you showed someone a med card or ID or waited like a patient to see the bud doctor. There is always a better option somewhere else. Just seen a few folks buy some really terrible weed because they felt bad or scared. So I like to remind folks that you don't have to buy something if you don't like what you see.

    Hope you have a good experience either way.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
    duff, macbill, Alexis and 10 others like this.
  11. CarolKing

    CarolKing Singer of songs and a vapor connoisseur

    I live in wa state as well. Everything is prepackaged so we can’t smell it first. I miss the days of the large jars filled with bud sitting on the shelves of the medical shops. We do have a lot of different strains and products to choose from.

    Sometimes you can find something in just 1 gram amounts and you want an eighth, so compromise is something the cannabis shopper needs to keep in mind. We have areas that have shops a half a mile apart and the prices are all over the place.

    I like to find organic bud and I have favorite producers. I like to go for good vapor taste as well as how well it works for my pain or how well it gives off a good buzz. I like a berry taste in my vapor or a citrus flavor. I don’t like the vapor flavor of diesel.

    I see some of our cost is just from how our cannabis is packaged. I buy an 1/8 and it’s in a very nice thick jar 4 times as large as it needs to be, so the cost is passed onto the consumer. I’ve seen 1 gram in a tiny jar. Nobody is recycling any jars either because I’ve asked.

    I like to buy a premium product if I’m going to shell out $40 for an eighth or $10 for a gram. The shatters and waxes have better taste than in the medical cannabis only days IMO. We have strict laws how the concentrates are made here. The edibles are too expensive and it really gouges the medical patient moneywise.

    I also like to use Leafly and I like to view the menu of the shop that I’m going to. Hopefully the shop keeps their menu up to date, I complain if they don’t. Sometimes I make a list. Lately I have been buying certain strains, I haven’t been trying out many new ones. I’ve been going with what I know I like. I do want to try out chocolope if I see it.:2c::leaf:
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  12. Squiby

    Squiby Well-Known Member

    I bought some Chocolope last summer. I had been waiting and watching for it to come to my dispensaries.

    I was unimpressed. It could have been just the batch, but my sample was almost tasteless, vapor was harsh and the high uninspired.

    Talking about chocolate... I do like the Thai varieties that I've had so far, so I'm hoping to get some Chocolate Thai one of these days.
    Smoke420, macbill, Alexis and 4 others like this.
  13. CarolKing

    CarolKing Singer of songs and a vapor connoisseur

    I had a strain called chocolate chunk before and i bought some a couple of different times. It was harsh and I didn’t like it. It didn’t taste like chocolate either. I won’t buy it again. The chocolate could even be referring to the color of the bud when it’s growing. Kinda like banana Kush, it doesn’t have a banana flavor it was named after the look of the bud while it was growing. The big buds looked like bananas. Anyway that is what I’ve read. I’ve had banana Kush, no banana flavor with what I had.
    macbill, Alexis, psychonaut and 2 others like this.
  14. macbill

    macbill Gregarious Misanthrope

    The Evergreen State
    I suspect the values shown on packages are derived from a small sample of top colas. Your bud's position could be from anywhere.
    asdf420, OldNewbie and Squiby like this.
  15. OldNewbie

    OldNewbie Well-Known Member

    In theory, it is the lab who should choose the sample; at least in CA. But, even if the regs are followed, who am I going to use as a lab? The guy who always picks the worst of the crop, or the one who picks the best?

    § 5304. Testing Arrangements After taking physical possession of a cannabis goods batch, the distributor shall contact a testing laboratory and arrange for a laboratory employee to come to the distributor's licensed premises to select a representative sample for laboratory testing. Authority: Section 26013, Business and Professions Code. Reference: Sections 26110, Business and. Professions Code.

    § 5305. Testing Sample (a) The distributor shall ensure that the batch size from which the sample is taken meets the requirements ofthis division. (b) A distributor or an employee of the distributor shall bephysically present to observe the laboratory employee obtain the sample of cannabis goods for testing and shall enswe that the increments are taken from throughout the batch. (c) Tfie sampling shall be video recorded with the batch number stated at the.beginning of the video and a visible time and date indication on the video recording footage. The video recordings shall be maintained far 180 days. (d) After the sample has been selected, both the distributor and the laboratory employee shall sign and date the chain of custody form pursuant to section 5709 of this division, attesting to the sample selection having occurred. (e) A distributor shall not assist thelaboratory employee noriouch the cannabis goods ar the sampling equipment while the laboratory employee is obtaining the sample. Authority: Section 26013, Business and Professions Code. Reference: Sections 26104 and 26110, Business and Professions Code.​
  16. CarolKing

    CarolKing Singer of songs and a vapor connoisseur

    I’ve read where each plant have different THC levels and CBD etc... even though same seeds and same strain. So the sample is a representative of the other plants as well in their garden. Not sure exactly how many plants would be analyzed before they decide what to print on the package that’s sold to the stores?

    In WA state the seed is tracked with a barcode and that barcode follows the plant until harvest and then sale. I would assume tha CA has a similar system.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
    muunch, Little Bill, Squiby and 2 others like this.
  17. shredder

    shredder Well-Known Member

    Not only that but the thc can vary on the plant with top buds generally stronger. And there are ways to kind of jiuce the numbers. I've read of folks that use early top buds and then keeping them dry to get high numbers. Testing itself is a good idea, but it should be standardized, and by a third party.

    I think one of the best ways to pick is, if possible, is to smell. Second I'd go with organic grown. And if at all possible grow your own.
    CarolKing, Squiby and psychonaut like this.
  18. CarolKing

    CarolKing Singer of songs and a vapor connoisseur

    I was told the same thing about how different THC, CBD, CBN etc...levels vary on the same plant. Sometimes you have to take the THC levels with a grain of salt. IMO they need to take a few samples from a plant then take the median percentage. I will have to admit though that I don’t buy cannabis generally any lower than 20%. When weed is packaged up it’s hard to get a feel for the bud that you’re buying.

    I go a lot with a producer that I like. I have a few that are my faves. Some in WA state are: Raven Grass, Artizen, Marley Natural, Sunshine Farms and RootWorx. There are others that are good producers I’m sure, but those are some of the names I look for.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
    C No Ego, asdf420 and shredder like this.
  19. C No Ego

    C No Ego Well-Known Member

    This thread = I'm east coast longing Man.... by the time it makes it here you will need to stand across the room and they throw vacuum pack bud at you and holler Take IT!!! shit!
    u812many and Helios like this.
  20. OldNewbie

    OldNewbie Well-Known Member

    I think that is how all "legal" (aka regulated) is going to end up. While I'd love a farmer's market where you can pick what you want from people you know, I suspect it will be a vacuum package that is the first sense of whatever particular product picked.
    C No Ego likes this.
  21. Aizen-sama

    Aizen-sama Fmr. Captain of the 5th Division

    Hueco Mundo
    One thing I like to do is follow all of the producers, labs, growers, and shops in my state (CA) on Instagram (you can use whatever social media you prefer). It gives you a good idea of what their operations look like, how they present themselves and their products, and can often give you more information on things like specials, vendor visits, and the genetics of particular branded or in-house strains that aren't on Leafly or other sites. It also gives you a good opportunity to interact directly with the brands to ask questions, though some will be more responsive than others. Just another avenue for research beyond what you will find on paid platforms like Leafly and Weedmaps.
    mixchu69 likes this.
  22. cannabis.pro

    cannabis.pro OpenCannabis Advocate Accessory Maker

    A strategy I like to use when recon'ing a new dispensary is to buy a few individual grams. Try them out. Go back later the same day or following day and get what you like in bigger quantities. This way you aren't buying an 1/8 or more of flowers you don't necessarily like.
    Vapeur Rogue and mixchu69 like this.

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