You Ask, We Answer:
Cannabis Questions That You’re Probably Wondering About
Written by: Jennifer and the MJ Verdant Team
Whether it was pandemic stress, anxiety, or boredom, women are among the fastest-growing groups of new cannabis users according to recent market research. Brightfield Group, a market research group focused on cannabis and CBD, found in 2021 that female cannabis users made up 59% of new users (Forbes). According to an article in Bizwomen, 2 in 5 American women use cannabis-based products. Furthermore, a 2021 survey of cannabis-consuming professionals found that 46% had increased consumption while working from home during the pandemic.
So, with usage on the rise, we’ve decided to take a look at some questions that female consumers might have when embarking on their cannabis journey. It’s important to get your questions answered because understanding what kind of strains are a good fit for your needs and/or lifestyle will provide for the best experience.
Here are a few questions that can help you better understand the cannabis plant.
What types of cannabis plants are there?
There are three types of cannabis plants that most users will come across in their cannabis journey: Indica, Sativa, and hybrid. Each of these strains satisfies unique needs, produces slightly different results, and thus carries specific advantages.
Is there really a difference between the effects that Indica and Sativa flower provides?
This is a tricky question. Most strains these days are considered “hybrid” strains because of the way that cannabis is cross-bred and grown. When you see an Indica or Sativa flower on a shelf, it’s better to consider that particular strain as “Indica-leaning” or “Sativa-leaning.”
But, let’s get into what you really want to know, which is how they are going to affect you. When considering the differences between Indica and Sativa, it’s generally thought that Indica strains are physically sedating and provide a “whole-body high.” Sativa strains are thought to be energizing, uplighting with a “head high.” However, this is not a set-in-stone way of thinking of these two strains, again, because most strains these days are in some way “hybrid.” If you’re interested in learning more, check out the MJ Verdant Clean Cannabis Blog.
What should you look for in a healthy Indica plant?
Indica plants are normally short and stocky with bushy greenery and chunky leaves. The leaves grow wide and broad, possessing between seven and nine finger-like structures. Because of their short height, Indica plants are a good choice to grow indoors. It’s normally easy to tell the difference between Indica and Sativa leaves by their coloring, Indica plants have deep, dark green leaves (which is indicative of high chlorophyll content). Indica strains are often bred to have higher levels of CBD, however, that doesn’t always mean the THC content is less.
What should you look for in a healthy Sativa plant?
Sativa plants are tall, thin, and take longer to mature than other types of cannabis.
Due to their height (up to 12 feet), Sativa plants are said to fare better when grown outdoors. Sativas have a lighter green hue and more fingers than Indica leaves, sometimes as many as thirteen. When it comes to their typical CBD to THC ratio, Sativas often have lower doses of CBD and higher doses of THC.
Here is a breakdown of what to expect when you start shopping around and important factors to consider.
What qualities to look for in a dispensary as a new user?
An important aspect of purchasing cannabis is finding the best dispensary for you. Whether that means you like the location, the prices, the staff, or the aesthetic of the store itself — there are a lot of factors to consider that could play a large role in your overall experience. Here are a few tips for choosing a dispensary.
First, do a broad search of the dispensaries near you. Location and distance are normally the number one concern when choosing a dispensary. If convenience, proximity, and parking availability are important to you, then make sure you choose a dispensary that checks those boxes. This may also mean you find a favorite dispensary close to home, on your way back from work, or near a friend or family member’s house.
The next thing to consider is product quality. If you’re choosing between two dispensaries that are roughly equal distance away — check which location has better quality cannabis products. This may mean visiting both for a chance to talk to budtenders, see what the dispensaries have to offer, and how often they get new stock.
Hand in hand with product quality, for many new users, it might be very important to consider going to a dispensary with good prices and frequent sales or deals. Check to see if the dispensary has any social media promotions, loyalty programs, and daily deals. Finding great products for a lower price is always a plus.
A big factor in finding the right dispensary comes down to whether you like the staff and the store itself. Clean, safe environments with nice organized shelves or displays are a great option for new users. Knowing the staff is friendly and knowledgeable is important to feel comfortable asking questions and making a purchase. This is a great time, if you haven’t already, to check the reviews. If other customers were happy with the service and product, you may find peace of mind visiting that dispensary.
What things should I ask about when shopping for cannabis?
Shopping for cannabis can be really intimidating, especially when you feel unsure of what you’re talking about or what you’re looking for. One important thing to ask your budtender is information about the cultivators behind the strain you’re considering. Understanding who grew and processed the cannabis, and what they’ve historically produced, might help you get a better idea of what kind of product might best suit your needs.
Other important information to ask about when shopping for cannabis is “What is the THC percentage?” and “What are the top 3-5 terpenes?” The terpenes (scent) and THC (psychoactive properties) of a strain have a huge impact on the effects that it will have on the consumer. Most people see a higher THC percentage and know that the effects may be pretty strong. The terpene combination of a strain gives you an understanding of what the effects might be, for example, Limonene is a very common terpene found in most strains on the market. It gives strains a citrus aroma. This terpene is also found in fruit peels, juniper, and peppermint. When seen in cannabis, the strain could have potential effects including mood-lifting and stress relief. So, understanding the composition of the strain will help you to find something that will give you the best experience possible. Check out our educational blog posts about terpenes and CBD vs THC to learn more about the basics of each and how they could impact your experience.
Finally, ask your budtender if you can smell the product before you buy it. A rich, complex fragrance is normally a good indication of high-quality weed. If you know the terpenes you enjoy, and know what kind of smells you’re looking for, getting the chance to take a whiff could help you locate the perfect strain for yourself. Check out our blog breaking down what to look for in high-quality flower to learn more about what you should see and smell.
If you’re visiting a dispensary for the very first time, don’t forget to take cash and your ID. Not every dispensary expects credit or debit cards, and you’ll want to tip your budtender (tips are required, but they are greatly appreciated). Also, take your time, don’t rush through checking out every strain that might interest you, and make sure you ask a budtender ALL your questions. Understand what kind of product you’re purchasing so you can make an informed decision that will hopefully result in the most positive experience.
Best ways to store your cannabis?
If you’ve made a purchase, whether it’s cannabis flower or edibles, you’ll want to store them properly so your products last. Improper storage doesn’t just reduce quality, it can even promote mold growth.
Cannabis flower can have a stable shelf-life of up to a year or more when it’s been cured and adequately stored. Keep your cannabis in a cool, dark place away from moisture. High temperatures can dry your cannabis out and freezing temperatures can cause it to lose its potency. A closet, drawer, or dark corner is recommended. Never leave cannabis in direct sun, as UV light can break down cannabinoids and terpenes. The right environment will keep your buds aromatic, fluffy, and potent.
Beyond where you store your cannabis, make sure you pick out the right container. A very common rule of thumb is to store weed in glass. Plastic and metal are fine for short-term storage, but both have the ability to affect aroma and flavor after a while. Your best bet is glass because it’s airtight and nonporous. Mason jars are great options and very easy to find.
When storing cannabis-infused productions like edibles and other perishables, they typically have their own guidelines. Check on the packaging or with the budtender for tips on storage and/or refrigeration. Also, use cannabis-infused products by the stated expiration date and keep them in the original container. Tinctures and concentrates can degrade from exposure to light, heat, and humidity — so keep these products in a cool, dark place.
Support Local Cannabis: A Reflection of the Community
With many other industries, it is important to support local businesses. Cannabis is no different. There are several local dispensaries are growers that would greatly benefit from local support, especially as they pour support into their communities.
MJ Verdant was founded on the belief that companies should commit to focusing on social and environmental issues as they do profits. This is called a “triple bottom line” approach and it’s the core to the pillars of our social equity plan. We invest in our community, workforce engagement and development, offering a living wage, energy-saving technologies and processes, and providing community service.
MJ Verdant is located in Muskegon, Michigan, and has worked with the city and other organizations to ensure equitable talent acquisition and development practices, with the goal of creating a workforce that is reflective of the communities in which we do business. This includes, but is not limited to, people of color, low-income residents, older adults, people with disabilities, and people who have been unfairly impacted by marijuana prohibition. We are working toward our goal of a 14% minority and 6.9% female workforce, striving to eliminate all barriers which may prohibit full participation from the diverse workforce groups represented in the City of Muskegon. Learn more about our social equity plan here.
— Jennifer and the MJ Verdant Team