It’s one of the most distinguishable smells in the world. You could be on lunch break or on a weekend getaway and get a whiff of it. The smell fills you with a unique feeling, one mixed with comfort, relaxation, and excitement. Even if high-quality marijuana doesn't have a place in your life yet, it’s a scent recognizable by almost everyone. So…Read More
The Comprehensive Guide to Marijuana
At District 8, it’s an understatement to say that marijuana is our passion. Cultivating cannabis using only the most natural growing methods, our plants thrive in no-till living soil, each expressing their unique cannabinoid-rich profiles. We then handcraft our blunts with honey hemp paper, providing the high-quality marijuana products you look for at your local dispensary. To us, cannabis cultivation is art, and we are ecstatic to be able to provide marijuana to those who enjoy and benefit from it. However, not everyone is aware of the potential of this powerful plant. Because it has only recently started being legalized (such as in the great state of Colorado), there is still a lot for most to learn about the green. Therefore, we have put together this comprehensive guide to address any questions you might have.
Marijuana, also known as cannabis, weed, pot, green, grass, and a whole slew of other slang names, is made of the dried flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant and is used for medical and recreational purposes. It can be smoked, vaped, eaten, and drunk, and there are now a wide variety of marijuana products on the market, including topical ones for pain relief.
There are two main subspecies of the cannabis plant that differ in appearance and psychoactive effect: indica and sativa. When you go to a marijuana dispensary, you will see the products labelled as either indica, sativa, or a hybrid. This is important information as the effect of the specific strain of marijuana will be dependent on whether it is an indica, sativa, or has been bred to have properties of both. You can read a more in-depth look into the differences between indica and sativa in our blog here, but in the meantime, here is an overview.
Indica plants are generally shorter and bushier than their sativa counterparts. In general, indicas are fruitier and sweeter than sativas. Most importantly, their effect tends to be more sedating than sativas. Indicas are great for sleep and other relaxing activities, as they often cause a “couch-locked” feeling, meaning your body feels heavy and you have little desire to move.
In contrast, sativa plants tend to be quite tall (sometimes up to 20 feet!) and the leaves are long and thin. As a general rule, sativas are earthier in terms of flavor and odor, with a piney taste, though this will vary by strain. Sativas are known for their energizing qualities, so they are best consumed in a social setting, when being active, or to get some chores done around the house.
Hybrids are specially cultivated plants that are crossbred to produce a blend of traits from both sativa and indica plants. For example, a hybrid may take the pain-relief properties of an indica with the mental clarity from a sativa to create a strain that is advantageous for people with chronic pain.
When you are buying marijuana, there are different amounts that you can purchase. Depending on your needs and budget, it is a good idea to know how much you want before you head to the dispensary.
A gram is the smallest amount you can purchase at a dispensary. Depending on your method of consumption, this can equate to two joints, one blunt, or five or so bowls. Generally, grams cost between 10 and 20 dollars.
An eighth is one-eighth of an ounce of marijuana. This is about 3.5 grams, and prices vary according to dispensary and quality. In general, you can expect to pay somewhere between 30 and 50 dollars for an eighth. How long this will last you depends on how frequently you smoke, but is a good amount for someone who smokes regularly and doesn’t want to visit the dispensary every other day to pick up a gram.
As you have probably figured out, a quarter refers to a quarter ounce of cannabis. This is equivalent to 7 grams of weed. Again, prices vary according to the quality of the bud, but you can expect to pay somewhere between 70 and 90 dollars for a quarter. A quarter is a wise choice if you only want to hit the dispensary every couple of weeks or so, depending on how heavy of a smoker you are.
Unsurprisingly, a half refers to half an ounce, equivalent to 14 grams. You can expect to pay between 120 and 150 dollars for a half at a dispensary. This amount of marijuana should last you a long time unless you are having gigantic parties all the time.
An ounce is equivalent to 28 grams, and is the most you can purchase at a dispensary at one time. In general, quality ounces will cost between 200 and 300 dollars, though dispensaries sometimes have deals. An ounce is likely to last for quite a long time, so it’s the best option for someone who is really trying to stock up.
At your dispensary, you might also notice products labelled with their THC content. THC is a chemical compound found in marijuana that is responsible for its psychoactive effects; essentially, it’s responsible for the euphoric high you feel from weed. This means in general that the higher the THC content, the more potent the high. THC content is measured as a percentage, comparing the plant’s amount of THC compared to other compounds. In Colorado, THC content generally runs between 15 and 30 percent in flower, though higher THC strains are being created every year.
Marijuana is legal in The Centennial State, but that doesn’t mean you can just spark up anywhere. For a more in-depth look into Colorado marijuana laws, check out our blog post; in the meantime, here is a brief overview.
If you are over the age of 21, you can legally possess up to a ounce of THC. You do not have to be a resident of Colorado to buy or own cannabis; you just need a government-issued ID that proves you are 21 or older.
Residents of Colorado can purchase an ounce from a dispensary at a time, while visitors are limited to a quarter. However, there is ambiguity in the law about what exactly a single transaction is; hypothetically, a visitor could visit four different dispensaries, buy a quarter at each, and still be under the limit of possession.
There are also laws about the consumption of marijuana. Public consumption of marijuana is illegal. If you consume marijuana in public, you are subject to a fine, comparable to what you would receive for an open container of alcohol.
If you have never purchased marijuana from a dispensary before, you might feel overwhelmed. There are more than 8,000 different strains of marijuana, and that abundance of choice can make it feel impossible to make a decision. Fortunately, now that marijuana has been legal here in Colorado for a few years, dispensaries are more helpful than ever in this process, offering their wide variety of options with budtenders who can help you decide. Once you find a conveniently located dispensary (hopefully one of the many that offer District 8 products!), purchasing weed is easy with these simple steps.
Think About The Experience You Want
Not all marijuana produces the same effects. As outlined above, you are going to get a different high from an indica than a sativa. If you want to smoke before a funny movie, for example, you will want a strain that produces a giggly high.
Talk to Your Budtender
Particularly if you are brand new to cannabis, it’s important to talk to your budtender about your experience level and desired cannabis experience. They should be able to tell you which strain and method of consumption would be advantageous for you.
Examine The Weed
Obviously, you cannot “sample” marijuana you are buying by smoking it, most importantly because that would be illegal. However, you can still see and smell weed before you buy. Observe the weed for a white crystalline substance on the buds; this indicates a high-trichome content, an indication of high quality. In contrast, if there is a powdery white substance on it, this is mildew, and indicates poor quality. Appearance can tell you a lot about what you are getting. In addition, ask your budtender for a sniff of a strain you are curious about, as smell can give you an idea of how the weed will taste. Even if you don’t know much about marijuana, this can be a good exercise in learning more about your preferences.
Now that you have purchased marijuana, you will have to figure out how you will consume it. Obviously, if you purchased an edible, you will eat it (one dose at a time!). But if you have purchased flower, you have a variety of ways to consume it at your disposal. For more information on which consumption method is best, check out our blog post here.
Also known as a piece, bowl, or spoon, a pipe is among the most popular ways to smoke weed and can be purchased at a head shop. To use a pipe, simply fill the bowl with broken-up marijuana (you can use your fingers or a grinder to do this), cover the carb on the side (not all pipes will have one), light the weed, then release the carb and inhale. This is a great way for beginners to smoke because they are easy to operate and, while they will get you high, they don’t produce the massive hits that say, bongs produce.
The term “water pipe” includes bongs, bubblers, and any other piece that uses water. Some people prefer water pipes because they tend to hit smoother and cooler (particularly if you add ice cubes to your bong!). They also tend to produce larger hits. These operate in a similar fashion to hand pipes, except that once you ignite the marijuana and the chamber fills with smoke, you remove the bowl and inhale. It’s best to use one of these with a veteran cannabis consumer, as it’s easy to accidentally take way too big of a hit.
One of our specialties at D8 is our all natural hemp wrapped premium cannabis blunts. They are great for sharing. All you have to do is light them up once and they are ready to hit. You can roll a blunt yourself, or save yourself the trouble and try one of our perfectly wrapped marijuana blunts from District 8.
Joints are rolled in smaller paper than blunts, comparable to the size of a cigarette. Similar to blunts, all you have to do is light them up and they will stay rolling as long as you smoke.
A method that is increasingly popular, you could also pick up a vaporizer from your local headshop to consume your weed. This is a great option for people who would rather not smoke and who are looking to be more discreet, and the smell is much more subtle. Vaporizers also produce a more mellow high.
If you have never smoked before, you may be wondering what to expect. You can learn more about this topic by reading our guide to smoking weed for the very first time here. In the meantime, here is an overview.
- You might not get high at all. Sometimes, the first time people smoke, they don’t get high at all. This is likely because novice smokers aren’t used to inhaling into their lungs, and hold the smoke in their mouth instead.
- Or you could get really, really high. This depends on your smoking method, the strain, the quality, and you as an individual, but it’s also common for newbies to get very, very high the first time they smoke. Basically, you can anticipate an uplifted, euphoric feeling. You may find things extremely funny and that you can’t stop laughing. Light, sound, taste, and color will all be enhanced. You might also find yourself needing a snack (or 12). Most of all, you will likely feel more relaxed and at ease.
- Time will be hard to track. One thing that new smokers often notice is that time warps. You might feel like you have only been watching that lava lamp for a minute, but the clock says you have been for an hour and a half. It’s best not to have a schedule to adhere to the first time you smoke, because time will likely evade you.
This is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of all there is to know about marijuana. To learn more, follow our blog as we regularly write about everything cannabis. When you are in the market for high-quality marijuana, shop our products at your local dispensary!