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Dispensary Cheat Sheet

February 28, 2019

You head to the marijuana dispensary with ID in hand, and you’re feeling good. But when you arrive, you feel overwhelmed by the options. There are so many names, colors, and smells… how does one decide? Whether it’s your first visit to a dispensary or you’re a veteran who needs a refresher, this cheat sheet can help you hone in on the perfect product.


There are different ways to consume cannabis (marijuana):

Flower: refers to the dried cannabis flowers most of us are familiar with; often used for combustion.

Edibles: cannabis-infused foods and liquids; the effects take longer to feel and doses should be controlled carefully.

Kief: fine powder of cannabis’ resin glands that contain cannabinoids and terpenes; added to cannabis for consumption or used to make hash.

Vape pen/cartridge: battery, heating element, and cartridge of cannabis concentrate used for vaporizing (sized/shaped like a pen).

Wax/shatter: a waxy cannabis concentrate that requires a dab rig or vaporizer.


Cannabis and infused products have very different effects depending on the ratio of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to cannabidiol (CBD), or THC:CBD.

THC: main psychoactive component of cannabis; generally increases heart rate and produces feelings of euphoria; also has medicinal applications, such as pain management. Higher quantities of THC in the THC:CBD ratio mean the experience will be more psychoactive and possibly more stimulating.

CBD: non-psychoactive compound that neutralizes the psychoactive effects of THC; it is known for its ability to reduce anxiety and has many other medicinal applications. Higher quantities of CBD in the THC:CBD ratio mean the experience will be less psychoactive, more clear-headed, and possibly more mellow.

Indicas, Sativas, & Hybrids

Cannabis strains (e.g., OG Kush, Jack Flash, Green Crack, etc.) fall into one of three categories based on their genetics:

Indica: small, bushy plants with fat leaves; often considered to have more relaxing/sedating effects.

Sativa: tall, lanky plants with thin leaves; often considered to have more energizing/uplifting effects.

Hybrids: crosses between sativa and indica plants; designed to produce unique and balanced effects.


Terpenes are natural plant oils that give each cannabis strain a unique flavor and aroma profile. Strains may be named according to flavor, such as Blueberry or Cheese. Here a few of the major terpenes and aromas:

  • α-pinene –turpentine
  • Linalool – spicy and floral
  • Myrcene – earthy
  • Limonene – citrus
  • Terpinolene – flowers and herbs
  • Geraniol– fruit

We hope this dispensary cheat sheet helps, and we look forward to seeing you soon!