Have you ever walked out of a pot shop with a fresh gram of weed, only to be overcome with disappointment as soon as you open the bag and realize you bought a dud?
Accidentally buying shitty weed is an unfortunately common experience in Oregon, where there’s thousands of pounds of amazing, world-class legal pot, but also a decent amount of garbage weed mixed in. So what do you do when you’re presented with a hundred different choices and an unhelpful budtender?
The best tool in your arsenal is your nose: The difference between good and bad weed is often a matter of what aromatic compounds, called terpenes, are present in that piece of cannabis flower, and your olfactory senses are surprisingly good at sniffing out the terpenes you individually like and dislike.
Fortunately, Oregon allows you to sniff-test at your local dispensary—unlike Washington, which requires all pot to be sold in sealed packages. There’s nothing wrong with letting your nose guide you to your favorite strain.
But if you’ve got a cold, or don’t feel confident in following your nose, the best way to find great weed is to rely on the advice of a budtender. Try to find a store and a budtender you trust and then keep giving them your business, just like you would with a black-market dealer that consistently supplies fantastic pot.
But sometimes you are inevitably left with a shitty budtender who doesn’t care and a menu of pot that is 10 pages too long. What’s a stoner to do?