What to Look for When Shopping for Medical Marijuana

Here we will go over what to look for when shopping for medical marijuana. 

If you have recently obtained a medical marijuana card, you may have some questions regarding your upcoming purchases, especially if you are a first-time cannabis consumer.

There is much to know about marijuana and over time, you will develop a personal understanding of what products are best for you. In the meantime, you can use these tips to help guide you during your first few purchases.

Let’s jump right in.

Product Type

When purchasing medical marijuana, it is important to know the type of product you’re interested in trying.

Marijuana consumers have many options other than typical cannabis flower. 

Some product examples include:

  • Edibles
  • Tinctures
  • Vapes
  • Topicals
  • Moonrock

Most newbies prefer to start their marijuana journey with edibles or topicals because they worry that inhaling cannabis smoke is dangerous. However, cannabis smoke is considerably less dangerous than tobacco smoke. To learn more about how marijuana affects the lungs, check out this article from Veriheal.com.


Product quality is another factor to consider when making a medical marijuana purchase.

There are many ways to determine marijuana quality.

Here is what you should look for:

Color- Good cannabis will have shades of green, purple, orange, red, and even blue. Shades of brown and gray are signs of poor quality and mold.

Smell- Cannabis should have a potent smell that is pleasing to your nose. If another person doesn’t enjoy the smell, but you do, it’s still a good indicator that it’s a good fit for you. Avoid strains that smell musty or like chemicals.

Feel- Fresh cannabis should be moist and dense. Avoid cannabis that crumbles or feels dry.

Trichomes- Trichomes are primarily responsible for the high you receive from smoking cannabis. If you see a strain covered in white crystal-like hairs, it most likely has a high THC content.

Seeds and stems- another visual representation of good cannabis is the lack of seeds and stems. If you can see seeds and stems in the bud, you can expect them to be poor quality.


When purchasing medical marijuana, price is another thing to consider.

For the most part dispensaries decide how much they want to sell a product for. Some dispensaries may choose to make a minimal profit, while others raise the prices. This means you might have to do some window shopping before making a purchase.

A low price for marijuana is about $75 per ounce, and a high price is closer to $200 per ounce. Of course, strain quality does play a part in how cheap or expensive marijuana is. Therefore, it is best to compare strain prices amongst several dispensaries to determine whether you are getting a good deal.

Additionally, many dispensaries offer deals and discounts to new and existing customers. Ideally, you would shop at a location that frequently offers price drops, specials, and reward points.

Another thing to keep in mind is that medical marijuana patients receive an additional discount. The average MMJ holder discount is about %15. Ask around to find out which dispensaries offer patients the largest discount.

Cannabinoid Content

There are many different cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant, and each cannabinoid interacts with the endocannabinoid system differently. 

The most common cannabinoids are:

THC- THC is the most infamous cannabinoid because it is responsible for the psychoactive effects you feel when smoking.

CBD- CBD is an incredibly calming cannabinoid and is often used for individuals dealing with both physical and psychological conditions.

CBN- CBN is known as the sedative cannabinoid and is frequently used in higher concentrations as a sleep aid.

CBG- CBG has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and is often used for conditions like IBS, chronic pain, psoriasis, and ulcerative colitis.

It is also important to understand the numerical meaning of cannabinoid content when it comes to THC. A low THC content will be around %15 or less, and anything over %15 is considered high. If you are new to smoking, you should start with a strain that has a low THC content otherwise the psychoactive effects can be overwhelming.

Strain Type

Above all else, strain type is the most essential thing to consider when buying medical marijuana.

Like all medications, the type of marijuana you use will impact your treatment. Certain strains are better suited for different health conditions.

There are three main strain types: Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid being a mix of the two. 

Indica- Indica strains have relaxing effects on the body, making them good for anxiety, muscle disorders, chronic pain, inflammation, and insomnia.

Sativa- Sativa strains are uplifting and are good for mood disorders, boosting energy, improving appetite, and promoting focus.
Hybrid- Since hybrid strains are a mix of both indica and sativa, these strains are typically good for most health conditions. If you feel you need a mix of both but are leaning toward one over another, you can purchase a hybrid that is either indica or sativa dominant- meaning it has more of one strain’s genetics.

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