The proliferation of legally licensed cannabis shops in Ontario and across Canada has helped reduce a great deal of the stigma associated with the plant.
For curious new consumers considering purchasing cannabis in Guelph for the first time, the process can be a little overwhelming considering all there is to learn about cannabis and the wide array of products available. That’s a primary reason why the owner of Qbud Cannabis in Guelph suggests the first step a new customer should take is simply visiting his retail outlet.
“The best way to do it is to just come in and let us know what it is you’re looking for,” said Dima Kashuba of Qbud Cannabis on Wyndham Street North. “If you’re not sure, or have never purchased cannabis before, we can help guide you in the right direction.”
With the emergence of regulated strains in the legal consumer cannabis market, buying cannabis has gotten a lot more complicated than it used to be. The more you learn, the more you need to know; there are many choices to be made, which can be difficult if you don’t know the differences between Indica or Sativa, CBD or CBN, Myrcene or Limonene. That said, there are some basic things consumers should know prior to visiting Q-Bud according to Kashuba.
How many different ways can cannabis be purchased?
“There are multiple different options for consuming cannabis,” said Kashuba. “These include many different varieties of flower buds, pre-rolled, concentrates, topicals and edibles. Cannabis comes in different flavours, with varying levels of potency. Concentrates can be purchased as oil or in capsules. There are many differentiations of flowers with varying THC and CBD values. We can help you decide which product is best for what you’re looking for.”
What's the difference between CBD and THC?
THC is the element responsible for the intoxicating feeling you get when consuming certain strains of cannabis. “The higher the THC value, the stronger the effect when consuming cannabis,” said Kashuba. People generally look to use CBD because they have heard about its medical benefits and want to try a non-pharmaceutical product to treat their condition. “Like THC, CBD also interacts with the endocannabinoid system. However, it does so in a different manner. The molecule does not bind to cannabinoid receptors with much affinity. The fact that it does not latch onto the CB1 receptor explains why CBD doesn’t produce a psychoactive effect. Instead, CBD raises levels of endocannabinoids, including anandamide (often named the “bliss molecule”) that bind to native cannabinoid receptors. Through these pathways, researchers have found CBD to produce various outcomes. The cannabinoid (CBD) appears to help individuals when they are feeling nervous and pressured, can help reduce pain, can help reduce anxiety and depression, can help reduce acne, and it may help soothe sensitive skin and ease sore muscles.” Ultimately the choice between CBD and THC levels will depend on what you’re hoping to accomplish by using cannabis.
In what quantities can I purchase cannabis?
According to government restrictions, the maximum purchase you can make of dry cannabis is 30 grams. However, Kashuba said all other cannabis products sold at Q-Bud will have an equivalency value of dry cannabis. “Let’s say you are getting a drink containing THC,” he explained. “In that drink, there is a dry cannabis value. It could be two grams. All your purchases would add up, and you won’t be able to purchase more than 30 grams in total.”
Why are similar amounts of cannabis product priced differently?
“If you look at CBD oils, there are different methods of extraction involved that result in different prices,” said Kashuba. “It’s the same with the flowers. Usually, the flower price is based on the THC percentage. The higher the THC level the more expensive it usually is. How those flowers are handled can also impact price. If it’s cut, trimmed and packaged by hand, it could be more expensive. Think of it in terms of craft beers, which are usually priced higher than your typical domestic product.” While much focus is put on the THC levels, Kashuba says that the real measure of quality is the terpenes present in individual strains of cannabis.
Can staff answer my questions before making a purchase?
Qbud has over 20 staff members with varying levels of expertise in cannabis according to Kashuba. “Some of our staff do have their licenced producer certificates. Some have been users for years and possess a great deal of knowledge on all our products. They’re not just taking orders.”
The first question staff at Qbud ask any customer coming into their store is, “Is this your first time to a cannabis store.” Kashuba says that helps determine the approach his staff take in assisting each shopper.
“We ask that question to see if they’re a seasoned user or a first-time purchaser. Every customer is looking for a different level of guidance. We’re here to help and our staff are very knowledgeable with many years of experience in retail as well as in the cannabis industry.”
When you’re ready to learn more about cannabis products, drop into Qbud Cannabis and ask for Dima. Visit them at 128 Wyndham Street North in Guelph.