How To Navigate A Dispensary Menu in Washington, D.C. 

How To Navigate A Dispensary Menu in Washington, D.C. 

If you’re a D.C. resident or want to visit a dispensary in the Big Apple, Washington, D.C., you might wonder how to navigate a dispensary menu. Dispensary menus can vary widely depending on the location, type, and quality of the cannabis products available. In D.C., in particular, dispensary menus have distinct differences from other regions, including the words “gift” or “gifting” next to items.

In this article, we will guide you through navigating a D.C. dispensary menu in-store and understanding and choosing the best D.C. recreational cannabis products for your needs.

Understanding Dispensary Menus

A Gifting Shops menu is more than just a list of products and prices. It’s also a source of information and education about the different types of cannabis products, their effects, and how to use them safely and effectively.

An excellent recreational dispensary menu typically includes the following:

  • Product type: i.e., flower, concentrate, edible
  • Strain: i.e., indica, sativa, hybrid
  • Potency and cannabinoid profile: i.e., THC, CBD
  • Terpene profile and aroma: i.e., citrus, pine, skunk
  • Price per quantity: i.e., per gram, per ounce, per item

Gifting is the loophole created by Initiative 71’s legalization of cannabis in Washington, D.C. You should also find language about “gifts” on a legitimate dispensary menu.

Cannabis Dispensary Menu Products

Weed Dispensary menus contain various products that may be overwhelming at first glance. Let’s break down the types of products you’ll find on a typical menu in D.C.

Cannabis Flower Products

Cannabis flower products look like nuggets of dried and cured buds, and they can be smoked in a joint, pipe, or bong. Flower is the most common and traditional product to buy at a marijuana dispensary, and it typically gives you the most bang for your buck. These products may be listed as “flower” or “flower gifts” on a D.C. menu.

Pre-Roll Products

Pre-rolls are ready-made joints that contain ground cannabis flower wrapped in rolling paper or tobacco leaf. Pre-rolls are convenient and easy to use, making them popular for beginners and connoisseurs.

Concentrate Products

Concentrate products are cannabis extracts that have been processed to remove excess plant material and retain only the essential cannabinoids and terpenes. Concentrates have a higher potency than flower, producing more potent and longer-lasting effects with less product. Concentrates can be dabbed, vaped, or consumed via edibles.

Vape Products

Vape products are cannabis concentrates that have been diluted with a carrier liquid such as propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin. Vape products are designed to be heated and inhaled with a vaporizer device or a “vape,” producing less odor and smoke than other methods.

navigating cannabis strains

Navigating Cannabis Strains

Another aspect of a dispensary menu is the strains. Cannabis strains can be classified into three main categories: indica, sativa, and hybrid.

Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid Strains

Indica strains are known as the calmest type of strain, typically associated with relaxing and sedating effects that can help with pain, insomnia, anxiety, and stress. Indica strains tend to have a higher concentration of CBD than THC. Indica is often thought of as producing more of a “body high.”

Sativa strains are known for having uplifting and energizing effects that can help with depression, fatigue, creativity, and focus. Sativa often has a higher concentration of THC than CBD, giving euphoric effects while causing less drowsiness. Sativa brings a “head high” more than a body high.

Hybrid strains are a combination of indica and sativa. Hybrid strains are associated with an uplifting and calming balanced effect, bringing the best of both worlds. Hybrid strains may be indica- or sativa-dominant, but they always contain a bit of both.

Choosing the Right Strain for Your Needs

Not only are there indica, sativa, and hybrid strains, but there are also hundreds of specific cannabis strains to choose from, each with its name. Knowing which is right for you can be challenging, given the endless options.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself before choosing the best weed strain:

  • What is your goal? Do you want to feel relaxed or energized? Do you want to relieve pain or enhance your mood? Do you want to sleep or be productive?
  • What is your tolerance? Do you need a strain that’s low or high in THC?
  • What is your budget? Some strains are pricier than others.

Understand what you want from a strain and check the strain types, descriptions, potencies, prices, and reviews to see which one(s) matches your needs.

Popular Strains in Washington, D.C.

With hundreds of strains on the market in D.C., it isn’t easy to know which one to choose when visiting a dispensary here. According to customer reviews, the most popular strains in Washington, D.C., are:

  • D.C. Gelato: A hybrid strain with a sweet, fruity flavor and aroma, producing a euphoric and relaxing high.
  • OG Kush: An Indica-dominant strain that creates a potent and sedating high that can help with insomnia, anxiety, and appetite loss.
  • Girl Scout Cookies: A hybrid strain with a minty flavor and aroma that produces a balanced, long-lasting, and mood-boosting high.
  • AK-47: A skunky and citrusy sativa-dominant strain that gives a cerebral and uplifting high.
  • Purple Haze: A sativa-dominant strain that brings a psychedelic and energizing high, helping with creativity, focus, and mood.

Understanding THC Content

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a cannabis strain is the THC content. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis that is responsible for its intoxicating effects. THC content is typically listed in milligrams (mg) and percentages (%). THC in milligrams represents the amount of THC per item or serving, while THC in percentages represents the potency of THC in the strain.

It’s essential to know your THC tolerance when choosing a strain. For example, beginners may want to choose products low in THC content, such as 2 mg to 10 mg or 5% to 15%. More experienced users may want to choose products higher in THC, such as 20 mg to 100 mg or 20% to 25%.

Pricing and Quantity

Pricing and quantity are additional aspects of a dispensary menu to consider. You’ll want to know how much you’re willing to pay, how prices compare to other dispensaries, and how much product you want to buy.

Understanding Pricing Structure

The pricing structure of cannabis products can vary widely depending on the type and category of the product. For example, cannabis flower products are usually priced by weight (i.e., per gram or ounce), while cannabis concentrates are usually priced by potency (i.e., per milligram of THC or CBD). Units usually price pre-rolls, vapes, and edibles.

How To Compare Prices Among Dispensaries

The pricing structure of cannabis products can also vary widely depending on the dispensary you choose to buy from. You can compare dispensaries’ pricing using online tools such as WeedmapsLeafly, and PotGuide.

These tools can be visited via the website or downloaded as mobile apps, and they provide valuable information about dispensaries in your area.

Buying in Bulk vs. Small Quantities

Another tip to help you get the best value for your money when buying cannabis products from a dispensary menu is to consider whether you want to buy in bulk or small quantities.

Buying in bulk is great if you want to save money, save time, and try a variety of strains. Pricing is typically reduced for bulk quantities; you can buy multiple strains simultaneously. However, large quantities of weed can lose their freshness and potency over time.

On the other hand, buying small quantities of cannabis can help you preserve the freshness and potency of the products. It also allows for less commitment if you don’t like your chosen strain. However, smaller quantities may be more expensive.

reading and understanding reviews

Reading and Understanding Reviews

Another tip to help you navigate a dispensary menu is to check out customer reviews. Review how to read and understand customer ratings for dispensaries and specific products.

Importance of Customer Reviews

Customer reviews are a valuable tool for figuring out the right strain(s) for you and checking the reputation of specific dispensaries. You can use customer reviews to help you:

  • Assess the effects of certain strains and see which responses align with your needs
  • Discern whether a dispensary is reputable, welcoming, and safe
  • Gain insightful tips on products and dispensaries in your area

How To Interpret Reviews and Ratings

While customer reviews are helpful, you’ll still need to take them with a grain of salt. Some things to remember when interpreting reviews and ratings are:

  • Everyone’s body is different and reacts differently to certain substances.
  • People have varying levels of THC tolerance and experience.
  • The more reviews a dispensary has, the more likely the rating reflects an accurate average.
  • A couple of bad reviews shouldn’t necessarily deter you, but many bad reviews are a sign of a real issue.

Identifying Reputable Sources for Reviews

When relying on reviews, knowing they come from reputable sources is essential. A reputable review source should be unbiased, unedited, and open to the public. Public reviews can also be found on these helpful cannabis-centric platforms:

overview of the cannabis market in Washington

Overview of the Cannabis Market in Washington, D.C.

Before you visit a cannabis dispensary in Washington, D.C., you should also have a basic understanding of the cannabis market here. The cannabis market in Washington, D.C., is unique and complex due to its legal status, regulations, and culture.

Here are some things to know about the D.C. cannabis market:

  • According to law I-71, cannabis is legal for medical and recreational use in Washington, D.C., but not for commercial sale. This means that you can possess, consume, grow, and gift cannabis in Washington, D.C., but you cannot buy or sell cannabis here.
  • You must be over 21 years of age to possess marijuana for personal use.
  • D.C. dispensaries operate as cannabis “gifting” stores, meaning a free cannabis “gift” is given to you with a purchase of other products, typically digital art, stickers, or other merchandise.
  • With cannabis gifting being unregulated, it’s essential to obtain your products from a reputable source.

Commonly Used Terms and Abbreviations

To help you understand a dispensary menu in D.C., let’s go over some commonly used terms you might see:

  • THC: Tetrahydrocannabinol, the dominant psychoactive compound in cannabis that is responsible for the high-inducing effects
  • CBD: Cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis that has various medical benefits such as anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, anti-seizure, and anti-psychotic properties
  • Bud: Another term for flower or a nugget of dried cannabis plant
  • Joint: A smokable roll of ground-up cannabis flower
  • Edible: A food product such as a gummy that has been infused with cannabis concentrate
  • Dab: A cannabis concentrate that can be consumed, smoked, added to flower, etc.
  • Shatter: A brittle, glass-like cannabis concentrate often used for dabs
  • Resin: A cannabis concentrate created by infusing an additional solvent
  • Rosin: A cannabis concentrate created by applying heat and pressure
  • Gift: “Flower gift” or “edible gift” may be on the menu to indicate that the product is a “gift” with the purchase of other merchandise


How much can you buy from a dispensary in D.C.?

Every D.C. dispensary is different. However, you can legally only possess two ounces or less of cannabis in D.C.

Do you need a card to buy weed in D.C.?

To purchase medical marijuana, you need a valid medical marijuana card. For recreational marijuana, you will need a valid U.S. driver’s license.

Can you buy recreational weed in D.C.?

Technically, the sale of recreational weed is prohibited in D.C., but dispensaries will sell you other merchandise (such as art or stickers) and “gift” your choice of cannabis products.

Where can you find a dispensary menu?

You can find a dispensary menu on a dispensary’s website, such as Gifted Curator’s online menu.

How can you tell indica from sativa?

Products should clearly state whether they are indica, sativa, or hybrid strains on the dispensary menu and their product containers.

Final Thoughts

Navigating a dispensary menu in D.C. can be overwhelming. Choosing the right one for you can be difficult with dozens of strains and products.

Gifted Curators is the most-rated dispensary in Washington, D.C., in the heart of Adams Morgan. We offer a variety of high-quality cannabis products with something to suit everyone’s needs. Please stop by to ask one of our friendly staff members for help choosing the best bud for you.

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