Cannabis has changed since college. Gone are the days of stuffing a towel under your dorm door before packing a hollowed-out apple with some green stuff you bought from a friend of a friend. As more states legalize recreational cannabis — 15 states plus Washington, D.C., — taboos around the substance are decreasing, and more folks are educating themselves about the wide-ranging benefits of the substance. But if it’s been a while since you’ve tried it or you want to know marijuana dispensary etiquette, we’re here to guide you on your cannabis journey with some educational know-how that may be news since the ‘90s.

1: See Ya, Stoner Stereotype

Travis Birkenstock in Clueless. Cheech and Chong. Most of the cast of Dazed and Confused. When it comes to movies and TV, there’s no shortage of the stoner character. They’re usually portrayed as harmless but unmotivated, focused more on having a good time than anything else. But in reality, all kinds of people use cannabis for all kinds of reasons, including for motivation and focus. So, while cannabis can help you relax and have a good time, it can also increase your drive and be a part of a well-rounded lifestyle.

2: Different Strains Have Different Effects

If you want to unwind after a long day, there are cannabis strains for that. If you’re looking to boost energy or spark inspiration and creativity without feeling loopy, there are strains for that too. No matter what you’re in the mood for, there’s a cannabis strain that helps you achieve it. If you want to learn more about the effects, speak with one of our budtenders who can recommend a product that will match your mood and motivation.

3: Cannabis Can Alleviate a Variety of Health Conditions

What are the benefits of cannabis? In a word, many. Anxiety? Cannabis can help. Though certain strains can exacerbate the symptoms, others can greatly reduce them and even improve your sleep. Cannabis is known to ease menstrual cramps and can also lessen the effects of more serious health conditions such as MS and cancer thanks to its pain-relieving properties.

4: Cannabis Comes in Many Forms

When thinking about cannabis, what image comes to mind? For many it’s a joint, but cannabis is available in a variety of forms, including those that don’t involve inhaling. Edibles, such as chocolate, gummies, and mints, provide a longer-lasting experience and can be enjoyed discreetly. They can also take up to several hours to kick in, so we recommend beginning with a small portion and gauging your reaction before increasing the dosage. Concentrates are geared toward more experienced users because of their potency, while vaporizers give users an odorless option that doesn’t include contaminants found in smoke.

5: Looking for an Alternative to Alcohol? Try Cannabis.

Cannabis vs. alcohol: what’s safer? While drinking can be a fun way to relax and socialize, it can also include negative effects that range from hangovers to long-term health issues. When used responsibly, cannabis can boost your mood or help you de-stress without the many drawbacks alcohol poses. See our recent blog for more details on the differences between cannabis and alcohol.

You Don’t Have to Figure It All Out on Your Own — We’re Here to Help

Thanks to the decreasing stigmatization of cannabis use and the increase of education around the substance, you have all sorts of options at your disposal. And though it can be overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. Want to know how to prepare for your first dispensary visit, or how much you can buy from a dispensary at a time? We’re here to walk you through all your options, listen to what type of experience you’re looking for, and help you find whatever suits your needs.