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The marijuana market has evolved over the years. Before the days of professional, legal dispensaries, marijuana customers weren’t aware of where their cannabis was coming from, let alone whether it was grown organically or if it remained free from tampering. With the legalization of medical and/or recreational cannabis in 36 states and the District of Columbia, marijuana products are now more easily accessible than ever—especially with the availability of online shopping.
Of course, shopping for marijuana online provides a variety of benefits. The ability to select a product to meet a specific need, add it to your cart, and receive it a few short days later from a professional, discreet delivery driver is both convenient and practical for individuals who are unable to shop in person. Since its implementation, online cannabis shopping has created a hassle-free experience that has made cannabis even more accessible to everyone.
Purchasing cannabis online also allows you to carefully consider each of the details regarding your purchase. Online descriptions can break down product details at great length, providing much more information than you would receive when purchasing cannabis in person. For example, you can often read about the different strains of cannabis used to produce your product, potency details, dosage indications, and even the physical and cognitive effects you can expect to experience with that product. Accessibility of information has made browsing cannabis options more productive and more enjoyable. And that’s not to mention user-generated reviews, so you can read what real consumers thought about specific products and their effects.
As you may suspect, purchasing marijuana products from disreputable sellers online can be likened to the old days of purchasing marijuana from the black market—both extremely dangerous and highly illegal. That’s why ensuring the legitimacy of the organization you choose to supply your cannabis products should be a top priority. Often, that means refraining from discount shopping. All too often, when trying to find cheaper alternatives, you may come across THC and CBD products that are not third party tested for quality and safety control.
Unfortunately, many cheap or shoddy cannabis products are handled in unregulated environments, risking contamination with pesticides, heavy metals, and more. When you are purchasing a product for ingestion, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Legitimate companies conduct third-party testing to ensure the safety and quality of products, of which you can request a copy.
Before you can even consider shopping, ensure you are eligible to order cannabis products online.
Before you learn how to buy cannabis online, it is crucial to ensure you can purchase cannabis from your location. When researching if you are eligible to receive THC and CBD products delivered to your doorstep, it’s best to consult your state laws. Fortunately, if you live in the ever-growing number of states where marijuana is legal both medicinally and recreationally, purchasing online is a fairly straightforward process. You’ll just need to find a dispensary you are interested in and place an online delivery order. However, if this is not the case in your state, there are some stipulations.
In states where cannabis is only legal on a medical basis, the process can become more complicated. To place an online order, you must first obtain a medical marijuana card. The process of applying for and receiving a medical marijuana card differs by state— first, check your state regulations to see if you have a qualifying health condition. Then, consult our state pages to learn more about how to apply and regulations unique to each state. Keep in mind that you must be 21 years of age and have met the qualifications necessary to receive your MMJ card.
If you’re eligible to purchase, your next step is finding a reputable dispensary. Unsure if the dispensary you're purchasing THC or CBD products from is legitimate?
In short, you'll need to:
When taking all the above into consideration, you may see your dreams of adding marijuana to your online cart and clicking “buy now” for instant delivery fading away. However, online marijuana purchasing can be extremely simple with the right knowledge.
Here are four key signs of a reputable online dispensary to search for before you buy:
Knowing how to find a reputable online store can give you peace of mind that you are buying from a credible distributor with quality products. However, there are also many signs of fraudulent or illegal online operations to be aware of before you place your order.
Some signs include:
A University of Pennsylvania Penn study found that 70 percent of CBD products purchased online are accompanied by inaccurate labels. The FDA found that less than half of all CBD products are correctly labeled.
The ability to spot these signs of a disreputable company before ordering cannabis products can help prevent scams as well as any issues with inadequate or incorrect THC and CBD products.
Even after you’ve avoided illegal or black-market dispensaries, it is important to remember that not all cannabis products are created equal. When you are spending your precious health or recreational dollars on a marijuana product, it is crucial to search for the best product possible. In many cases, companies producing high quality marijuana participate in ethical farming practices, including regenerative farming, minimal pesticide use, and other sustainable agricultural practices. Additionally, you may want to consider supporting companies that are family or minority owned to support the smaller marijuana farmers who often have higher safety standards.
Whether you’re browsing the review section for hints at overall quality or are simply examining your marijuana after its arrival, consider these major factors of marijuana quality:
First and foremost, it is important to point out that purchasing average quality marijuana doesn’t necessarily mean that you will miss out on the plant’s varied benefits. Unfortunately, however, poor-quality marijuana handled incorrectly has the potential to cause negative side effects.
For example, spider mites can wreak havoc on the cannabis plant during production, and when the flower is dried, the bugs may remain. Cannabis that is inhaled with spider mites can be very unhealthy for the lungs—not to mention disturbing.
Ensuring the marijuana products that are offered on any online dispensary are third-party tested can help prevent the purchase of products that are not treated correctly. Be wary of reports that your online cannabis shop sells marijuana with the following qualities:
As you can see, it’s extremely important to be discerning when shopping online for cannabis. Making sure you are buying THC and CBD products from a reputable, transparent company with quality products can prevent you from falling victim to a scam or taking part in an illegal purchase that may put your freedom in jeopardy.
First research your cannabis state laws, find a reputable, certified dispensary, and select a product that best suits your therapeutic or personal recreational needs. Then, legally buy marijuana from your chosen dispensary.
Having your cannabis delivered directly to your door can be a useful way to access your most important products when you cannot do so in person. Even more significantly, online marijuana shopping has supplied unparalleled convenience for cannabis consumers all over the country. With the proper research and attention to quality, you can begin experiencing the benefits of this marvelous plant. Wondering if your local dispensary delivers? Find a Zen Leaf location near you to discover your local state cannabis shopping options.