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How to Read a Dispensary Menu

Fine Fettle dispensary menu

If you are new to medical or adult use cannabis--or simply new to dispensaries--it can be a little overwhelming to read a marijuana menu. There are lots of numbers and industry-specific terms and designations that even seasoned cannabis users might be unfamiliar with.

So we broke it down into an easy to use guide for how to read a dispensary menu.

What to Know Before You Go

Before you go to the dispensary or read the menu online, it is important to have a good idea of what kind of cannabis product you’re looking for. Answering these questions can help you and your Fine Fettle budtender pick out the perfect product for you.

What time?

What time of the day do you want to consume your cannabis? Do you want to use it during the day or as you unwind at night? This can help you pick what strain type is best for your needs.

What feeling?

Different strains of cannabis have different effects. Knowing how you want it to make you feel can lead you to the right product. Do you want to chill out with friends? Do you need to get a solid night’s sleep? Maybe you’re looking for something to help you focus on a project, or to give you the energy for a workout.

What method?

Everyone has their own preferences for what form of cannabis to purchase and how to consume it. You can choose pre-rolled joints, edibles, concentrate, tinctures, and more. Each method has different uptake times and durations. If you’re unsure, try a few different ones to see what you like!

Reading a Dispensary Menu

Cannabis Flower

If you’re looking to purchase cannabis flower, here are some common labels and terms you should know to read a dispensary menu.

Chemotypes/THC content

When it comes to cannabis strains, there are 3 primary chemotypes which describe the balance of THC and CBD in the plant. There are:

  • THC-dominant strains: These strains have much more THC than CBD in them, which lends them strong psychoactive effects. Popular THC-dominant strains include Blue Dream, OG Kush, Kosher Kush, and GSC.
  • CBD-dominant strains: These strains won’t make you feel very “high” but they still offer the benefits of cannabis. Check out Harlequin, ACDC, or Cannatonic.
  • One to one (1:1) strains: These strains have a nearly even ratio of THC to CBD and are perfect for medical users. Argyle, Dancehall, and Sweet and Sour Widow are great examples.

Many people think that the higher the THC percentage, the more THC in the strain. Actually, it represents the level of THC in comparison to other chemicals like terpenes and cannabinoids in the product. This will help you identify the chemotype of the strain.

Type of strain

There are 2 primary categories of cannabis--Sativa and Indica. Growers have also bred hybrid strains that deliver the best of both worlds.

  • Sativa: Sativa strains produce a “head high” that can stimulate creativity and increase your focus while energizing and invigorating you. These typically have more THC than CBD.
  • Indica: Indica strains induce a full-body high. Indicas are known for their deeply relaxing properties and are great for just before bed. These strains contain more CBD than THC, generally.
  • Hybrid: Hybrid strains are bred from Indica and Sativa strains to have a higher THC level. However, the ratio of CBD to THC is different in each strain.


Terpenes are chemical compounds in the cannabis plant that produce certain smells and may have an effect on how the strain makes you feel. Learn more about the terpenes in your cannabis here.

Harvest & Test Dates

Most cannabis flower purchased from a dispensary will be labeled with the harvest date and test date. The harvest date represents the day the flower was removed from the plant for drying and curing, while the test date shows the day it was checked for mold, pesticides, and potency.

Lab/Grower Name and ID

When buying cannabis flower from a dispensary, you should be able to trace the product back to the grower or lab that produced it. Depending on your preferences, this may not be important to you, but some people prefer to only purchase cannabis from the same producer.

Batch ID

Your cannabis flower should also have a batch ID or number that identifies what batch the product was processed with, in the case of quality assurance issues.


While cannabis flower and edibles usually have similar labels, tinctures are usually different because they are dosed by drops and often consumed sublingually.


Look for an amount of milligrams when you’re looking for the potency of a tincture. The label should tell you the amount of THC, CBD, and CBN in the product.

Dosage per Drop

This is the most important information when it comes to tinctures. The label will designate how much THC and CBD are in each drop so you know how much to consume.

Need Help Reading Our Menu?

Still having trouble reading out dispensary menus? Give us a call or stop in the store and our team members will be happy to help you out!

Fine Fettle Loyalty Program

Join the Fine Fettle Loyalty Program and, in addition to our wide range of cannabis products and accessories, you’ll get access to exclusive monthly rewards, special giveaways, promotional events, and much more!