How to Excel as a Budtender

Whether you’re seeking to apply or you’ve already landed your dream job as a budtender — it’s time to learn how to excel as a budtender.

Budtenders are the driving force of cannabis dispensaries worldwide.

From providing essential information regarding effects to assisting clients find the best cannabis product — budtenders are the unsung heroes of the marijuana industry.

Whether you’re seeking to apply or you’ve already landed your dream job as a budtender — it’s time to learn how to excel as a budtender. Read along as we discuss tips on how to up your budtending skills to the next level.

Hit the Books to Increase Your Cannabis Product Knowledge

The foundation of budtender training is learning the basic information of the most popular cannabis strains.

However, if you want to excel as a budtender, you’ll need to go deeper than basic information. Instead, it’s your job to become a cannabis Encyclopedia.

Remember, the more knowledge you have — the more valuable you are as an employee or, the more likely you are to land a budtender job.

Below, we’ll discuss the key topics you need to study to ensure your cannabis knowledge is on point to answer any question that’s thrown at you.

Genetic Lineage

What’s the lineage behind OG Kush?

If you can’t answer this question in a split second without scrolling your phone — you need to hit the books. Many times, budtenders are asked by customers what the lineage of a certain cannabis strain is.

Customers value budtenders that provide clear and accurate answers. Understanding the genetic lineage of popular cannabis strains will transform you into a rockstar budtender.

Cannabinoid Content

Although the cannabinoid content of cannabis products can wildly fluctuate — it’s your job to know the exact potency of each product your dispensary stocks.

It helps to study your dispensary’s product catalog, which should include lab tests. By doing so, you won’t need to check the lab results when a client asks you how strong a certain product is.

Additionally, you must have a deep understanding of what each cannabinoid does.

For instance, you must describe how THC or CBD affects the mind and body. Furthermore, don’t stop at just THC and CBD — many minor cannabinoids produce potent effects.

Terpene Profile

Like cannabinoids, you must have a clear understanding of the most common terpenes found in cannabis.

You must know what terpenes taste and smell, from myrcene to terpinolene. Furthermore, terpenes produce a myriad of effects that influence the overall impact of cannabis.

Ultimately, it’s your job to become a weed sommelier. Once you’ve mastered terpenes, you’ll be able to open a jar of cannabis and parse through the present terpenes with a single whiff.

Recreational and Medical Effects

The most important aspect of being a budtender is understanding the recreational and medicinal effects of cannabis.

Going a step further, you need to understand relatively common medical issues, such as arthritis, migraines, insomnia, cancer, and more.

By pairing your knowledge of medical issues and medical effects of cannabis, you’ll have a sought-after skill of assisting medical marijuana patients in finding the best possible product.

There’s nothing worse than a budtender that recommends cannabis products that are far from the needs of an MMJ patient. Remember, recommending the wrong strain to a medical marijuana patient can have severe consequences.

Aside from understanding the medical potential of cannabis — you need to know the general (recreational) effects of marijuana.

Remember, telling a customer that they’ll feel high isn’t going to cut it. Instead, you should clearly explain the onset, peak, plateau, and comedown for any given cannabis product.

Know Your Cannabis Products

Another key ingredient for your budtender training is having an in-depth understanding of cannabis products.

Here’s a generalized example of cannabis products:

  • Extracts/Concentrates
  • Flowers
  • Edibles

Next, let’s break down each category further.


Cannabis concentrates come in many forms.

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of cannabis extracts that you must know about:

  • Tinctures (full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, isolate)
  • Shatter
  • Pull-n-snap
  • Crumble
  • Live resin
  • Vape cartridges
  • Topicals

As you can see, various cannabis products fall under the concentrates category.


Cannabis flowers are the backbone of the cannabis industry.

Many cannabis consumers stick to what they know, which are marijuana flowers. As a budtender, it’s your job to discuss the bag appeal, aroma, flavor, and effects of each flower.


Cannabis-infused edibles come in many forms, such as:

  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Pills

Once again, it’s your job as a budtender to know when to recommend a food, drink, or pill-based edible. Furthermore, you should clearly provide information on how long it takes (generally) for effects to take place.

Communication Skills Matter

As with any job — communication skills matter.

Budtenders are the face of the cannabis dispensary, so you’ll find yourself talking with customers and co-workers throughout your entire shift. Therefore, communication skills are paramount when training to be a budtender.

Communicating With Clients

You’ll learn (or already learned) during budtender training how to talk to customers.

Here are a few key aspects that you must remember when communicating with customers:

  • Always be professional
  • Listen to customers’ needs
  • Relate personal stories or analogies
  • Be customer service-oriented
  • Take the time to build a relationship with your customers

Communicating With Co-Workers

There’s no I in team in any aspect of the cannabis industry — especially a dispensary.

Therefore, you’ll need to learn to communicate effectively with your co-workers. From diffusing disputes to completing daily tasks, cultivating communication skills will help you excel as a budtender.

Find Your Dream Job in the Cannabis Industry

If you’re ready to land your dream job in the cannabis industry — it’s time to head over to Herb Career.

Herb Career is the #1 online location to grow your career in the cannabis industry. From budtending to product managing, Herb Career provides a curated list of the cannabis industry’s most sought-after jobs.