How To Be A Great Budtender

April 01, 2017 | PacerStacktrain

In the coming months, we'll be launching a new series here at Northwest Leaf, highlighting some of the best budtenders from around the state. And you can help! If you know of a great budtender, tell us. We're looking for the best of the best!


Being a budtender is a relatively new profession and that’s a very exciting thing!  

It means every day, people are finding creative new ways to make the customer experience better and more unique at businesses in legal states. While every shop experience will be different, there are some things that shops are doing to stand out from the pack when it comes to Cannabis.

Here are some of the services and knowledge we’ve found that can help elevate a cannabis shop experience from good to truly great...



A good budtender knows what’s on the shelf, inside and out. They should be well versed in the strain types the shop is currently carrying, and the typical effects of those strains. It’s helpful as well for budtenders to understand terpene profile for the flowers and concentrates they carry – since this affects the taste and scent of the flower. It’s also helpful to know how dense, or heavy the flowers are. If the customer is asking for an eighth, what will it look like? I’ve seen many a customer disappointed by “bag size” because of really denseflowers. 


Exceptional budtenders go the extra mile by exceeding customer expectations. Some of the best budtenders I’ve experienced have asked the question: “What size buds are you looking for?” It’s even better (if there’s time) to allow the customer to select the buds they’d like. Good budtenders can also interpret what makes the bud special at this point, showing off trichome production and density. Part of making the customer experience the best it can be is to first find out a little about their preferences. Simple questions like “what strains have you really enjoyed in the past?” or “What sort of effect are you looking for?” go a long way for an experienced budtender to serve a customer the perfect product for their needs. In short, find out what the customer likes, ask what size buds they’d enjoy, or about similar strains they’ve enjoyed in the past. This process involves having a connoisseurs-level knowledge of strains, which all good budtenders should strive for.


Let’s face it, in both the recreational and medical market – Cannabis costs more than it used to. That’s why it is so important that budtenders take care in packaging, choosing and sorting the flower that the customer has chosen. Their paying a premium price for this service – so keep that in mind when packaging. I would also urge any shop to reconsider “pre-packaged” herb. It just feels like bad service.


Of all the pointers included in this category, this one should be the easiest. However, I find that it’s often the most overlooked asset to a great budtender. Many customers are visiting the shop for the first time, and maybe even a dispensary for the first time. A great budtender makes customers feel welcome and at ease. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to a shop and not felt welcomed with even a simple smile. Friendliness goes a long way, especially for an industry just starting to come out of the shadows.

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