When in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask your budtender questions to find what you’re looking for.

At The Happy Camper, we often hear a common refrain from our customers: I want to try using cannabis, but I’m worried. What if it makes me too sleepy? Or worse, too paranoid to function?

The great news is that even if you experience unwanted side effects, they typically last no longer than a few hours. But your experience doesn’t have to be negative—in fact, it can and should be total bliss! Just to be safe, here are our best tips for choosing the right type, dosage and format of weed to make your 4/20 spectacular.

First, get familiar with the different types and strains.

You’re probably aware that there are many different strains of marijuana, with some of the most popular being Blue Kush, Sour Diesel and Wedding Cake. But there are thousands more to try, and each strain incorporates different levels of:

Indica (think: “I” for Indoor) which is associated with feelings ranging from calmness to extreme drowsiness depending on your dosage.

Sativa (think: “S” for Social) for a more energetic feeling that can verge on anxiety or paranoia if you take too much.

If you’re choosing a product that contains 50% Indica and 50% Sativa, for example, you can expect to feel a balance of calmness and energy. And higher levels of either will produce more of each respective effect.

Second, consider the format of marijuana you’re using.

Cannabis products come in a wide range of tinctures, capsules, patches and more. The two most popular ways to ingest are by smoking raw “flower” or consuming cannabis-infused edibles. Here are a few notes on both modes of consumption:

Smoking marijuana

Traditional “flower” can be smoked via joints, blunts, pipes or bongs. There are also now a wide variety of vape pens on the market, and many users enjoy the lower maintenance and discretion these devices offer.

Smoking delivers THC rapidly to the bloodstream via the lungs, and most users report feeling the effects almost immediately. To gauge how you’ll feel after smoking, keep in mind that ​​smoking results in typically between 60 to 63 percent THC loss, where vaporizers lose about 46 percent of THC content when inhaled.

Eating edibles

A growing number of marijuana users opt for candies, gummies, cookies, seltzers and other edible products as their preferred mode of consumption.

THC from edible products is delivered much more slowly to the bloodstream via liver metabolization. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to start feeling the effects of a THC-infused edible. Additionally, users report stronger and longer-lasting side effects from consuming edibles, compared to smoking or vaping.

And finally, use a little (safe) trial and error to find your dosage.

As stated, your experience using marijuana products can depend largely on your own personal tolerance—and that tolerance can increase if you’re using marijuana regularly. For that reason, we suggest that THC beginners start with a very low dosage (2-5mg) and increase as needed to achieve desired effects.

Want more information on the different types of marijuana products and how they will affect you? Simply stop by the Happy Camper dispensary in Palisade, where our friendly budtenders will be more than happy to assist you. Have a safe and happy 4/20, everyone!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.