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Frequently asked questions

When it comes to cannabis, “There are no silly questions.” That’s a mantra we’ve adopted and continue to repeat. “Ask us anything!” is another one. All the same, those statements might not stop you from feeling silly for asking.

Having lots of questions is expected; go ahead and ask us! Here are some of the questions we get on the regular… if you don’t see the answer to yours, we’re just an email away! Contact us!

What’s the difference between medical cannabis and recreational “adult-use” cannabis?

The difference simply lies in its intended use. Medical cannabis is used by people with a qualifying medical condition who have registered under a state's medical cannabis program. Patients must carry a practitioner or state issued medical cannabis card in order to purchase and consume cannabis for medical reasons. The cannabis itself is no different from that which can be purchased for adult-use—that's the preferred term for "recreational use."

One exception: You may at times see the words “medical grade” on a cannabis product’s label or package. This specifically refers to the quality of the cannabis, as some patients require a higher caliber product in order to best manage symptoms.

*At Curaleaf, all of the cannabis we grow is medical grade, as quality is of utmost importance to us!

What’s the deal with CBD? It’s sold everywhere… but isn’t it cannabis too?

Yes! CBD is also cannabis. “CBD” is short for cannabidiol, which is one of many cannabinoids–a.k.a. active compounds–found in the cannabis plant. CBD products contain CBD in isolation.

CBD-only products derive from Cannabis Ruderalis, a class of cannabis we commonly call Hemp. Recently, Hemp-derived CBD products became federally legal, which is why you’ll see them available at Whole Foods, your local coffee shop, and everywhere in-between.

CBD is not psycho-active, meaning it will not produce a euphoric effect. For that classic euphoric “high,” THC is the cannabinoid you must seek.

Today, when we say “cannabis,” we’re usually talking about the federally illegal, euphoric, THC type. However, CBD (and a whole slew of other cannabinoids) are present in THC-containing strains, too!

In short, CBD is found within cannabis, but we don’t call CBD products “cannabis.” Gotta love semantics. If you’re looking for CBD products exclusively, you may want to migrate over to!

How do I know what kind of cannabis to try first?

That is a great question!

Our industry has learned to blend plants with technology, bringing you endless varieties of cannabis in both her natural state and in manufactured delivery formats like concentrates and oils. All of these options are incredible, but they can also be overwhelming and there are many factors to consider in terms of selection.

Cannabis isn't one-size-fits-all. Different strains, dosages and product formats may have varying effects on each individual. At Curaleaf, we personalize recommendations and help to guide you on your journey with this ancient plant. We always recommend that people start with a low dosage and go slowly, based on your history with cannabis and your current goals. Our dispensary associates work with you to help you tweak your selections until you find what works best for you.

Cannabis always made me paranoid. Was I doing something wrong?

Ask yourself whether you knew what you were inhaling or ingesting in your previous encounters with cannabis. Perhaps in the past someone passed you a joint and you smoked it with little to no information.

Chances are, someone passed you a joint, and you smoked it with little to no information. What was the strain type? The cannabinoid ratio? The dominant terpenes and common effects? You have no idea, do you? Neither did the person who passed it to you. While this doesn’t mean you did something “wrong,” your lack of info had the odds stacked against you.

In the age of information, cannabis holds no exception! We have so much info at our fingertips, so why not use it to our advantage? Visit a Curaleaf Dispensary and you’ll see how eager our associates are to guide you through the complexities and build your personal knowledge of cannabis.

As we’ve said, we are all different, so our experiences with cannabis will follow suit. While all the information in the world won’t ensure a paranoia-free experience, it will certainly increase your odds of having a pleasurable one. A little educated guidance will help. Our mission is to provide clarity around cannabis and confidence around consumption.

Can anyone shop in a dispensary? I have never visited one before.

First off, if you’re not 21+ (or 18+ in Arizona, New York, or New Jersey) you can’t walk through the door. And you shouldn’t even be reading this… come back on your birthday!

If you get past the age barrier, here’s the drill:

Some dispensaries are medical-only. You’ll need to be a card-carrying medical cannabis patient to walk through the door. If it’s an adult-use dispensary, you’ll need a valid 21+ ID.

Right now, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, most of our dispensaries are offering online and call-ahead ordering, with curbside pickup. Visit for details on how to shop in your state. We look forward to welcoming patients and customers back into our stores when it is once again safe to do so.

How can I become a qualified medical cannabis patient?

The steps to get started are relatively similar in each state, but there are some variances. Here’s an overview on what it takes to become a patient.