It is no secret that the cannabis plant is medicine. Some cannabis opponents will try to cling to the debunked claim that it isn’t, but such a claim has been proven false countless times.
Despite what some people think, cannabis is one of the most studied plants on earth from a medical perspective.
It should obviously be studied more, but already there’s ample evidence proving cannabis’s medical value.
But who should discuss that medical value with patients?
Unfortunately, too many budtenders make the mistake of trying to insert themselves as a quasi-medical cannabis doctor.
Here are some factors that any dispensary or budtender will want to consider:
‘Just trying to help’ can be counterproductive
It’s logical to assume that when budtenders try to provide what could be construed as medical advice, they are doing so with a desire to help.
Because they are budtenders, they have a familiarity with the cannabis plant and cannabis products that is greater than that of the average person.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are truly qualified to be dispensing medical recommendations.
Describing characteristics of a particular cultivar or cannabis product is one thing – promising a desired medical result is another thing and should be avoided.
Many customers will take what a budtender tells them as gospel when really such advice should be taken with a grain of salt.
What is the worst that can happen if a budtender plays doctor?
Below are problems that can arise when a budtender tries to play doctor:
- The cannabis product recommended could have a different effect/reaction
- The patient could have an undesirable experience
- The condition that the customer suffers from could be made worse
- The dispensary’s reputation could be irreversibly harmed
- The patient could spread inaccurate information to other patients
- Budtender advice could contradict what the patient’s physician has recommended
Those are just a handful of issues that could arise if/when a budtender oversteps their subject matter expertise.
Obviously, a budtender offering up medical advice is not a good idea, but a budtender also needs to help patients with their selections. So what do they do?
What should budtenders do to help customers without causing harm?
The main thing that budtenders need to always keep in mind when discussing medical-related information is to be very transparent that they are not medical professionals.
If a budtender gets asked a medical-related question, they should always be upfront that they are not a doctor.
From there they can offer to provide an answer that is based on personal experience and/or research, but also point out that the answer should not be construed as anything more than that.
By doing so the budtender will clearly establish what their opinion/advice is based on, and if the customer still wants an answer to their question(s), the budtender can proceed without worry.