April Best is a newcomer to the Cannabis industry, but she didn’t step into her position at Nectar Salem (Liberty) unprepared. Guided by personal experimentation, a lifelong thirst for reading, and a passion for science, Best prioritizes consumer education above all. Her dedication to research and product knowledge has earned her the trust of fellow budtenders, and this month’s nomination for Budtender of The Month.
Do you have a favorite strain, product, or overall cannabinoid?
My favorite strain is Jack Herer. I use it for depression and body/vocal tics, so I need a strong effect that keeps me motivated and functional. The terpinolene content in Jack is the key. It makes for a smooth sweetness, nice brain buzz, and a clear-headedness that breaks up thought loops. My favorite cannabinoid is CBG for a number of the same reasons. I can’t emphasize enough how good CBG is for appetite and digestion. As someone who needs to eat a lot to maintain weight, it can be hard. It (CBG) can also work like a warm bath for sore muscles and fatigue.
Why do you think consumer education is important in our industry?
We sell drugs! People need to understand the way Cannabis works and the things it can help (or hurt) so that they can make informed decisions. Cannabis can affect your blood pressure, your digestion, neurochemical breakdown, and how you process other drugs. Everyone could benefit from taking a closer look at the things they put in their body. Whether you use something every day or once in a blue moon – you should know how it’s going to interact with you.
What drives your desire for Cannabis education?
I want my customers to be confident and have a deep enough understanding so that they have the tools to get something they like, without having to trust the budtender implicitly. I try to go back and verify anything I learn with Cannabis because there’s a lot of folklore and misinformation floating around. With new research, it’s so much easier to talk to people on a real scientific level. There are just so many ways to explore Cannabis and its constituents. I get to be a guide for what people are interested in.
How do you approach the topic of terpenes when a customer comes in searching for nothing but high THC?
There aren’t many consumer industries that focus on purity like Cannabis. Most people don’t drink Everclear for fun, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sommelier ask for the highest percent wine. I generally just try to get people to wonder why they want what they ask for. Most of the time, they just don’t know how to navigate this market. Consumers do the best they can with what they’re given, so I just pry when someone seems open and educate them where they are lacking. If that doesn’t work, I always approach the situation with humor.