In recent years, cannabis legalisation has swept across many areas of the world, enabling weed smokers and growers to ditch poor-quality street cannabis. Now, they have a choice. Should they avoid the hard work and routinely pick up their stash from the local dispensary or cannabis club, or get to work developing their green thumbs and grow their own stash at home?

There’s plenty to consider when weighing up these options, from cost and quality to variety and convenience. Continue reading to discover the best option.


Dispensary Weed: The General Consensus

The United States paved the way for cannabis dispensaries, with the first opening its doors in California to distribute medical cannabis back in 1996. Now, you’ll find these establishments in every legal state. While some countries in Europe utilise the cannabis club model, dispensaries are a staple of the American cannabis industry and are destined to open in increasing numbers as legalisation continues to spread. The most important question, though; do they sell good weed?

Overall, dispensaries in the United States have a solid reputation for selling high-quality, potent flowers alongside a massive range of consumables, concentrates, and smoking gear. Customers are often treated to a wide variety of strains alongside key information, including cannabinoid content and terpene profiles. However, not everyone leaves dispensaries feeling satisfied.

Much like some restaurants offer great dishes and service, others lack what makes their competition so great. The reputation of dispensaries largely hinges on the proficiency of their supply. Sometimes, these businesses pull the short straw, and the quality of their products leaves customers disappointed. However, dispensaries generally sell higher-quality cannabis that outperforms street weed. So, why do so many users still choose to grow their own instead?

Homegrown Weed vs Dispensary Weed: The Differences Summarised

Homegrown cannabis varies wildly in its quality. With no regulator between the grower and their own cannabis, a multitude of problems can give rise to poor-quality flowers. However, most cannabis users agree that, when grown well, homegrown weed far outweighs both dispensary cannabis and street weed. Continue reading to discover the differences that give homegrown weed the edge in the eyes of so many cannabis lovers.

Homefrow vs dispensary
  • Origin

Some dispensaries do a good job of explaining where their weed comes from. They’re able to confirm if a specific batch has an organic status, if it’s from a large or small-scale grower, and if it has undergone the necessary batch testing to confirm safety. With all these factors considered, consumers have a rough idea of where exactly their weed came from and who grew it.

In contrast, growing weed yourself at home will allow you to know precisely where it came from, what cultivation techniques were used, and the risks (or lack thereof) of contamination. Furthermore, growers with a demand for specific types of cannabis, such as sun-grown and veganic, can rest easy knowing their weed meets these standards.

  • Quality

Much of the debate around homegrown vs dispensary weed revolves around quality. Still, let’s be clear: the cannabis sold in dispensaries blows street weed out of the water. Modern dispensary cannabis boasts improved potency, flavour, and smoothness. However, due to regulatory issues in the United States, concerns exist around the presence of contaminants[1], including insecticides and fungicides.

Scale also tends to correlate to a decrease in quality; farmers can’t know the quality of every bud while harvesting, drying, and curing massive quantities at a single time. If you decide to settle for dispensary cannabis, it’s important to learn how to differentiate the good from the bad.

Homegrown weed, when grown well, can quite easily outperform dispensary weed when it comes to quality. Compared to cannabis grown on a commercial scale, homegrown buds are dried and cured with more care, resulting in superior flavour and smoothness. Why? Well, in commercial settings one grower may have to oversee hundreds or thousands of plants, compared to the home grower who gets to pour all of their love and attention into a select few.

  • Cost

Another critical point of consideration in the homegrown weed vs dispensary weed debate boils down to cost. Cannabis can very quickly become a substantial monthly outgoing, especially for daily users. Dispensary weed can quickly start to drain a person’s spare income, leaving them wondering if homegrown is worth it. While it comes with some rather expensive start-up costs, especially when growing indoors, home growers ultimately save a lot of money in the long run.

There are many variables at play when it comes to estimating cost. However, after establishing a grow op indoors, you can expect to pay around €1.24/g. Outdoors, you’ll spend around €0.42/g. Now, let’s compare this to common dispensary prices, which could set you back anywhere between €4–€18/g. If you’re a frequent user, in it for the long-haul, growing your own weed serves as a cost-effective option.

Weed cost homegrown
  • Variety

Cannabis dispensaries usually supply a good variety of strains. However, as businesses, they are at the mercy of consumer demand; they’ll stock whatever is trending, and ditch herb that fails to keep people’s interest. If you have a rather specific taste when it comes to cannabis, you might find it hard to track down your favourite cultivars. On top of that, strains with novel terpene and cannabinoid profiles are even harder to come by. Conversely, growing weed at home will give you full control of the kind of weed you smoke and offer a consistent supply of your favourite genetics.

  • Convenience

When it comes to convenience, the choice between homegrown weed vs dispensary weed might appear obvious. Sure, it seems strolling into a dispensary and grabbing a few buds provides an easier option to raise several plants over a few months. Opting for a dispensary certainly makes life easier, but only for a time. Shortages, price fluctuations, and closing times are all sources of inconvenience for the dispensary buyer.

While home growers have to work harder to procure their first few stashes, they’ll have enough weed to smoke throughout the subsequent growing cycles. Eventually, they’ll experience rolling periodic yields that top up their stash jars, meaning they’ll rarely go a day without having buds on tap. The convenience of simply opening up your stash cupboard quickly becomes more appealing than driving to the dispensary to get some weed.

Is Dispensary Weed Stronger?

There are many variables at play when it comes to the potency of homegrown weed compared to that found in a dispensary. Home growers with a penchant for power can simply select genetics that clock in with a THC content of 30% or higher, providing them with weed just as strong as that found in dispensaries. Of course, dispensaries offer a wide range of genetics, some with low levels of THC and some with outrageous concentrations of cannabinoids. Overall, home growers are perfectly capable of growing cannabis just as strong—or stronger—as that available on dispensary shelves.

Is Dispensary Weed Better Than Street Weed?

Dispensary weed has a much better reputation than street weed—and for good reason. Although the situation varies from state to state, the weed that dispensaries sell is subject to regulatory guidelines, ensuring some level of quality and cleanliness.

Moreover, these businesses are looking to maintain good rapport with their customer base, meaning they’ll mostly seek out and sell the best gear they can get their hands on. In comparison, street weed varies massively in its quality. Sure, some sellers do all they can to ensure product quality, but the lack of regulation increases the risks of encountering poor quality and even heavily contaminated weed.

Do Dispensaries Grow Their Own Weed?

Some cannabis dispensaries grow their own cannabis, which shortens the supply chain and, depending on the cultivators, improves the quality of the product. However, the majority of dispensaries source their cannabis from commercial cannabis growers.

Growing Your Own Cannabis: Is It Worth It?

It’s absolutely worth learning how to grow your own weed at home! Unless circumstances prevent it, such as a lack of space, you’ll grow buds that perfectly match your preferences. On top of this, you’ll know exactly how it was grown and that it was dried and cured to perfection. Overall, homegrown weed offers a better all-round experience and, once you get the hang of things, a far superior end product with cheaper costs.

External Resources:
  1. Comparison of State-Level Regulations for Cannabis Contaminants and Implications for Public Health - PMC
This content is for educational purposes only. The information provided is derived from research gathered from external sources.

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