Online shopping scams account for 38% of complaints to the Better Business Bureau.
Sadly, ruthless scammers are great at creating fake apps or websites, all aimed at stealing customer’s information. Still, every day, satisfied customers make purchases online, and they receive products that they’re happy to use.
The key to shopping online safely is knowing how to spot the good sites from the bad ones. Screening out scams becomes especially important when you’re buying products that can impact your health, like THC.
How can you safely shop at an online THC store, and guarantee you like what you buy? Read on to find out!
Table of Contents
- Preparing to Visit an Online THC Store
- The Benefit of E-commerce Memberships
- Shopping for THC Online in Public Areas
- Shop Safely Online for THC
Preparing to Visit an Online THC Store
Before you visit an online THC store, you’ll need to brush up on your cybersecurity knowledge. For instance, are you certain your computer or phone has the latest software updates?
If you don’t have automatic systems activated on your electronic device, you won’t be able to take advantage of automatic security updates. We suggest always activating system updates, and also keeping browser plugins like Java active and up to date.
Choosing Secured Websites
After updating your electronic devices with the latest security upgrades and software, you can begin you’re online search! As you begin checking out the different THC stores available online, you’ll want to be sure you narrow your search to only include secured websites. The good news is that you’re antivirus software and security updates will go a long way towards helping you avoid dangerous sites.
However, you still have to do your due diligence to notice if a site you’re on is safe or questionable. For instance, what does the URL read in the address bar? If you don’t see an “S” in the “HTTPS://”, get out of there. The “S” stands for secure, any site that doesn’t state it’s secure can put your sensitive information at risk. You’ll also be putting your electronic device at risk of catching a nasty virus.
Shop Trusted Brands
Once you find a site you can trust, the next step is to consider the source. Who exactly will you be buying your THC from? Is it an experienced dispensary, dedicated to customer service? A start-up, looking to wow their new customer base? Or are you walking into a THC trap, where you’ll overpay for low-quality cannabis products?
To ensure you’re shopping somewhere you’ll like, we suggest sticking to trusted brands. Since the cannabis market is still newly forming, the brand doesn’t necessarily have to have decades of experience. Instead, look for company’s that take pride in putting their best foot forward.
Quality companies will care about minimizing pain points for customers and supplying top-notch products. When you shop at a company with a good reputation, you can rest easy knowing that you’re buying from someone who cares about you as a customer. One way to check a brand’s integrity is by exploring its website.
When a company is doing well and pleasing its customers, it’ll have a website that reflects the positive experience. When you’re perusing a THC store online, it should be easy for you to find the information you’re looking for. For example, are you trying to find the contact us section?
A real company that’s not just out to take your money, wants to hear from you! If the online store you’re checking out doesn’t have an easily accessible contact us page, that’s a major red flag. Next, as you browse the different products, the prices should be readily available. The last thing you want is any surprises when it comes time to check out.
Review Product Photos
Whether you’re a cannabis enthusiast, or you’re new to the world of THC, every customer can benefit from window shopping. When you check out different products online, you get a chance to explore different consumption methods that can be a ton of fun. When you’re shopping online, if the store doesn’t provide photos of their products, consider shopping elsewhere.
Product photos are the closest thing to an in-store shopping experience. High-quality photos also reflect that the company’s invested in pleasing the customer. Think about it. You want to buy a disposable vape, but you’re purchasing from a new company. If there aren’t any photos, how will you know the vaping design will meet your needs?
Maybe you like a larger-sized battery, or perhaps you’re shopping for a discrete disposable pen. If the store provides immersive photos, you’ll be able to envision yourself using the product, helping you make an educated buy!
When it comes to purchasing flowers online, product photos are especially helpful. Being able to zoom in on the different buds to appreciate the crystallized terpenes can be a fun shopping experience. Different cannabis strains also have different colors, which the photos will help you appreciate. Of course, in addition to checking out the photos, you’ll also want to read the detailed cannabis strain descriptions.
Consider THC Potency
If you notice the flower you’re considering buying has .03% or less THC, it’s not the right bud for you. Instead, you’ll want a strain that has at least 4% THC content. If you’re looking for a more intense high, feel free to shop strains that go all the way up past 18%. However, keep in mind that the higher the THC level, the more potent the flower is.
For some users, flowers with exceptionally high THC counts can be alarming, rather than comforting. Other users, especially those with chronic pain or insomnia, can benefit from the increased potency.
There’s no wrong choice when it comes to choosing flower potency, it’s a matter of personal preference. Since it can be fun to experiment with different THC levels, we suggest shopping at an online THC store that has a variety of flower options.
Consider CBD Ratio
If you’re shopping for cannabis flower online, you’ll want to consider the THC to CBD ratio. There’s a lot of flowers online that only contain CBD. Considering how successful the CBD industry is right now, it’s no surprise there are such a wealth of CBD-only buds to choose from.
However, if you’re shopping for THC, chances are you’re looking forward to the chill effects THC can provide. Double-check the flower’s CBD to THC ratio before making any purchases. CBD-only flowers will still list trace amounts of THC.
Trace amounts of THC won’t provide you with any type of high. If you’re looking for a sober option, you can always look for more information about CBD or Delta 8 THC.
Indica vs Sativa
Speaking about flower, it’s worth noting there are 2 main types of strains. First, there’s Indica, the strain famous for providing relaxing effects. If you choose an Indica dominant flower online, you can expect a really chill high, that might make you sleepy. Indica strains are especially helpful when you’re using THC to help with body pain or anxiety.
Second, there are Sativa strains, popular for their uplifting capabilities. Sativa is a great strain when you’re looking for a boost of energy or a surge of creativity. You can expect to feel extra chatty, and ready to take on a project, with the right Sativa strain. However, each strain also produces its own unique effects.
Reading Labels on Products
You can’t assume that because you’re buying a Sativa strain it’ll have the same effect as the last Sativa strain you used. Instead, you should always read the labels on products for whatever type of cannabis product you’re buying. Flowers, vapes, edibles, and more, should all list their strain type.
It’s even better when the descriptions tell you the exact strain name. Why should you care about the strain name? When you’re looking to customize your experience, you’ll need to pay attention to the strain-specific names. For instance, Strawberry Tillamook is a popular Sativa dominant strain and it’s great for producing a full-body high.
However, Strawberry Tillamook is still chill enough to enjoy during a movie or video game session. Once you find a strain that provides you with the exact results you want from THC, you can enjoy getting it again and again. The best part is you won’t be beholden to one company’s version of the strain.
Instead, branch out and try a Strawberry Tillamook, or whatever your preferred strain is, at a different online dispensary. You can also enjoy using your favorite strain in a variety of products, not just flowers.
Lastly, if you want a little bit of both worlds, check out what hybrid strains are all about. The best online THC stores will be able to provide their customers with Sative, Indica, and hybrid strains. Hybrid strains are a mix of both Sativa and Indica, so neither is dominant.
Avoid Cannabis Scams
Next, on our list of online THC shopping tips, it’s time to dive into cannabis scams. Earlier we mentioned that quality companies will have a contact us section on their web page. However, simply spotting the contact us section isn’t enough. Even if the website is user-friendly, and has great photos, you should always contact the dispensary before making your purchase.
Call ahead and speak to a live person to verify you’re purchasing from a safe source. Next, take things one step further by checking out the company’s social media accounts.
Are their social media accounts active? Are customers saying nice things? Once you’ve contacted the company and checked their online presence, read a few online customer reviews. Look for recent online reviews, and read at least 5-7 to get a good feel for the customer experience.
The Benefit of E-commerce Memberships
Does the online THC store you’re shopping at require a member login? While it may seem tedious to be required to create an online account, remember the feature exists to protect you. Without online verification, THC stores have no way of determining if you’re the person making the payment.
However, by verifying your identification and payment information with a user account, you can rest assured your information’s protected. Be careful though, simply set up an online account as a new customer or member isn’t enough. You also have to make sure you’re using a strong password for the account.
When it comes to creating strong passwords, the best advice is to come up with something unique. Resist the urge to recycle another password or variation of a password you’ve used before. Instead, your password should be one of a kind and contain at least 1 upper and lowercase letter.
Shopping for THC Online in Public Areas
Do you plan on shopping for THC products in a public area? Whenever possible, it’s always a good idea to save your online shopping for a home. With the safety of your home network, you can minimize the risk of attacks on your hardware. However, let’s be realistic. In today’s fast-paced world, a lot of us have to order things on the go.
If this describes you then you’ll want to practice the best online shopping tips for when you’re in public. If possible use your data connection instead of a wifi connection. If you don’t want to use your mobile phone screen, you can create a safe mobile hotspot for your tablet or laptop.
If you have to use wifi, make sure you’re logging on to a legitimate connection. Verify the wifi name of an employee at the public location you’re at. Even if you’re at a library, double-check what the correct wifi login information is.
Why? Unfortunately, hackers love to prey on people entering payment information on websites in public. To trick you into handing over your debit card details, hackers will set up bogus wifi accounts with names that are similar to the real thing.
Shop Safely Online for THC
By taking the time to read the top tips for shopping at an online THC store, you can look forward to a positive eCommerce experience. Remember to always judge a company’s website harshly. If it’s hard to navigate or doesn’t have product photos, is it really somewhere you want to spend your money?
Instead, make a safe, high-class cannabis purchase from a company you’ll be excited to buy from again. After all, once you find your favorite strain, the sky’s the limit for how much fun you can have! For more life tips, check out another one of our articles.