Budtending Certification Program™
Get certified with Oaksterdam University’s Budtending Online Course, the most comprehensive and valued education available for pursuing a Budtending career. This course consists of resources, presentations, and mastery exercises developed by industry leaders.
In fact, the role of a budtender is more like a hybrid of a pharmacist and a bartender. A budtender must not only be well-versed in the potential effects of the products they sell and current scientific literature, but also be able to provide a pleasant and entertaining experience for their customers. In this course, we hope to provide you with both the knowledge and the skills you will need to do both, and succeed as a budtender.
In the first two modules of this course, we will cover foundational knowledge that we believe every professional in the cannabis industry should know — the history of cannabis, the laws and regulations relevant to production and sales, and the many ways in which humans use the plant to their benefit.
In Module 1, “Cannabis History and Scientific Research,” we will discuss how humans have influenced the evolution of the cannabis plant over the course of history, and how modern-day prohibition has changed how we grow and sell the plant. We will also review the current state of scientific and medical research on the efficacy of cannabis and its medical applications — research which, while woefully lacking in the U.S. due to a lack of federal funding, has shown massive therapeutic potential time and time again.
- Policies & History
- Legal 101 – Federal vs State Law
- Scientific Research on Cannabis
In Module 2, we will delve into the therapeutic benefits of cannabis in greater detail, learning about the beneficial compounds found within the plant and how those compounds interact with the human body to produce effects like relaxation or euphoria. We will then explore the multitude of ways in which cannabis can be consumed — from smoking to edibles to topicals and everything in between — and the various methods that have been developed to extract beneficial compounds from the plant material and prepare them for consumption.
In the next two modules of the course, we will define the crucial role of the budtender and develop skills needed to succeed in the job. We will also discuss what day-to-day life inside the dispensary is like, and how it differs from other retail and customer service work environments.
- Basics Of Cannabis Cultivation
- Therapeutic Effects of Cannabis
- Introduction to Extractions
- Methods of Ingestion & Delivery Systems
In Module 3, “Budtending Foundations,” we will detail the necessary qualifications required of a budtender, the most important of which is outstanding customer service skills. We will go on to explain how a budtender serves as an ambassador for the entire cannabis industry, and outline some of the unique responsibilities that come along with selling products which have powerful medical and therapeutic benefits. We will then look at some of the specific aspects of working in a dispensary that make it different from other customer service jobs, including special product handling requirements and enhanced on-site security.
- Skills and Qualifications
- Roles and Responsibilities
- Product Handling Protocol
- Dispensary Models and Methods of Retail
- Security and Chain of Custody
In Module 4, “Customer/Patient Relations and Consumer Safety,” we will work on strategies for engaging with customers/patients and encouraging safe consumption. We will walk through the questions you can ask to identify your customers’ goals for consuming cannabis and gauge their level of experience with various methods of ingestion. We will then discuss how you can apply that information to recommend products your customers will love, which is a skill that can help you develop a loyal following as a budtender. We will wrap up this module by covering some key issues related to consumer safety, including an introduction to appropriate dosing, potential side effects of cannabis, and population groups for whom cannabis consumption could pose a higher risk of negative health outcomes.
In the last two modules of the course, we are going to dive deep into the specific knowledge you need to recommend products that meet the needs of your customers and provide guidance on appropriate dosage.
- Customer Service and Patient Relations
- Asking the Right Questions
- Approaches for Common Customer Types
- Customer and Patient Safety
- Higher-Risk Populations
In Module 5, “Dosing and Effects of Cannabis,” we will present the knowledge you need as a budtender to provide comprehensive, evidence-based answers to your customers’ questions about dosing and effects, and help them select a formulation and dosage which is safe and effective. We will look at how the potency, effects, and duration of effects differs across various methods of ingestion, and introduce the concept of the “therapeutic window” of effective doses. We will also discuss potential interactions between cannabis and other drugs, including opioids, and introduce the concept of selecting specific cultivars to produce specific effects.
- Dosing Guidelines
- Identifying Customer Needs and Expectations
- Effects and Dosing Considerations
- Final Considerations
In Module 6, “Cultivar Selection,” we will examine one of the most complex — and most contested — topics in cannabis today: the identification and classification of individual cannabis cultivars, which are commonly called “strains.” We will explain why the term “cultivar” is more accurate than “strain” in the context of describing cannabis varieties, and break down the myth of the dichotomy between “indica” and “sativa.” Then we will learn more about what actually drives the differences in effects among cultivars, and examine the lack of standardization in cannabis cultivar labeling. We will wrap up the module and the course with strategies for helping customers and patients select cultivars that will achieve their desired effect.
- Strained – What is a Cannabis Cultivar
- The Hazy Kaleidoscope of Cannabis Genetics
- The Sativa-Indica Fallacy
- Cultivar Labeling Standards – What’s in the Jar
- Properly Recommend Cannabis Cultivars