Like most hobbies, weed isn’t cheap. Even before you invest in the good green stuff, you have to buy several accessories to facilitate and optimize your high, such as rolling papers, pipes, lighters and the like. If you live outside California, in a state that permits medical marijuana use as opposed to recreational practice, you also have to apply for a medical marijuana ID, which can be a lengthy and costly process. What is a stoner on a budget to do?

The answer is simple: be grateful for the following money-saving tips, which will keep your wallet and your bowl full to the brim.

Though you’ll be hard-pressed to find weed at Costco, you can still purchase your green in bulk quantities and reap perceptible savings. Weed has a long shelf life, especially if you seal it properly and keep it at room temperature. Depending on where you are in California, you might have a problem with humidity; weed keeps best when stored at 55 to 65 percent humidity – too little and it becomes brittle, too much and it grows mold. No matter whether you live near the coast or inland, you should use an airtight container stuck in a cabinet or closet far from the kitchen or bathroom.

Fortunately, if you do find a place in your house to store large quantities of herb, you can take advantage of mega sales at your local retailer or at online stores, buying up plenty of product and hoarding it for later use. This also saves you time: you don’t have to go running to your coffee shop or dealer whenever you need to re-up; you can just open the next package and light up.

There is something about rolling a joint that makes people want to cram in as much weed as possible. Admittedly, big, fat blunts can be awe-inspiring to behold, but they rarely optimize the marijuana they contain. In fact, no matter how you roll, you probably aren’t using your weed to its greatest advantage. As painful as it might be, you should throw out your rolling papers entirely and transition to more optimal forms of weed consumption, like pipes or vapes. If you can’t bear to throw them in the trash, you can be sure to find a tourist willing to take your papers off your hands.

Speaking of vapes, vaporizers are easily the best way to develop and maintain a long, strong head-high. While bowls are leagues better than rolling papers for burning more manageable amounts of weed, you have probably noticed that hitting a bowl results in a heavy body-stone, regardless of the strain you use. Vapes have been shown to use weed three times more efficiently than traditional burning methods, keeping your continuous costs low.

“But!” you might say, “What about the initial cost of the vape?” It’s a good point: Vaporizers don’t usually come cheap, especially the latest and greatest models. You can save by buying through e-commerce, like DopeBoo or else you can buy used vapes from other online sources like Craigslist or eBay.

Though you get instant gratification from smoking or vaping, eating weed might be more beneficial for your bank account. Studies have found that the effects of weed last longer when it is ingested because it must travel through the digestive system and into the liver, where THC becomes much stronger. You can buy edibles from your favorite pot bakery, or you can save money by cooking up your own tasty treats. In fact, making your own gives you a greater diversity of options, considering California’s strict edibles regulation.

When you are wallet-conscious, you probably gravitate toward the cheapest strains in the store – but that probably doesn’t give you the savings you expect. Cheaper weed typically has lower levels of THC, meaning you need to smoke more to get the same level of high. By investing in a higher-quality strain, you can enjoy a strong high with a pinch or less of the good stuff so you can stretch out your stash for a longer period of time.

In California, the super-high THC strains are reserved for medicinal use only, meaning recreational users don’t have access. If you suffer from anxiety, stress, chronic pain or another condition and need a mega-dose of THC to cope, it will pay in the long run to acquire a medical marijuana ID card.

While you probably don’t want to light up the branches, the roaches or the other remains from your sessions, you should collect and save them. Then, when your stash is running low, you can bundle them all together to make hash. It might not provide the exact same experience you are used to, but it is probably better than nothing – as long as you don’t keep a bunch of it around for a long period. In CA, possessing more than eight grams of so-called “concentrated cannabis” remains a misdemeanor, so you should be careful with how you handle your hash.

If worse comes to worst, you can always fall back on the dirtiest practice of dirt-poor stoners: refusing to pass. Though it might seem irredeemably stingy, keeping the bowl to yourself is smart if your friends or acquaintances never share their stash or fail to pay you back for your weed investment. When you finally cut them off, they might be more likely to buy their own tree, saving you that much every time you light up with company.

California is expensive, and thanks to the 35 percent tax on recreational marijuana, being a law-abiding stoner in the Golden State will empty your bank account if you aren’t careful. By making a weed budget, optimizing your weed consumption and saving your precious green as much as possible, you can maintain your high and your high savings at the same time.



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