Coffeeshops should not be confused with coffee shops or cafes in America. They have little to do with coffee – it’s local legal dispensaries where anyone over 18 can buy different forms of cannabis and smoke it right there.
When visiting Amsterdam coffeeshops, there are few tips you should keep in mind. These dos and don’t will help you when taking a trip to this city in the Netherlands, especially in the Red Light District where most of the 250 coffee shops are located.
1/10 🌸 DO: Your research
- Finding the right Coffeeshop is like looking for that perfect show. It just has to fit right. Each shop has a different vibe depending on the time of day and location. Use Google, Weed Maps, & Leafly to find coffeeshops in different areas and read the reviews of each so you can get a sense of environment. I suggest trying out multiple shops in different locations.
2/10 🌸 Do: Ask the Budtender questions
- A Budtender is a title of a staff member who works within a dispensary or store where medical or recreational cannabis is sold. They are friendly, knowledgeable, and very accustomed to tourists who don’t know exactly how to go about the whole process. Don’t be afraid to, no matter if you are beginner or novice, ask them as many questions as you want, what they recommend and what effects each type has. They will give you a hand at picking which strand is best for you but often the menus are pretty good at giving you info on the type, strength and flavor of what’s on offer.
3/10 🌸 Don’t: Buy too much
- Coffee shops are allowed to sell a person 5 grams of cannabis a day. A person is allowed to own 30 grams. You don’t want to run into a problem of figuring out how to finish or get rid of your excess cannabis before you leave. Also share! You don’t need a whole bag each. Save dollar, be sociable and share your weed. You can always go up and buy more when you’re out.
4/10 🌸 Do: Stay for a while
- Most shops have papers and tips (they might even roll for you) so you can sit down, soak up the environment of which ever shop you choose, mingle with the locals (they might have suggestions on strain or other coffeeshops) or just sit back, chill and people watch. Free wifi is available in most coffeeeshops so you can catch up on some work. Really embrace this magical culture that is not always readily available.
5/10 🌸 Do: Bring water & Snacks
- We all know majority of the time the THC in cannabis can cause munchies and cotton mouth (dry mouth). Even though non alcoholic drinks and food is served at most coffeeshops, bringing your own can be less expensive.
6/10 🌸 Don’t: Smoke Cigarettes
- You’re not allowed to smoke tobacco inside, that covers tobacco in both cigarettes and joints. If you want something to mix with your hash and weed, a lot of coffeeshops will have a sort of herbal mix (an alternative to tobacco) at the counter that you can use for free.
7/10 🌸 Do: Learn the basic lingo
- Sativa: a head high which can make you feel energetic and active. Indica: a body high which is more likely to make you lazy and sleepy. Hybrid: a mix of both. Do a little research about the different strains. Go on Weedmaps, Leafly and explore.
8/10 🌸 Don’t: Underestimate the Effects
- If you’re brand-new to it all, educate yourself by asking the staff about effects and just ease in slowly. If things are getting a bit heavy, try to relax and remember that weed isn’t all that potent; in fact its effects rarely last more than two hours. Hot, sugary drinks usually help to elevate nausea and double up as soothing remedies that can quickly ease anxious minds. Eating a large, hearty meal works wonders as well, especially with a group of sympathetic friends. Fortunately, coffeeshops deal with cannabis related symptoms all the time and many have extensive menus that are designed around stoners’ needs.
9/10 🌸 Don’t: Mix cannabis and alcohol
- By Dutch law, coffeeshops are prohibited from selling alcohol. The logic behind this legislation is quite simple; cannabis and alcohol are just fine, but mixing them together tends to lead to catastrophic situations. There are, however, a handful of bars that allow clients to spark up in designated smoking areas. Nonetheless, these rare, coveted watering holes are not licensed to sell cannabis and will refuse entry to anyone teetering over the line of inebriation.
10/10 🌸 Do: Be ware of edibles
- The brownies and space cakes might look like a good idea, however the trouble is that edibles don’t hit you until a few hours later (unlike smoking which hits you way quicker), so keeping in control requires experience. Share the brownie, don’t eat one whole. They’re much stronger, last longer and trip you out a lot harder.