If you can't, or don't, want to visit a brick-and-mortar dispensary to browse strains and get recommendations, you're going to be spoiled for choice in 2016
WoahStork, created by UCLA Ph.D student Nicco Reggente, is among the latest online services designed to lower barriers to entry for cannabis newbies, and serve more seasoned users looking for a predictable, customizable high.
"The idea for Woahstork stemmed from the fact that I saw a ton of people really going through negative experiences with cannabis due to the strain or how it was grown," Reggente told Inverse. "Classic negative cannabis experiences. It was too strong, or the wrong strain, wrong dosage. Everybody's kind of had a negative experience with cannabis or picked the wrong strain for the wrong occasion. We're really trying to recognize the fact that everybody is different."
Dubbed the "Netflix of weed".by Inverse, WoahStork is easy to use. First get verified by uploading your ID and Medical Marijuana Recommendation. You then get a code sent to your phone, and you can start searching for strains and dispensaries. Once you've found what you're looking for, you order for pickup or delivery directly from the site. Dead simple.
The Strain Genie, like the menus used by certain dispensaries, is "experience" rather than strain-based: you're asked about the state of mind you'd like to achieve, rather than the name of the cannabis you want.
Want to get energized? Or are you more interested in a good night's sleep? Want to do something creative? Enter the effect you're looking for, and the database recommends relevant indicas, sativas, or hybrids. Every order you place, or review you write on WoahStork, earns you rewards, (cutely dubbed "Woahs") that can be redeemed for discounts from nearby dispensaries.
One of many online cannabis consultants
Naturally, WoahStork isn't the only service looking to become your go-to online cannabis consultant.
Leafly's comprehensive strain and dispensary database has been around for years.
But there's also Elevator, a soon-to-be-launched cannabis-specific chat bot that will help users cut through "false and misleading information floating around the web about [cannabis's] effects, benefits, and how to access it safely," according to CEO Tyler Sookochoff, who describes Elevator as "your personal 'Cannabis Concierge.'"
Also on the ever-growing list? PotBot, which tailors strain and dosage recommendations based on the personal information you enter, and hooks you up with a list of strains that match your ideal cannabinoid ratio.
With all of these emerging virtual options, the days of having to "know a guy" are officially over.