Best Head Shop 2014 | Bud's Glass Joint | Shopping & Services | Phoenix

Bud's Glass Joint brings a unique, artistic dimension to First Fridays, often hosting live glass-blowing competitions and demonstrations for spectators to enjoy. It features many pieces by local artists and even sells locally made incense, among other things. Bud's modest location has plenty of products on display without becoming an overwhelming, hard-to-shop mess. If it doesn't have what you're after, just tell the proprietors and they are usually willing to track it down for you. The staff is courteous, knowledgeable, and welcoming, plus they really know how to throw a 420 party.

Aunt Effie sets a high bar for "medibles," cramming a potent dose into a tiny cookie about the size of a quarter. Both affordable and accurately dosed, the buttery and nutty flavor of the cannabis cooked into these treats makes them a far cry from the snickerdoodles your grandma used to make.

This twice-monthly farmers market is an oasis for medical marijuana patients seeking just about any form of MMJ, be it a concentrate, extract, salve, or edible of nearly any kind. And it carries more strain varieties of good old-fashioned buds than you can count. This place is a smorgasbord like no other! There are contests with prizes, designated medicating areas, and a kitchen where a patient can order a medicated smoothie to go with a delicious meal — right after receiving a relaxing massage. What's more is that patients can speak directly with the cultivators from whom they are purchasing their meds, which can be far more enlightening than second- or third-hand information.

Keeping up with the newest craze in methods of self-treating with medical marijuana, Encanto Green Cross stocks MMJ concentrates, which it carefully concocts in its in-house marijuana laboratory by marijuana-mad scientists hell-bent on making the best, safest, and most potent concentrates it can — with plenty of variety to choose from. Luckily, the friendly and knowledgeable staff is well suited to educate even the most inexperienced patient on their arsenal of concentrates, such as wax crumble, budder, shatter, bubble hash, and kief. A little dab'll do ya!

Bravo to Blue Dream! Time and time again, this strain proves that it is a perfectly blended hybrid that is good for just about anyone, anytime. These buds vary from medium to light in color, tend to have a lot of orange hairs, and are abundant with frosty tricomes. The smell and taste are inherited from its Blueberry daddy, giving Blue Dream almost a baked-goods fragrance with berry undertones. Lower dosages create a light, daytime-friendly effect typical of the sativa side of this hybrid, while higher dosages bring out the indica traits for relaxing and winding down at night.

For patients who want the best of both worlds of head and body high while keeping only one strain on hand, Blue Dream is the weapon of choice.

Durban Poison is a strain that wake-and-bakers may rejoice in. The buds of this plant are dense and a beautiful light green with a few orange hairs, all of which is coated with a nice, frosty sheen. The aroma is spicy, with only a slightly skunky tinge. This pure sativa exhibits traits true to its type and offers an uplifting experience that actually aids most patients who want to remain productive, creative, and energetic while still relieving their pain or anxiety. These qualities make Durban Poison great for social situations, especially since it keeps the patient energized and far more clearheaded than most other strains, allowing for more focus and little to no fatigue. The overall potency is strong enough to make a little go a long way.

Best Customer Perks at a Medical Marijuana Dispensary

AZ Natural Selections

On the quest to get the best new-patient perks in the Valley, AZ Natural Selections has taken the lead. Not only does it have a new patient special that rocks (as of this writing, five free pre-rolls that weigh just shy of a gram each with purchase of an eighth), but it also hooks up new patients with a rolling tray, an herb grinder card, enrollment into a loyalty program, and a sweet, discreet carrying tube for meds and a few other surprises to help even the most novice patient get rolling with MMJ. AZ Natural Selections tends to have a good selection of herbs displayed with information to help patients of all experience levels make an informed decision for any purchase. Plus, it gives you an excuse to spend an afternoon in Cave Creek.

Roll up to Harper's Nursery and the first thing you may think is, "Wow, this place is small." But bigger isn't always better, especially when you're looking for desert-friendly plants. Harper's has a solid stock of native Arizona plants, vegetables, succulents, trees, and cacti — not the tropical stuff shipped in from California. The resident gardeners are helpful with watering tips and general landscape care, too. They're more than happy to give you suggestions on what to plant and where to plant it on your property. Don't miss Harper's spring rose sale, during which you can get bulk orders of dozens of different types of desert-friendly rose varieties. Now get out there and plant something.

Maybe you're one of those types who's not intimidated by REI's massive selection of gear, weatherproof pants, tents, gadgets, lanterns that can charge your iPhone, and what have you, but if you're leaning more toward the beginner side of outdoor lifestyle, REI offers killer classes in Leave No Trace ethics, outdoor cooking, how to hike during an Arizona summer, bike maintenance, camp basics, and more — for free. You sign up online and get quality info. It's a great little plan on the recreation outfitter's part — after hearing about how exciting the great outdoors can be, it's hard not to go on a spending spree. You got us, REI.

No matter how many DIY bloggers you follow and YouTube tutorials you watch, sometimes it's just better to learn a new craft in person. Lucky for Valley floral fanatics, a few local pros are here to help. Wedding planner Katherine Thornhill, stylist Misha West, and florist Teresa Wilson founded Pith and Marrow to make flowers a little less intimidating — and a lot more fun. With classes on making centerpieces and farmers market arrangements, the trio have made floral design an approachable social event. Each class finds students in a new locale, whether it's Lux or Lola, and working on a new project. Though the price tag's a bit hefty (usually a couple hundred bucks), each attendee walks away with a fresh arrangement, a few drinks under her belt, and a new skill to brag about.

Best Of Phoenix®

Best Of