Amsterdam coffeeshops are a microcosm of their own — smoke wafting through the air, a mysteriously long list of menu items, and the heavy smell of cannabis. 🔮
Intimidating? A little. But visiting an Amsterdam coffeeshop is an opportunity not to be missed! Here are the dos and don’ts of smoking weed in Amsterdam, including things you should definitely try — and avoid — when visiting a Dutch coffeeshop for the first time.
👍 5 things to absolutely DO when smoking weed in Amsterdam
Let’s kick it off with things you certainly shouldn’t miss when visiting a coffeeshop in the Netherlands. 😙💨
1. Do try an edible
Okay, first things first: what if you’re not a smoker — and don’t want to become one?
Well, if you’re still curious about the effects of cannabis, you can always try one of the many edibles on offer in Amsterdam coffeeshops. 😋
Edibles are food items, usually sweets, that are infused with cannabis. Instead of smoking it, you’re eating it!
The most popular edible choice is probably weed brownies, but you can also get weed-infused cookies, gummies, chocolate bars and cakes Our personal favourite is Boerejongens’ Red Velvet Cake — zooo lekker.
Not only do they go down easy, but they’re also bloody delicious!
Meanwhile, your munchies are immediately satisfied — talk about killing two birds with one stone.
Caution: Eating weed is not the same as smoking weed. Generally, it takes up to an hour for you to feel the effects of THC when you ingest it compared to inhaling it. So don’t feel tempted to take an additional puff of a joint or another bite — you might risk too high of a dose!
2. Do take advice from the coffeeshop employees
Indica who? Sativa what? Yup, all those different weed types can be confusing. The good thing is that there’s no need to pretend you’re a weed connoisseur that knows the differences between various strains of weed.
The coffeeshop employees — some hilariously call themselves ‘budtenders’ — have all the expertise you need! So, go ahead and ask all your questions without shame.
Most people don’t know their way around a Dutch coffeeshop and the budtenders (hee hee) are trained to help you out and help you find the best weed for you.
Here are some ideas of what you might want to ask:
- How much should I smoke as a beginner?
- Which strain will make me the most relaxed?
- Which strain will help keep me awake and excited?
- What edibles do you have on offer?
- What exactly is the difference between hash and weed?
All we can recommend is: ask, ask, ask! And don’t be shy.
TIP: In our experience, Coffeeshop Boerejongens have incredibly knowledgeable staff. Their budtenders are regularly sent off to different workshops and educational training, so they really know their stuff (or strains 😉).
3. Do order a drink to stay hydrated
You know what goes amazingly with a good joint? No, certainly not a beer. In fact, coffeeshops in the Netherlands aren’t allowed to sell any alcohol.
What we’re really recommending is to stay hydrated, kids! Not only will a refreshing drink soothe your throat and balance your blood sugar levels, but it also prevents the dreaded ‘cotton mouth’- feeling. 💧
Most people who have smoked weed before will recognise this; after a couple of puffs, your mouth dries up and you’re in desperate need of some hydration. Why does that happen? Because smoking weed can cause the glands in your mouth to stop producing saliva for a while. Yummy… not!
So, to avoid this problem, just bring along your water bottle or order a drink with your joint. Easy, right?
Pssst: We definitely recommend checking out Coffeeshop Amsterdam Café, where a café, bar and a coffeeshop meet to create a unique and laid-back atmosphere. Aside from select weed strains, there are also drinks, tostis and sweets on the menu. 😋
4. Do make use of the free-rolling papers and equipment
Are you an expert and have mastered the art of rolling a joint yourself? Good on you! Then you’ll love to know that most Dutch coffeeshops give out rolling papers and filters for free.
Usually, there are little dispensers scattered on the counter or in the smoking area, and you are free to help yourself. The same goes for grinders and lighters, as long as you’re smoking at the shop. 🔥
If you’re not a joint-rolling machine, no stress! Order a pre-rolled joint at the counter instead.
5. Do take a sober buddy and plan some chill time
If you’re really new to the world of cannabis and coffeeshops, maybe it’s a good idea to do some planning and make your experience as pleasant as possible.
For one, you could take a buddy that will stay sober for your benefit — a true token of friendship. This way, you don’t have to be nervous that you won’t be able to find your way back to your accommodation because your buddy will occasionally nudge (or push) you in the right direction.
Another way to make your experience as pleasant as possible is to plan some relaxing activities to make the most of your high. For instance, you could buy a bunch of food in your nearest Albert Heijn and head to the park after your coffeeshop visit for a lovely picnic.
Want to smoke AND make the most of Amsterdam? Why not visit an art museum? Just imagine how amazing it is to look at Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ while under the influence! Those visuals. 🤯
5 things NOT to do in a Dutch coffee shop
Surely, there are some horrific scenarios that run through every coffeeshop-beginners mind right before their first visit.
What if you pick up a joint, start coughing and somehow the entire shop ends up laughing at you? Or all of a sudden you’re out-of-your-mind blazed and can’t distinguish up from down anymore?
But don’t worry. Neither of these scenarios will most likely ever happen to you. Thousands of people visit coffeeshops in the Netherlands every day and end up just fine.
But we do have some advice for you to avoid any unnecessary mishaps and embarrassments — just in case. 😉
1. Don’t smoke tobacco indoors
This one really isn’t up to you. Since 2008, there is an official tobacco smoking ban in the Netherlands that applies to all inside venues, including coffeeshops.
Why are we telling you this? Because it means that you’re not able to smoke mixed tobacco-weed joints on-site. You are, however, able to buy them at the counter and take them home with you. Or smoke ‘em on the canal side. 😙💨
READ MORE | Smoking weed in Amsterdam: the ultimate guide
If you want to smoke inside a coffeeshop, you’ll have to smoke pure weed joints. But be warned, these are likely stronger than what you might be used to. Start with a couple of puffs and take your time to notice how you react.
There is also usually the option to stretch your joints with a herbal mixture instead of tobacco. Unfortunately, this is not to most people’s taste, but give it a go! You might like it, and it’s definitely healthier than tobacco.
2. Don’t try to buy more than five grams in a day
Here is another legal footnote you should know about: while you can buy weed in coffeeshops all around the Netherlands, you’re not legally allowed to carry more than five grams with you at a time.
As a consequence, coffeeshops are legally not allowed to sell more than five grams to a single customer in a day.
Before you get upset, let us tell you that five grams is a lot. Unless you’ve been ordered to buy weed for a whole party of people, it’s unlikely that you will need that much. But you never know! 😉
3. Don’t underestimate your dose
Okay, here is the word of caution you’ve been dreading. Cannabis is a mind-altering drug in the end, and we gotta make sure you’re consuming it responsibly. 😉
Ready for some science? The chemical component in cannabis that makes you high or stoned is called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Some weed strands are bred to contain more THC than others.
If you’re a beginner smoker, you might want to opt for a strain that has less THC so you can start off on a lower dose (and, thus, get less high). Or, you could opt for a strand higher in another chemical component — CBD (cannabinol).
CBD is known to inhibit the receptors in your brain that the THC binds to, and end up making you high. Weed strands with a higher CBD content will therefore have a less intense effect — perfect for beginners!
In fact, CBD is known to have all kinds of positive effects, so you might want to give it a go.
Phew, still with us? If you’re curious about some more science behind THC and CBD, check out the video below! 👇🏻
4. Don’t keep your joint to yourself
Guess what: a joint is called a ‘joint’ for a reason! Unless you’re enjoying cannabis for its sleep-promoting effects, smoking up is really a social activity.
If you’re in a coffeeshop, it’s far more common to see joints passed back and forth instead of each person puffing away on their own.
It’s also much more fun to smoke together in groups. Who else will giggle at your suddenly slow reflexes and funky thoughts with you? 😜
5. Don’t accidentally take home an unwanted (and illegal) souvenir
Here’s a really stressful way to end any vacation to the Netherlands: being singled out at your home airport for the illegal possession of cannabis. Oeps. 😳
Or perhaps you’re sitting on the train at the Dutch-German border, and the drug hounds sniff you out because you still have a plastic saché with marijuana traces in your coat pocket (true story 👀).
Whatever the case may be, make sure you’re leaving every single crumb of cannabis on Dutch ground before you leave. Just because the consumption of weed is tolerated in the Netherlands, doesn’t mean that’s the case elsewhere!
With the do’s and don’t of smoking weed in an Amsterdam coffeeshop under your belt, you’re well prepared to venture into the world of weed, blunts, and edibles!
What are your tips and tricks for visiting a coffeeshop in the Netherlands? Tell us about your experience in the comments!
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in March 2022, and was fully updated in August 2023 for your reading pleasure.