This app is changing the way the world views weed


With seemingly endless products in dispensaries nowadays, it can be hard to tell the fire from the flops. And with so many keyboard warriors posting less-than-helpful opinions online, which reviews can people trust?

Enter Budist, a new social review platform for the cannabis market. The app features licensed product reviews submitted by subject matter experts called Budists, hand-selected journalists, certified Ganjiers, cannabis cup judges, and connoisseurs. They use an objective 100-point scale to critique individual appearance, flavor, and aroma. The reviewer then adds rating notes, which include their perceived effects.

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The platform was co-founded by cannabis industry veterans Jocelyn Sheltraw and Claudio Miranda, who saw a need for a standardized weed assessment method that would simultaneously offer brands wider exposure.

“The idea for Budist originated from an appreciation of wine and a desire to celebrate cannabis in a similar manner,” Sheltraw explained. “We explored the many similarities that cannabis shares with wine—appellations, terroir, production practices, producers, traditions, and culture—and developed a framework for how these things could be captured and celebrated through an online community.”

App users (available on Google Play and App Store) can discover new brands and modalities, submit their own reviews, and compare notes. Much like aggregate review platforms in other industries, Budist shows you the official critics’ and community scores side by side.

Budist app preview. Photo: Budist

Budist launched its beta version in the California market just a few months ago and has already received several hundred downloads. Coming soon: video reviews, expert-led sessions, and in-app product purchases. The team also hopes to add more markets in the coming months.

An early win for the platform? A partnership with the California State Fair Cannabis Awards. Budists will serve as the official judges for the contest’s expanded competition, which includes finished goods like edibles, concentrates, vape pens, and pre-rolls in addition to flower. Visitors to the State Fair will have the chance to meet the Budists and check out the full roster of winners on display.

“Community and consumer education are at the core of everything we do,” Sheltraw shared. “We think that this year’s cannabis experience at the California State Fair will be a watershed moment for not just Budist but the industry as a whole.”


Rachelle Gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a cannabis journalist and Editor of She began her weed writing journey in 2015 and has been featured in High Times, CannabisNow, Beard Bros, MG, Skunk, Cannabis and Tech Today, and many others. Rachelle currently splits her time between Minneapolis and Oakland; her favorite cannabis cultivars include Silver Haze and Tangie. Follow Rachelle on Instagram @rachellethewriter