We’ve been seeing more and more technological advances within the cannabis realm over the last few years, but nothing that replaces the human touch. But that is about to chance, and by the sound of it, the change might be for the better.
Being a budtender is certainly a fun occupation, but the reality of it for many cannabis users, especially those who rely on cannabis for treating their medical conditions, getting advice from someone who’s in for the fun doesn’t exactly invoke confidence. A doctor doesn’t specialize medicine for the fun. And even if budtenders take their occupation extremely seriously, their training and knowledge might be limited considering how wide of a cannabis variety they have to deal with. Patients that seek a strain that is particularly suited for their needs might now have a more precise alternative to a budtender.
Probotics, which was named one of the “Top 10 Startups in Cannabis You Need to Watch” in Entrepreneur Magazine and has offices in Silicon Valley and New York, has created an app that goes by the catchy name of PotBot – a unique combination of “artificial intelligence, DNA analysis, and cannabis research”
Its purpose is simple – to “guide [medical marijuana] patients to the appropriate cannabinoid levels, medical cannabis strains, and consumption methods for their specific ailment.” The process isn’t much more complex – the patient provides some information like age, weight, gender, state of residence, medical condition and needs. The app then gives its recommendations and even locates a dispensaries and doctors in the particular area.
PotBotdoes that by tapping into a huge database of cannabis research and in-depth information on dispensaries. The last part is another great touch that goes beyond mere convenience.
“We don’t talk about taste, flavor, or smell, and we stray away from strain names,” Dr. Boris Goldstein, Probotics’ founder, told Fast Company. “Strain names aren’t tied to medical benefits because certain strains at different dispensaries don’t give the same therapeutic relief since their cannabinoid levels are different.”
The PotBot can also understand organic speech and engage in two-way communication, according to the company. The app is available in Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store. There’s also a desktop option. According to its creators, over 600,000 people have tried it on their smartphones.
Technology and AI tend to invoke controversial associations, especially when their advent at certain sectors comes at the cost of human departure. However, Probotics makes a case that is hard to argue with, and many cannabis users, especially those with medical needs, probably wouldn’t even try.