The Directory attempts to differentiate headshops, smartshops and growshops according to their traditional roles:
Head shops sell all kinds of smoking paraphernalia such as pipes, bongs, vaporisers, papers and rolling machines plus books, comics, posters, t-shirts, etc. Also discussed on the Headshops and Paraphernalia forum.
Grow shops sell cannabis seeds and all of the equipment to grow them. Also discussed on the Growshops and Seeds forum.
Smart shops sell 'herbal' or smart drugs. Also discussed on the Smartshops and Mushrooms forum.
In practice, most head, grow and smart shops sell all of the above. There are a few growshops that specialise in hydroponics equipment rather than seeds and pipes but most headshops, smartshops and seed shops sell a selection of pipes, seeds and truffles.
Over the time that the ACD has been running there have been many changes, especially in smartshops. In the past, smartshops were mostly associated with magic mushrooms (paddos in Dutch) but this is no longer the case.
Here in the UK small psilocybin mushrooms grow wild and the fruits are collected in the autumn. In the Netherlands smartshops used to sell a range of mushrooms including Psilocybe Cubensis, Psilocybe Tampanensis (Philosophers Stone) and Copelandia Cyanescens plus the San Pedro and Peyote cacti. More restrictive regulations have reduced the choice now.
Dutch smartshops have always differed from the rest of the world. Although they no longer sell the range of mushrooms they once did, there is still an emphasis on natural highs such as truffles, kanna, kratom, guarana, salvia, kola nut and so on.
These are very different to the chemical legal highs that have exploded elsewhere and changed the meaning of headshops in the UK.