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weed quality

When it comes to purchasing cannabis, many people employ a system that reflects my wine purchasing strategy: I find a cool-looking label that fits my price point and move on to the checkout line. Does this help me find a good wine? Nope! But it allows me to get back home in a timely manner and that is half the battle when I’m grocery shopping.

If you’re lucky enough to live in an area that allows you to smell flower before it is packaged, you have an advantage. Smelling flower is the best way to determine its terpene profile. The more pungent the aroma, the more terpenes are present. You want it to smell loud!

Quality isn’t just THC

Another way to look at it is that when you pay more for quality cannabis, you are paying for the compounds that are not THC. Unfortunately, since very few of these compounds can be found on the label, it can be difficult to determine if the product you’re buying is worth the extra cash.

A THC-dominant flower that is lacking diversity in terpenes and cannabinoids will produce an experience that is one-dimensional, short lived, and maybe even anxiety-provoking.

Ensuring that your weed has ripe trichomes allows you to experience the flower at its peak ripeness, if you will.

Also called: Shwag, shake weed, bottom shelf, popcorn, dirt weed, brick weed, ditch weed, Bobby Brown, and more

Keep in mind a few key points when assessing the visual quality of your cannabis:

Examples of Low-Quality Cannabis Buds

The first thing you should know is that top-shelf buds will stand out in a sea of green. Besides the diverse spectrum of colors that premier genetics show, the amazing quality and complex aromas of truly dank weed will scream “pick me!” The nickname “loud” is used for this exact reason, because the pungent flavors are often too much to contain and can draw attention to those who have it, especially when trying to be discreet. Truly outstanding cannabis has no price cap — it can be considered a luxury item like fine wine and, depending on the laws where you live, prices can reach extreme levels.

Picking out cannabis is a lot like selecting fresh produce or flowers — you’re looking for something that looks appealing, has a good color, and produces an enticing aroma. Additionally, you want to avoid any glaring defects like mold and mildew, insects, and discoloration. Different qualities can come from the same plant; for example, I’ve seen many dispensaries that separate the prized colas from the small wispy buds found on low- hanging branches (I call these “popcorn nugs”).

Everybody claims to have high-quality cannabis in stock, but how can you tell for yourself?

Never underestimate the potential impact that crap weed has on your health. Smoking low-grade marijuana can be brutal on your throat and will not be much better for you than using a few tobacco cigarettes. Also, don’t forget to check your weed for signs of mold or rot. Moldy weed will look similar to what you find on expired cheese, bread, etc.

When you grow a proper strain of marijuana and harvest, dry, and cure it to perfection, it has an unmistakable smell and taste of glorious musk.

Trichomes cover high-quality buds and are akin to sparkling crystals; you can probably spot trichome density with the naked eye, but you’ll need a jeweler’s loupe or something similar to check out the full quantity and get a good look.

Good or Bad Weed – An Overview

Ideally, growers harvest cannabis when the trichomes have a milky white color. Under a magnifying glass, they resemble tiny bright mushrooms. It’s pretty beautiful.

On a side note, cannabis that has an aromatic tinge of chocolate-like bitterness usually indicates the strain is indica, while citrus notes often suggest a sativa-dominant variety.

Whenever possible, try and purchase your marijuana from a reputable source, such as a licensed dispensary. If there are none near you, you’ll have to take your chances with a local dealer – which in many cases is illegal. Never break the law, and always know and understand the legalities of the area that you’re in before you go to buy pot.

When you check for trichome content, you are looking for prematurely harvested weed. If you can see underdeveloped trichomes, the plant was likely harvested before it was entirely “ripe,” and you should avoid it.