Avoid cannabis with seeds, male flower sites, or “bananas.” Quality cannabis is only produced by the female plant – male characteristics indicate the plant was cultivated under stress and the quality of the buds will be substantially lower.
Trichome density is relatively easy to distinguish with the naked eye; i.e. how ‘frosty’ is the bud? Quality buds will be covered in trichomes that sparkle like crystals, whereas poor quality buds will lack trichome coverage.
For reference, sativa buds are typically covered in more pistils (little orange/red hairs) than indica buds. The pistils should be dispersed throughout the bud, not clustered in some areas and absent from others.
It should go without saying that quality cannabis buds are free of mold and pests, but these issues can sometimes surface in cannabis purchased from a source outside the regulated legal market.
The good news is that you can avoid being stuck with subpar weed if you know what to look for. In our experience, there is no substitute for a smoke test in a perfectly rolled joint or blunt, but a methodical visual inspection of the buds will give you a good idea as to the type of strain and the conditions in which it was grown. Once you know what to look for, you’ll always have the best in your 420 travel kit.
Trimming machines tend to mangle buds and disrupt the fragile trichomes they harbor. Avoid buds that have been machine trimmed or untrimmed buds with excessive leaves; typical indications of rushed cultivation practices.
Avoid buds that don’t look ‘frosty,’ as they were not grown to peak ripeness Quality cannabis is dense with cannabinoid-rich, milky-white trichome heads
Depending on the growing and curing process, the marijuana could be a mix from dry to mildly wet, but there is a vibrancy to this stuff that you will notice when it doesn’t crumble up in your fingers the way that crummy dirt weed does.
That might not mean very much to you, but to put it in context, it’s a little bit like the difference between a light beer and top-shelf tequila.
Then again a lot of average stoners are not extremely interested in always getting as blasted as they possibly can. You’ve got at least be productive enough be able to afford more bud right? Assuming you have a relatively healthy tolerance, a mid strain should be enough to get you feeling nice without completely dismantling your day. You may find mid-grade can still give a few laugh attacks and put you in couch lock mode.
In the introduction, we briefly talked about the first type of weed, bad weed), but now let’s really dive into it, shall we? Leafly has a great complimentary piece on how to identify low-quality weed and stick to the top shelf.
Want some high-quality weed? Read on to figure out how to get it!
It’s not necessarily the worst taste in the world but it does lack the nuanced flavor that some of the top shelf strains are able to boast.
Let’s take a look.
Not only will top-shelf weed provide you with an exceptional high, but it should produce a splendid taste and aroma as well.
If the trichome color has an amber tinge to it, the plant was probably harvested too late and may contain higher levels of CBN. Although this cannabinoid has some potential medical benefits, it can result in a reduced high that makes you feel queasy or super tired.
2) Stem and Seed Content
Also, if you get someone trying to sell you buds that smell like freshly cut grass or hay, this usually means the weed was badly grown and improperly dried and cured.
Although this is not always the case, high-quality indica buds are usually fat, dense, and tightly-packed, while sativa buds are airier, wispier, and a little leaner. Hybrid strains will contain traits of both indica and sativa plants, so if you get something that’s in-between the above description, it’s likely a hybrid (and by the way, sativa buds should have more pistils – the little red hairs – than their indica counterparts).
Unfortunately, an increasing number of companies are using trimming machines so they can cut the weed at lightning speed, which is why we recommend purchasing hand-trimmed flower.