You also want to make sure you check the health and ripeness of the trichomes. A perfect trichome will be milky white, and a plant with strong genetics will be blanketed by them. Clear trichomes are an indication that the plant was harvested before it reached maturity, and, if you see amber or brown trichomes, the plant was not harvested soon enough.
A jar has a minimal effect on the overall price of the product but a large effect on your experience of the product. Pay for the jar.
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!
Characteristics of quality cannabis
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.
Being able to trust a grower also gives you confidence when trying a new strain. You can’t always know how a strain will affect you, but you can know if the strain was grown by someone who values quality. If you like a particular strain from a grower, try another one of their strains, you might like it.
At the end of the day, quality cannabis is produced by quality growers. Producing great cannabis is not magic—it is a skill that is developed over time through hard work. Good weed should be nothing short of amazing because the proper time was put into it. You will be able to see, taste, and smell the effort that goes into growing quality cannabis.
Proper storage can delay this process, but nothing will completely stop it. So be sure to check the harvest date on your flower before purchase, as the chemical complexity is dependent upon it—you’re making sure the compounds responsible for the entourage effect are still there!
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.
Avoid buds that haven’t been trimmed well, or are visibly mangled by a trim machine Quality cannabis is trimmed by hand to preserve trichomes and buds
Avoid buds that smell like hay or have no discernible smell at all. If it doesn’t have that characteristic dankness, you probably don’t want it. Pungency is directly linked to potency and terpene content.
For reference, rich scents like coffee and chocolate are typically indicative of an indica strain, while bright, acidic citrus notes are generally characteristic of a sativa. Hybrid strains will likely contain components of both profiles.
Quality cannabis buds should be generally green in color, not brown! The exact shade can range from lighter, frosty greens to darker, forest greens, with undertones that range from purple to rosy to golden.
Aside from the obvious (not wanting to smoke bad weed), those same buds pictured above comprise the starting material used to make all other forms of cannabis. Whether you prefer vaporizing concentrates or consuming edibles, every form of cannabis consumptionstems from the flower the plant produces.
Commonly sold in concentrated forms such as tinctures or softgels, CBD can also be found in high concentrations in organic hemp flower (Lifter strain from Canna Comforts shown below), the source material from which those concentrates are extracted.
Everybody claims to have high-quality cannabis in stock, but how can you tell for yourself?
One glaring advantage of low-quality cannabis is that it is usually available at discounted prices. While I wouldn’t normally recommend consuming sub-standard buds, some cannabis consumers prefer to bargain hunt and turn their shwag into affordable and effective edibles.
Keep in mind a few key points when assessing the visual quality of your cannabis:
Examples of Medium-Quality Cannabis Buds
Let’s check out some examples of low, medium and high-quality cannabis so you can better assess the quality of the buds you’re acquiring.
Also called: Shwag, shake weed, bottom shelf, popcorn, dirt weed, brick weed, ditch weed, Bobby Brown, and more
First-class cannabis will have a thick coat of sugary resin that contains the cannabinoids and terpenes, giving the plant its powerful effects and captivating flavors. Advanced potency and flavor profiles provide a diverse range of effects and individual experiences that amplify the consumer’s connection to the cannabis plant. The buds themselves are typically dense and chunky, thick from advanced CO2 levels during the flowering cycle and other innovative growing techniques.
The harvesting, drying, and curing methods used by the grower can greatly influence the end result. Truly dank herb should be sticky from the frosting of trichomes without being moist or wet. When ground, it should break apart without becoming a pile of dust, and when burnt, it should leave behind white ash (black ash is a signal that there is excess moisture in your flowers).