We continue to stand by this verdict time and time again: the cannabis industry should prioritize quality over quantity. Why waste your precious, hard-earned dollars on weed that feels like second place? To ensure you get the most bang for your buck, we created the only guide you’ll ever need to quality cannabis. With the help of this guide, you can walk into any dispensary and pick out the best flower. Please keep in mind that what defines cannabis as “the best” is subjective to a certain extent.
How do I grow quality cannabis?
We get this question a lot for beginner cannabis users: “How do I know that my stash is high-quality? What factors contribute to quality cannabis?” At first glance, all marijuana plants may look the same in terms of color and shape. The same goes for cannabis seeds and flower that you see on the shelves at dispensaries. It takes somewhat of an experienced cannabis shopper to notice the minor details. After all, the devil is in the details. Let’s break down the factors that produce quality cannabis…and the components you should look out for as red flags.
Do you see stems, leaves, and seeds?
The presence of seeds, stems, and leaves in your marijuana flower is often a sign of lower-quality cannabis. When you walk into a dispensary and ask for a gram or an eighth, keep in mind that cannabis stems and seeds contribute to that overall weight. Why pay for a gram of weed when all you’re getting are seeds and stems? The result of stems and seeds usually ties back to the harvester who did a poor job of trimming. Pro tip: always ask the budtender to show you the product before you purchase. You’re allowed to look inside the canister.
Do you see any mold?
If you see bits and pieces of mold on your cannabis flower, better to toss it in the trash. Do not purchase or consume cannabis that has visible mold as this could lead to illness. The good news is that legal quality cannabis dispensaries must abide by rigorous testing requirements to make sure their products are safe for consumers. If you were to purchase cannabis on the black market, however, no such testing is required and you could end up smoking something bad for yourself. Mold often presents itself on marijuana as a grey fuzz of white mildew.
Take notice of the trichome density
When you see cannabis buds that look like they’re almost glistening or sweating, that’s a great sign! You want trichome density when shopping for high-quality marijuana. The more frost, the better. Again, ask your budtender to show you the product before you whip out your wallet. You’ll be able to instantly tell if a certain nug has crystallization because trichomes reflect light. For the best cannabis experience, you need trichomes as they synthesize and store the cannabinoids and essential oils that give cannabis its psychoactive and physiological effects. Without trichomes, you may not feel as “high” or “stoned.”
What about the color and aroma?
Seeing as there are thousands of strain variations out there, each product will smell and look different. You cannot compare, let’s say, Animal Cookies to Lemon Haze. It’s like comparing apples to oranges. That being said, you want your cannabis to smell fresh and ripe…the same way you shop for fresh produce at the grocery store, You don’t want a rotten-looking banana or avocado. If your cannabis appears brown and smells stale, toss it out. It’s likely “expired” and is no longer effective. For the utmost freshness, store your cannabis flower in a cool, dry, dark place away from direct sunlight in a vacuum-sealed container
What defines quality cannabis?
In short, quality cannabis should appear bright and vivid in color—green, orange, possibly even purple with certain indica strains. Brown is not a good look for weed. As for the aroma, it should immediately remind you of fresh-cut fruit, or diesel, or cheese. Something that’s alive and fresh. You also want visible trichomes! Signs of lower-quality cannabis would be the presence of stems and seeds, as well as grey or white mold.