And is cheap weed always bad? Rae suggested that a low price point could indicate an older product past its shelf life but said that sometimes, “You can often get a nice-smelling, fresh flower for a good value. Beware if a pricey flower has a high THC level, but often a high price reflects the extra care and attention required to make a truly craft product.”
“Flower” refers to the dried and cured female cannabis plant’s blooms, often called “nugs” or “buds.” Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
There are a few other quality benchmarks to consider when tracking down the best weed. Dr. Adie Rae, a neuroscientist at the Legacy Research Institute in Portland, Oregon, and scientific adviser to Weedmaps, pinpointed three more key indicators of weed quality: ethical cultivation, ethical companies, and diverse chemistry.
Other indicators of bad weed
Check the harvest date and test the aroma before buying weed that appears unreasonably cheap. Marijuana that doesn’t pass the smell test just might be dirt weed. The bottom line, however, is that finding good weed depends on your personal taste.
1. Smell: Cannabis cultivated and cured to the highest standards typically exhibits a pungent and pleasant aroma. Flowers emitting a strong fragrance are commonly referred to as having a “dank” or “loud” odor, indicating the overall quality of the flower. There are a variety of terms for the types of aromas high-quality cannabis emits, including skunk, diesel, and pine. The common denominator is that a good-smelling flower is distinct, pungent, and unmistakable. The stronger the fragrance is, the more nuanced the experience is likely to be.
3. Feel: When flower is of a lower quality, it will often be dry or brittle to the touch. Dry bud will feel light and airy with no weight behind it, unlike dense, sticky flower. Additionally, bad weed will easily crumble when handled, or might even be falling apart. Loose, undone flower is called “shake” and should be avoided.
4. Flower structure: Poor flower structure can be easily detected with a discerning eye. While a properly cultivated flower will often be aesthetically pleasing, a carelessly grown plant can produce inferior-looking flowers. Though a plant’s structure really says nothing about its chemical composition, it can still tell a story. Improper lighting or growing conditions can lead to “fluffy” or “airy” nugs, and while they may contain high levels of cannabinoids and terpenes, their density is still widely and harshly dismissed by the cannabis community.
Another issue is that the FDA doesn’t oversee medical marijuana like it does prescription drugs. Although states monitor and regulate sales, they often don’t have the resources to do so. That means the strength of and ingredients in medical marijuana can differ quite a bit depending on where you buy it. “We did a study last year in which we purchased labeled edible products, like brownies and lollipops, in California and Washington. Then we sent them to the lab,” Bonn-Miller says. “Few of the products contained anywhere near what they said they did. That’s a problem.”
Department of Health and Human Services.
States allowing legal recreational use include: Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington
What are the side effects of medical marijuana?
Researchers are studying whether medical marijuana can help treat a number of conditions including:
The agency did, however, agree to support additional research on marijuana and make the process easier for researchers. “Research is critically needed, because we have to be able to advise patients and doctors on the safe and effective use of cannabis,” Bonn-Miller says.
Because marijuana contains some of the same chemicals found in tobacco, there have been concerns that smoking it could harm the lungs. The effects of inhaled marijuana on lung health aren’t clear, but there’s some evidence it might increase the risk for bronchitis and other lung problems.
National Institute on Drug Abuse: “Drug Facts: Is Marijuana Medicine?” “Is Marijuana Addictive?”
Backstory: Cannatonic is a unique hybrid strain bred by Spanish seed bank Resin Seeds specifically for its low THC content (rarely above 6%) and high CBD content (6-17%). It produces a relatively short-lived, mellow high that is also uplifting and powerfully relaxing.
Backstory: Lodi Dodi is a sativa-dominant hybrid popular in Washington state. Exclusively bred by The Clone Zone, the genetic heritage of Lodi Dodi is undisclosed and closely guarded. The strain’s flavor tends toward tropical fruit and fresh wildflowers, and the pungent aroma leads the way towards a cerebral buzz known to turn any task into an adventure.
There’s a reason this strain is a fan favorite. The taste is delightfully tropical with a pleasantly mellow buzz that will leave you giggling.
Parent strains: Unknown
Strain type: Hybrid