Lastly, there is something to be said about shipping and handling. Quality flower is dried and cured properly. This allows your flower to be tasty, smooth, and free of mold. I always buy flower in a jar, as a plastic bag destroys the trichomes on the outside of the flower.
Ever wonder why the top-shelf flower is not always the highest in THC? Quality cannabis is characterized by a complex arrangement of cannabinoids and terpenes, not just THC. This intricate arrangement of compounds— called the entourage effect when consumed —will produce robust, well-rounded effects that result in a more enjoyable high.
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.
Characteristics of quality cannabis
Ensuring that your weed has ripe trichomes allows you to experience the flower at its peak ripeness, if you will.
Ripe, white trichomes. (Gleti/iStock)
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.
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.
Other low-quality weed names include: Reggie, schwag, ditch weed, dirt, brick bud, shake, wack, bunk
If all you want is to get mildly centered as you go about your day, a little bit of Reggie should still do the job nicely.
You’ll know that you are about to get some bad weed when you hear someone mention Reggie.
This is the sort of bud you’ve got to pay a little bit more money to enjoy but as far as we are concerned its more than worth the cost.
Like Reggie, a good mid strain is going to half equal parts skunky and perfumey notes. However, there is also going to be a nice rich dank quality to it that will set it apart from the cheap stuff. There will definitely be a terpene profile that builds the aroma and overall taste.
Also called: Shwag, shake weed, bottom shelf, popcorn, dirt weed, brick weed, ditch weed, Bobby Brown, and more
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.
Examples of Low-Quality Cannabis Buds
You’ve learned the visual difference between cannabis quantities and how to properly store your cannabis, but can you tell the visual difference between poor and high-quality cannabis? At Leafly we constantly receive questions from our community about how to tell the quality of buds based on photos or their appearance alone. While there isn’t an exact science for selecting cannabis (most of it comes down to personal opinion), there are a number of visual cues you can look for when scanning the selection of buds at your favorite dispensary.
Also called: Fire, primo, top shelf, loud, kill, chronic, dank, headies, flame, kine, kind, and a host of other regional naming trends
Mids can be identified by their spectrum of green hues and the presence of colorful pistils. Solid middle shelf genetics showcase purple tinge, moderate flavor profiles, and sugary trichomes. Seeds and stems are minimal-to-none, but the buds can suffer from a number of quick-to-market techniques like improper flushing of nutrients, quick curing methods, and sloppy trim jobs. Pricing for middle quality is somewhat standardized based on your region, and oftentimes bulk discounts become available when buying more than a ¼ or ½ oz at a time.