What does good weed look like? With weed, you have several types and strains from which to choose. While you will no doubt want to get the very best that there is out there, recognizing and differentiating between good and bad cannabis may not be so easy, and more if you are just getting started as a cannabis user.
Your chances of getting good weed in states where cannabis is completely legal are very high. The fierce competition among marijuana dispensaries alone helps to keep the players on top of their game. Anyone selling bad weed will find themselves out the road pretty fast.
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On the other hand, things are quite different in states where weed is still not legal. You may find yourself taking what you can get, even if this means buying from a dealer selling sub-par, or low-grade mary jane.
The good news is that beginner or otherwise, you can identify a good weed from a bad weed with some easy tips. In this post, we will delve into what distinguishes good from bad weed, answering the all-important “what does good weed look like” question.
What You Can Get?
We grade weed in the following terms:
1. Reggie Weed
You may not be familiar with all the bad weed slang, but rest assured you will be getting some bad pot if you hear “Reggie” being thrown around. Reggie is slang for regular and is your bottom-of-the-barrel, low-grade weed. It is dry and full of stems and seeds. It lacks taste, potency, and the smoke is harsher on your lungs.
2. Mid-Grade Bud
A step-up from the low-grade Reggie weed, you can get a good high with a mid-grade, or mid-bud. The effect may not be as great as what you’d get from a prime-quality bud, but it is definitely something.
3. Top-Shelf Dank Weed
Call it dank. Call it top-shelf. Call it a loud weed. Whatever you choose, you get top-shelf effects, at a top-shelf price, of course. Everything, right from the growing, to the harvest, up to the curation is engineered to make this top-quality dope very dope.
The Shelf System
In a standard marijuana dispensary, you will come across 3 distinct shelves: top, middle, and bottom. Dispensary employees are intentional about how they arrange these shelves and each carries a different grade of marijuana.
The top shelf carries the good stuff, that is, the cream of the crop. Cannabis that has been grown and curated to perfection is what you will find on this shelf. Pick from the top shelf and you have good weed that will leave you with an exceptional high. This is not to mention the wonderful taste and aroma.
Next up is the center or middle shelf. Commonly referred to as mids, marijuana on this shelf is what you’d call average. It’s not as splendid as the top-shelf marijuana, but it will get the job done, and more so if you’ve not already built a tolerance. Mids are a good pick for anyone for whom top-shelf products are too expensive.
On the bottom shelf, you will the cheapest and least potent weed. While it may have some psychoactive effect on a beginner, you will not get your money’s worth if you are a non-beginner. That being said, bottom-shelf weed at a marijuana dispensary may still be better than what you’d get from the streets.
Good Vs Bad Quality: Evaluating Weed Quality
We can differentiate good weed from bad weed by keeping the following characteristics in mind:
Marijuana that is grown, harvested, dried, and cured to perfection has a distinct musk or scent. This clear marijuana musk, which can range from sweet to earthy, is an indication of fresh buds and a good terpene content. On the other hand, a badly grown weed that’s been improperly dried and cured will smell like fresh-cut grass or worse. You should also avoid buds that have no discernible smell.
Is brown weed old? Not only is brown-looking weed old, but that is definitely not the color of quality weed.
Top-quality weed is green in color. The shade of green can range from light to dark green, with different undertones or accents such as purple and pink. You can tell that the bud comes from a healthy plant.
A plant subjected to intense light when growing will get a light burn and the buds will look bleached white. These buds will not deliver a quality buzz.
3. Bud Structure and Trim
With very few exceptions, quality Indica buds are usually tightly-packed and dense, whereas Sativa buds are leaner, lighter, and fluffy. Sativa strains generally also have more pistils than Indica strains. Hybrid strains share the structural traits of both Indica and Sativa strains.
After harvesting, trimming is necessary to remove the leaves surrounding the bud. Quality buds are hand-trimmed as opposed to being trimmed by machines. The machines tend to mangle the buds and trichomes. Avoid buds that look untrimmed, or whose appearance has been mangled by a trimming machine.
Cannabinoids and terpenes are stored in the trichomes. The ultimate goal is to grow and cure buds that are packed with trichomes.
You can assess trichome density with the naked eye. Quality buds look more frosty, that is, they are covered in trichomes, which sparkle like crystals.
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You will need a magnifying machine to assess trichome ripeness. Milky-white trichome heads with some hint of amber are mature high-quality weeds. If the heads are clear, that is a sign of premature harvesting. This is common among illegal cultivators looking to get in more flower cycles in a year. On the other hand, if the trichome heads are amber, that is a sign that the plant was harvested after reaching peak ripeness.
Avoid premature, or over-mature weed. Good quality cannabis is densely packed with milky-white trichome heads that are rich in cannabinoids and terpenes.
5. Stem, Sticks, and Seed Content
It would no doubt be very frustrating to buy some weed, only to find that half of it is nothing more than sticks and stem, which you cannot smoke. Unfortunately, that happens a lot more than often, especially when buying pot on the street.
Stems do nothing to help in delivering the buzz you would want from your weed. Seeds, on the other hand, also have a tendency to burst when exposed to fire. If this happens, rest assured it will ruin the rest of your weed, not to mention the vessel in which you are burning the weed.
Even if it comes at a very low price, avoid buying weed that is visibly loaded with seeds and stems. It’s definitely money wasted.
The above highlighted are the top 5 ways to distinguish between good and bad weed. That being said, there are other considerations that can help you make the distinction:
Taste of the Weed
Another criterion for distinguishing between good and bad weed is the taste. This, unfortunately, maybe a little difficult for you if you are only just getting started as a marijuana user. Good and high-quality cannabis has a fresh taste to it. If you come across a weed that tastes anything but, stops at the first taste.
Feel or Texture
You can tell if it’s a good weed or a bad weed based on its texture. The quality weed that is properly cured is slightly dry, but also sticky. The weed that is not sticky is probably too dried out and will more than likely dust quite easily. You also don’t want weed that is too wet.
Ethical Companies and Cultivation Practices
Small, family-based growers pay more attention to quality as opposed to some big growers who are more concerned about turning a profit. Ethical cultivation practices include using live soil, practicing sustainable agriculture, and avoiding the use of harsh synthetic fertilizers. It the better if you can find Clean Green and other organic products.
Diverse Cannabinoid Profile
Good weed has a diverse cannabinoid and terpene profile. To know what the product you are buying contains, ask for a Certificate of Analysis. The certificate gives a comprehensive list of the cannabinoids and therapeutic terpenes that the weed contains.
Identifying Moldy Weed
Identifying mold in weed is no easy process. However, it is worth learning how to identify moldy weed even though it may take some time.
For starters, a visual inspection can help you identify mold in your weed. The weed will have some webbing or spider-like strands, black spots, and dusting in the bud structure.
The smell is another distinguishing characteristic. Moldy weed smells like old urine and bad human odor. It has nothing of the rich smell that is characteristic of good quality and fresh weed that is rich in cannabinoids and terpene.
Why It Matters?
Why should you be so concerned about the quality of the weed you buy and consume? First off, is, of course, the experience that you can look forward to, depending on what you consume. High-quality weed will deliver the quality buzz you are looking for. It would feel like such a real waste of your money to spend on some weed and end up feeling like you have not had any.
Just as important is the impact on your health. Low-grade marijuana will also hurt your throat almost as bad as smoking tobacco cigarettes. Should you continue to use low-quality marijuana over a long time, there is no telling the kind of damage you may end up doing to your system.
Worth the Money Spent
You get exactly what you pay for. High-quality weed may cost more, but it is well worth it. You get the high you are looking to experience, without compromising your health.
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