Published: February 16th, 2017
Categories: Cannabis Info
With the worldwide cannabis industry booming national laws begin to take a more relaxed and tolerant approach, breeders and growers are receiving more freedom and safety to grow the best weed known to mankind. There are so many different strains out there now, offering smokers a massive diversity of smells, tastes, colours and mental sensations. There is a strain for almost every occasion.
However, when you are shopping for cannabis, it is important to know what to look out for in order to avoid bad quality cannabis and score the high-grade, dank buds. Whether you are browsing a Californian dispensary, at the counter in a coffee shop in Amsterdam or purchasing green from a trusted and reliable dealer in areas where cannabis is still prohibited, there are signs you will want to detect to know you are spending your money in the right place. Here are some of the most important factors to keep in mind.
When you look closely at the buds you are about to buy, you should detect a vibrant sheen on the buds and small leaves. This will look like a layer of miniature crystals on the plant material. The structures, that create this effect are known as trichomes. They are tiny mushroom-shape resin glands, that form on the surface of cannabis buds. Trichomes can be viewed as tiny little factories, that produce the valuable cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, that will dictate how strong the weed is and how medicinal it may be. Trichomes also produce compounds called terpenes, that can contribute towards the smell and taste of certain cannabis flowers. The more of these you can see of the bud you are looking at, the better it is likely to be.
Moisture level is an important component of quality bud. Weed that is far too dry will crumble into dust and be hard to manage. It may burn unevenly in joints or blunts, especially if mixed with tobacco. Weed that is too dry may have been exposed to light and heat for too long; this may lead to degrading quality of the bud in terms of strength. However, the polar opposite of this is also a problem. Weed that is too sticky and not properly dried weed. Preferably, your weed should snap when you try to break it up and put it into a grinder. If it is too hard to break apart and ends up bending and twisting instead, chances are that it has not been dried or cured correctly. As well as being annoying to process, this also runs the risk of mould.
Chances are, that if you can smell the bud before you see it, it is probably of very good quality. Sweet, sour, fruity and citrus aromas are signs of well grown cannabis. When you break open the bag or jar of weed you want to buy from, stick your nose in the opening and take a good inhale. If what you come across is pleasurable, it is probably worth buying. However, if you are instead met with the disappointing smell of literal grass or mouldy dampness, the weed in question it is probably way past its prime time or has been improperly dried, cured and stored. Pass on this stuff.
Obviously looks only go so far. You might pick up some bud, that has a beautiful green look to it, only to find, that it isn’t getting you very high at all. That said, looks do count for something. It is possible to judge the quality of cannabis by the way it looks, to a degree. One factor, as we have discussed, is the amount of trichomes and resin, that reside on the buds. This frosty look will be an indicator of its strength. The flower you choose to buy should look healthy and vibrant. If what you are being sold is looking far too dry, old and shaky, it is worth looking elsewhere. Some strains feature purple and even red colours, however, anything that is looking brown and dead if definitely not intentional.
When buying, dig around in the bag or jar a little to see what lays inside. If your cannabis flowers are accompanied by a load of seeds and huge branch-sized stems this is not ideal. It’s a sign that the seller isn’t too professional and the product has not been prepared properly. Excess seeds and stems will also add to the overall weight of the product, meaning that some of the money you thought you were spending on buds is actually going partly towards stuff you can’t even smoke. Most of the bag should be straight up buds.
Too many leaves strikes a similar chord as excess seeds and stems. They are taking up the room where more bud should be. Also, lots of leaves are a sign of less than ideal processing. Buds should be manicured before drying and curing, removing the leaves here will enhance drying and minimise mould.
If your bud has been manicured correctly, then it will hopefully be nice and dense. Less dense bud requires much more to be used when rolling or hitting the bong. However bud that is too dense may cause an uneven burn. Look for flowers of desirable density.
The most accurate way to tell if weed is of good quality is to gain first hand experience. Only by doing this will you really be able to tell if this is the strain you are looking for and ticks all the boxes. Obviously you may need to actually purchase some to do this. However if the seller is nice and relaxed, he may let you have a taste first.