It may depend on what “quality” means to you. It could mean “cheap” if you’re hurting. It could mean “fragrant” if that’s your thing or “tasty” if that’s your preference. It might have to do with its heritage or place of birth. And, it could mean organic and pesticide-free.
But, one hopeful outcome of legalization is standardization of farming, processing, packing, and distributing. Still, if you are a new shopper or experienced one, here are four tips that will help you instantly determine the quality of any weed strain.
#1 – The Smell Test
Good weed sounds like legends – diesel, jet fuel, and skunky. And, if the description fits, you might smell berries, citrus, or grapes. But, you won’t get a whiff of anything like fresh cut grass or mildewed hay.
Sweet smelling strains include fruity Dairy Queen, lemony Incredible Hulk, sweet Gran Daddy Purple, citrusy Alien Rock Candy, skunky Uncle Andy, and the diesel Alien Dream.
#2 – The Look Test
Cannabis is a flowering plant, so select it for its appearance. Pick it pretty and fragrant. But, you want to avoid discoloration and evidence of mildew and bugs.
The poor quality shwag comes in bricks of compressed, buds, shake, and stems. It’s more brown than green and dry and earthy more than fragrant. The light wispy leaves show under-developed trichomes directly impacting its buzz.
Most of the marijuana available comes in at medium grade. The strains are all kinds of green with different colored pistils depending on the genetics.
No one wants to admit selling mid-grade weed. There’s no marketing value in that. But, you can still find “mid” referring to a moderate experience.
For example, Tahoe OG is a mid-Kush that leaves you lay and heavy, a good remedy for insomnia and pain. At its healthiest, it is covered with vivid colors.
Some promote Girl Scout Cookies (GSC), a multi-award winning hybrid of OG Kush and Durban Poison as mid-grade. Its heavy THC load roars with euphoria and pain relief, so it’s not clear why they label it mid-grade. But, you’ll know it when you see its vibrant coloration.
Healthy strains also have heavy crystallization, sometimes with pastel or bright coloring. The high comes from the rich resin in those crystals.
#3 – The Feel Test
The most popular weed feels dry but not crusty. It’s moist enough to feel a little spongy, but it’s dry enough to burn easily but not too quickly. You don’t want it to crumble because that’s a sign it is too dry. And, since the THC is the first thing to go when the buds deteriorate, you are wasting your money.
Seeds, leaves, and twigs do not make a better mix. They waste space and your investment. And, if it is too moist, it has been cured well. Moist buds cost more because they are heavy with water. Bu, they smoke badly and may make you sick.
Even if you can’t smell mold, moist buds may harbor enough fungus and botrytis to produce headaches and nausea.
#4 – The Smoke Test
How the weed smokes tells you something, too. As BTL of South Africa says, “A bud’s ultimate test of quality is in the smoking. It should meet your expectations in terms of effect and ability to be smoked via your desired method.”
This adds another problem. That is, depending on how you are smoking – pipe, bong, or spliff, you want a different burn.
But, on the assumption that you role your own, you want to note how difficult it is to light the weed. You want a fluffy white/gray ash, but it is sparks and sputters when you might it, it could be evidence of chemicals that have not been flushed before curing.
Of course, it all comes down to the high.
Your perception of quality rests on your experience, and that will differ from strain to strain. It may also differ within the same strain. Your own research will show that the same strain can vary in content and power from one producer to another, one farming process to another.
Some users will insist organic chronic provides the best experience while others want homegrown or nature-raised.
Still, others will judge by the taste expecting something more or less harsh, better tasting or smelling, or with or without negative side effects.
Those who can afford it will rave about the highest quality. High Times reports on the top five prices submitted for 2016: “Kush ($333), Diesel ($322), Blue Dream ($284), Purps ($330) and Girl Scout Cookies ($253).”
So, here’s where “quality” becomes a subjective matter. If the strain hits your buttons the way you want for the right price, that’s a quality strain.