Quality Check Like a Pro: How To Determine The Quality Of Marijuana


Imagine you have got the fattest available buds, and you crush, clean and roll the slickest joint and light it up. You would want a smooth swirl of smoke giving you an amazing high, right?

Foul-smelling, cough-inducing weed is a smoker’s nightmare, and I don’t want you to settle for such an experience. Therefore you need to know how to ascertain the quality of the buds you buy. With deciding factors like smell, taste, color, psychoactive compounds and more, it might get confusing.

Don’t worry. I am here to make sure that you buy the best grade of cannabis available. How? Read on. Here are a few things you need to look for when you are buying marijuana.

Visual Cues

They say the first impression is the best, and rightly so when you are buying weed.

Suppose you lay hands on weed that is brown in color. Reject right away. They are a sign of low-grade stuff, which might not be potent at all. Go for the green ones. There might be tinges of other colors like red, purple or orange in it. However, if you see blackish patches, it might be mold which makes the weed not only inferior but might be dangerous to smoke.

If you have a magnifying glass handy, check the trichome crystals. These are the THC crystals that actually end up giving you the high. Therefore they are the most important indicator of cannabis quality. These crystals should appear light and cloudy. Don’t buy weed with clear crystals, as they are a sign of underdeveloped trichomes. More cloudy crystals mean more potency.

Next, check for seeds and stems in it. The presence of seeds and stems not only increase the weight but also have other downsides. If you are buying weed by weight, the presence of seeds and stem will mean that you will have to pay for stuff you would eventually throw away.

Moreover, seeds might burst when combusted and give off a nasty smell. They tamper with the taste and make the smoke harsh on the lungs. When the plant starts producing seeds, it channels all the available nutrients to produce more seeds. Therefore, more seeds might also mean that the stuff is not that potent.

Separating the seeds and stems while crushing the weed is quite a pain. Sometimes the stems end up poking holes in the rolling paper as well.

What’s With The Stickiness?

The cloudy trichome crystals are like resin. They feel sticky to the touch. Therefore sticky buds that are difficult to crumble is a good sign. On the other hand, cannabis that easily crumbles when broken open or turns into dust when you rub them between your hands is an indication of over-dried, poor quality marijuana. Over drying hampers the THC crystals and interferes with the potency.

However, sometimes some dealers may use chemicals to create artificial stickiness. What do you do then? Move to the next test, the smell.

The Aroma Meter

The pleasant smell that fills the room when you open the bag is a marker that you have laid hands on some finest quality cannabis. Trichome, the component that is responsible for the quality of the high, is the component that lends the plant its smell. Therefore you can guess how potent the weed can be with the sniff test.

The most powerful strains give off a piney, woody or citrusy aroma.

On the other hand, poor quality weed smells like grass or hay. Avoid buying cannabis if it has a damp, moldy smell. It might be an indication of a mold infected, poorly dried or already decaying weed. Improperly cured weed also has a musty hay-like smell and is of no good.

How Dense Should The Weed Be?

You should be able to break apart the buds easily from them with your fingers. Often you might get stuff that is hard and compact. It might also act like clay and become even denser when you press them with your fingers. This indicates that the buds have not been dried or cured well and might not be able to produce high at all.

Transportation and packaging might also make the weed denser. Densely packed weed is difficult to crumble and might not burn properly. Compactness affects the taste too. You might end up with a joint that is difficult to roll and needs constant reigniting.

Moisture Content

Poorly dried weed is bad weed. Period. It can have multiple negative impacts on cannabis quality. Without the necessary moisture content, the taste becomes bitter, and the effects are less. If the weed is not properly dried before packaging, it will have a lot of moisture. Bud like these might begin to mold or rot within the packet.

Under dried weed also means more weight. If you are paying by the weight, you end up paying for the weight that you need to evaporate before consumption. Weed with more moisture content will take more time to prepare and might not burn too well.

Testing The Taste

 Last but not least, the taste is the best indication of high-grade weed. If you get a chance to taste the weed before buying, you are lucky.

Trust the quality of the cannabis if it gives off a subtle combination of multiple flavors when smoked, is smooth on the throat and does not make you cough. Do not buy the weed if it tastes bitter or the smoke is harsh on the throat.

In Conclusion

Keep in mind that cannabis quality varies greatly based on the location you are in. Climate, temperature and even local laws play a role in determining the quality of cannabis. Knowing the taste, smell and feel of the local strains from beforehand will be useful. You know, information is only a poor substitute for hands-on experience. And this quality indicator within you will take some time and trial and error to grow.

Sometimes it might be that you are looking for weed to give an effect that is different from the quality of weed that is available to you.

For example, if you are looking for weed to stimulate or motivate you and you end up buying good weed that has a calming effect, it might not serve the purpose.

An abundance of cloudy trichome crystals indicate the presence of strong cannabinoid and might be stimulating stuff to smoke.

The same goes with the taste and smell. It is important that the weed you choose appeals to your senses. That will ensure an investment-worthy experience. The same goes for the price and quantity. Buy stuff that is in your budget and a quantity you need. Buying too much weed without a chance or time to enjoy them is a waste of resources.

If you can lay hands on the test data report from trusted third party laboratories, it will be easier for you to understand the characteristics of different strains, their flavor profile and their effects.

Having said all this, I can’t stop emphasizing how it is important to buy weed from trusted sellers and dispensaries. Cheap dealers often pass off low-grade cannabis as potent stuff by tampering with them.

They add chemicals and elements like diesel, silica, glass, skunk spray and laundry detergent. Needless to say that these are supremely toxic and must be avoided at all costs. Rub a little amount of the weed between your fingers and notice if you can feel any grainy or chalky texture. These are often caused by glass, sand or sugar sprayed on the cannabis.

If you are venturing into a new location where you need good quality weed, or you are looking for newer strains, online forums are a great space to get first-hand information. I love the blogs and community at the Homegrown Cannabis Co. I have learnt so much from them.

I hope this article will make you confident while you purchase your weed next and until we meet again, have the happiest highs: Adios, my friend.


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