With the legalization of cannabis, it is readily available at your local cannabis store. With wide availability, cannabis quality has been increasing with improving facility improvements, widely-adopted standards, and the ability to transfer lab-tested products quickly to keep moldy weed and brown buds off of cannabis store shelves. However, despite the improvements it is still vital to recognize quality cannabis for the most value.

1. Trimming 

Cannabis buds must be trimmed after harvesting to remove the leaves that surround the bud. Quality cannabis buds should be hand-trimmed rather than machine-trimmed. Trimming machines may have a tendency to mangle buds and destroy the delicate trichomes they contain. Avoid machine-trimmed buds or untrimmed buds with abundant leaves, these are signs of rushed harvesting techniques. It would be recommended to avoid buds that have not been trimmed well or visibly mangled. In contrast, quality cannabis is usually trimmed by hand to preserve trichomes and buds.

2. Bud structure

Some people misinterpret bud structure with bud size. It can be common to confuse bud structure to bud size. However, small buds do not necessarily signify low grade cannabis, and enormous buds do not always indicate top shelf quality.

A well-developed bloom from a healthy plant has a strong, three-dimensional structure. The buds should be firm, with no holes that allow you to see through them. Generally, quality cannabis has  been adequately cured to the point it is not too soft, yet it is not so dry that it grinds down to dust.

Poorly structured buds will seem frail and flat. Because the nug is so sparse, you can see straight through to the other side when you hold it up. It might have been dried incorrectly, and it generally has a lot of noticeable stems. Premature harvesting can directly result in a poor structured bud.

Bud structure is more than simply a cosmetic consideration but it can also influence your smoking experience. Buds with inadequate structure can disintegrate to almost nothing. The scraggly, flaky grounds are difficult to roll up because they lack the moisture and density needed to condense and keep their form. If you do manage to roll poor quality cannabis, your joint will burn at a faster rate compared to a quality bud. Bud structural features also influence how much value you receive from your purchase.  More smokable material per gram is obtained when the flower has more bud and less stem.

3. Aroma and taste

When a suitable strain of marijuana is grown, harvested, dried, and cured to the highest quality, it tends to have a distinct aroma and flavor of impressive musk. It is best to look for cannabis with a unique “marijuana musk,” since this can be an indication that the buds are fresh and have a high terpene concentration. In contrast, lower quality Bad weed frequently has little or no “cannabis aroma,” and in some cases may smell like something that has nothing to do with marijuana.

In addition, if the bud smells like newly cut grass or hay, it typically signifies the cannabis was incorrectly cultivated, dried, and cured. Aside from that, cannabis with an aromatic tint of chocolate-like bitterness typically denotes an indica strain, while citrus notes usually indicate a sativa-dominant type.

Finally, as a general rule, most high-quality marijuana is some shade of green, but the shade can vary from almost neon to a bland grayish. However, high-quality buds may have a tint of blue or purple in them, indicating a high concentration of anthocyanin. If the bud is yellow, red, brown, or tan, it may be an indication of lower quality and should probably be avoided.

4. Trichome density

Trichomes are tiny globule structures on the surface of cannabis that hold THCA, CBDA, terpenes, and all the other cannabinoids that influence your experience. While these structures are not visible to the human eye in great detail, you can get a sense of how heavily coated in trichomes the bud is without a magnifying lens. Simply check for “frost,” which is a glittering covering on the flower’s surface.

A densely packed bud will shimmer and glitter in the light. Depending on how developed the trichome heads are, it may take on a waxy look. In contrast, low density buds can seem bland and grassy, similar to dried plants.

Without visible trichomes, the bud lacks potency, burns rapidly, and may be slightly dry. It may also lack a recognizable odor. Evaluating trichome density is critical for assessing cannabis quality. It can directly inform you more about how potent a strain’s effects can be.

5. Trichome development

Unlike density, trichome development can be difficult to judge without a magnifying lens, which is critical if you want quality cannabis. Trichome development may be a more significant element to high grade buds. Even though a bud is densely covered with trichomes, it is still regarded as poor quality cannabis if the trichomes are not well-developed. On closer inspection, a bud that seems “frosty” may contain undeveloped trichomes.

Trichomes that are well-developed will be milky-white or amber and white in hue. This is the time in the flower cycle when they have the highest THCA, CBDA, terpenes, and other minor cannabinoids. Each stalk should have huge spherical structures at the top.

Milky-white, opaque trichomes are more commonly connected with sativa strains, whilst amber-toned trichomes can be more often associated with physical, sleepy effects. It is not recommended to solely rely on your judgments on trichome color alone. However, white trichomes on an indica strain indicate low to mid quality buds. Trichomes that are entirely amber are frequently overdeveloped and indicate a harvest date beyond peak ripeness.

Underdeveloped trichomes, on the other hand, are clear or a combination of clear and white. Undeveloped trichomes may lack a spherical shape at the end of their stalk, indicating that the bud was taken before it has fully matured. It is recommended to  examine the color and form of your bud’s  trichomes carefully for quality cannabis.

When purchasing cannabis check out the top qualities of the bud to get the best experience from your purchase. Depending on what you consume, high-quality cannabis can deliver the satisfying buzz you are looking for. Examining the trimming, bud structure, aroma, taste, trichome density and trichome development help you in finding a good quality product.