Hopefully, you’re reading this before you’ve blazed on some bad-quality cannabis. We hope you’re not standing in front of your computer with an empty bowl, wondering why the weed didn’t hit. Whether you’re still in time to use this knowledge or not, your low-quality cannabis joints and bowls are a thing of the past. We’re here to teach you how to become an absolute pro when visually assessing your bud.

First of all, there is no way you can evaluate your weed solely from visual cues. You need to smoke, vape or eat it in order to reach a conclusion. But there are several things to look out for that might help you when you call your weedman. If you’re lucky enough to already live in a place where a legal framework is established, you won’t need this article as much. You’ll only need to distinguish the good from the really good bud. You’ll probably never have to experience low-quality cannabis ever again.

cannabis buds shwag ditch weed brick weed

LOOKING INTO THAT “DIRTY SHWAG”

Low-quality bud, most commonly referred to as “shwag,” “ditch weed,” and “brick weed,” is something to stay away from. This is the weed that will be a waste of money unless you’re smoking for the first time. The high will be far away from what you expect. You’ll probably be stuck with a harsh headache and sleepy vibes, but nothing else. To ease transportation within the black market, cannabis is many times compressed into bricks, leaving you with a lot of stems and leaves that will only ruin your joint.

It’s probably not your first time buying cannabis, so you’re familiar with the visual weight. If the dealer gives you more than you expected, it’s probably not because he/she wants to be your friend. This will be a very fluffy and loose marijuana. If the flower is lighter than usual, that is a sign of poor quality. Buds should be fat and dense. They should be hard to squeeze and make a crunchy sound when done so. Be sure to feel your bud like your grandmother feels fruit at the market. You can tell a lot by a nug’s consistency.

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A GOOD LOOK

Ideally, you’ll be able to pick it up, open the bag and have a real close look and feel of the flower before you take it home. If so, here is what to look for:

When looking into your next baggie, be sure to examine the colour. This is probably one of the most important factors because the greenness will represent the healthiness of the plant. Not only will it show how well-treated the plant was, it will also show you if the curing and drying process was well conducted.

Good genetics is a key factor in obtaining quality bud, but growing the flower is only half the job. The rest of the effort must come from the grower after the harvest. The same happens with trimming. When you see that the buds are too leafy, they weren’t cared for properly. Leaves don’t get you high. So apart from paying more than what you’re actually going to smoke, it shows carelessness. Don’t buy your weed from someone who doesn’t care about it.

If it doesn’t smell like weed, it’s not good flower. If the fragrance is not at all familiar, it won’t be a crazy, dank strain you never tried before. Shwag usually smells very earthy and farm-like. There are certain strains that have a very earthy smell, but it’s a weed-earthy aroma, not a soil-earth stink.

Cannabis flower curing good quality thricomes

“THAT DANK THO”

Now here is the interesting checklist. Good-quality bud, which your friends refer to as “dank,” “sticky icky,” “fire,” or even “loud,” is what you should be looking for. Besides the exact opposite of the points mentioned above, there are many characteristics of good weed that will make you loved by the squad when bringing it to the next smoke sesh.

At first glance, fire herb should make you wish you already had a joint of it rolled up or a bowl packed. This is the weed that you’ll find on most cannabis Instagram pages. The green will pop through all the juicy trichomes. The buds should look like they were just removed from the plant, even though they have been drying and curing for the past few of weeks.

When the bag is first opened, the smell should hit you right away. If you need to put your nose inside the baggie in a closed room, you already know it’s not worth smelling. A great weed will leave your mouth watering until you roll it up. Different strains have different smells, but they all have that sweet hint of familiarity. Try to always smell your bud and remember the aroma if you enjoyed the smoke. This will help you in the future. Your brain will create a stoner database of “dank smells.”

TRICHOMES AND RESIN - WHAT YOU SHOULD LOOK FOR

Good-quality cannabis will be super sticky. It should coat your grinder with a delicious, yet annoying, layer of resin (but hey, that’s the price you pay for your fire weed). This happens because of the gooey trichomes, not humidity. Although sticky, your nugs should be crisp and crunchy too. The grinding experience should be pleasant, not an arm exercise.

Those white, microscopic hairs are probably the visual aspect of the bud that will be most conclusive when it comes to the potency. The more crystals on the nug, the better. It’s here that you’ll find your THC, the component responsible for giving you the traditional cannabis high. These are also what falls into the bottom layer of your 3-piece grinder. Next to this delicious frost, you’ll also see brown hairs. These don’t get you high and the abundance of them does not represent anything about potency, only quality. The brown hairs, technically referred to as pistils, represent maturity in a flower. This means that the grower took good care of their end of the deal and you should trust them.

trichomes and resin cannabis

BUT HEY, BLAZE UP!

We could spend the whole day looking at buds, trying to figure out if they’re good quality or not, but it all comes down to consumption. Never will you be able to tell, with 100% certainty, the potency of your bud. And like your mother always told you: “don’t judge a book by its cover,” neither should you trust your eyes when it comes to the sticky icky. Because of this, here are a few pointers to look out for if your weedman passes you a Jay before you buy his weed.

Before anything else, look at the cherry and the ash of the joint. The ash should always be white. If ash is grey or black, then the weed is too humid. This isn’t conclusive when it comes to the quality of the high. However, a humid flower will give you a nasty headache and will have extra water weight. You’ll be paying for a lot of water, which won’t add anything to your high.

Take your time. Take a couple of puffs then pass it back. If you’re buying weed, you don’t need to smoke up your guy’s whole stash. The best way to tell if a bud is good or not is to consume small quantities. This way, if it hits you good, you’ll have a solid opinion on it. When puffing, make sure you take a good look at yourself. I’m always conquered by a hot sensation on my face with fire marijuana. It should give you the feeling that you’re sweating from your forehead when you actually aren’t.

QUALITY IS NOT POTENCY

Potency does not equal quality. CBD-rich strains without THC won’t get you high, but can be of excellent quality and value. Remember to have clear guidelines on what you’re looking for. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to choose between indicas, sativas and hybrids, research these variations well. Learn all about them and the manifold strains within each group. You might be sold an indica when you actually asked for a sativa and end up disappointed on the effects, judging the strain. Be sure that you can trust your supplier - we can’t stress this enough.

Go out and enjoy your cannabis with a little more information. Don’t take a cannabis acquisition for granted. Analyse yourself while experiencing the effects and take notes (yes, mental ones, we don’t expect you to have a journal). But most importantly, have fun!

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