Just like all the fine things in life: wine, cigars, and diamonds, cannabis can also be measured in terms of quality. The sight, touch, taste, size, aroma, and sensation of a marijuana bud is all determined by the cleanliness of the air in which the plant grew, the composition of the soil, and the temperature shifts that it endured.
It's important to know the good quality stuff from the shwag. Whether you're a connoisseur or simply a novice, knowing how to assess the quality of a cannabis bud is necessary to have the best experience. If you want to know the telltale signs of top-shelf bud then read further.
Sometimes the only way to get an idea of the quality of a bud is by the way it looks, therefore it is important to know the clues that will tell you how dope is the weed you're assessing. One of the best visual ways to assess cannabis is by the trichome content. If the bud has loads of trichomes then you are sure to get a good buzz. Trichomes are the small crystal-looking resin glands that make the bud look frosty. These trichomes contain cannabinoids like THC and CBD.
Another visual way to assess a cannabis bud is by its color. Healthy buds are usually nice and green, purple, or may even look orange depending on the pistils on the bud and the strain. When you smoke the bud the ashes should burn white-grey ash.
Look for a tight trim
The trim of the flower should be done well. Look for a tight trim; extra leaf matter should have been removed so that the bud is fully revealed. Excess stems should also be removed and the only part of the stem that should be left is at the base of the flower where it was cut from the plant. Over-trimmed flowers should be avoided as this usually results in a lower trichome content.
When assessing a bud be sure to check for red flags. Powdery mildew can look like trichomes if you don't look closely. A bud should glisten in the light, but if it has mildew on it will not. If you see something like baby powder on it or a cottony appearance it's probably powdery mildew.
Another red flag and type of mold is botrytis (also known as bud rot). This mold is more difficult to see as it is inside the flower. It may not be until after you purchase the bud, go home, and start breaking it up that you notice that the bud has brown or grey mold inside. Obviously, don't smoke it.
Gently squeeze the bud
Touching the bud is another good way to assess its quality. When you gently squeeze the bud it should bounce back to its original form. Squeezing the bud can also tell you if it has properly been cured. It should have a bit of a stickiness to it, but if it hasn't been cured correctly then it will feel too wet. The stem is another indicator of how well the bud has been cured. A properly cured stem will have a definite snap when you bend it.
One of my favorite ways to check the quality of a bud is by smelling it. It's an instinctive thing we all seem to do when you open a new bag of buds: you hold it up to your nose and inhale the sweet aroma. This can also tell you if a bud has mold on it, or if it smells wet then it hasn't been cured properly. Good quality marijuana will often smell skunky, pine, fruity, cheese, or earthy.
Lastly, you can taste if a bud is of high quality. Oftentimes, the aroma of bud will match the flavor. Just like a good liquor, the taste should be smooth. When you inhale the smoke it shouldn't burn your throat; neither should it leave a harsh taste in the back of your throat.
After reading this article you can easily be on your way to becoming a cannabis connoisseur. Next time you find yourself buying marijuana don't just settle for anything. Take the time to study the bud instead of choosing one based on whatever name sounds good to you. You will be impressed by the difference that quality bud makes.