7 ways to tell good weed from bad weed

7 ways to tell good weed from bad weed

7 ways to tell good weed from bad weed

There are 7 ways to tell good weed from bad weed. The marijuana market is so competitive in California that brands that produce low quality weed tend to get their shit together or disappear pretty quick. There are a few brands that are known for constantly growing/selling less than desirable flower but they mitigate their hay by lowering their prices to the point where consumers give them a pass. A couple have even carved out a successful niche by staying true to the business model of growing reggie and selling it dirt cheap.

Define "good weed"

Sometimes I think that good weed is defined on a curve. By that I mean that different people have different opinions of good weed based on their own experiences. The best weed you’ve ever smoked may not be anywhere close to the best weed I’ve ever smoked. And vice versa. For most people good weed is sticky, stinky, and gets you higher than anything else available in thier area.

Regardless of who’s version of good weed is the best, there are a few terms that get thrown around that can be applied to all weed. For decades people referred to the smokable part of a marijuana plant as “buds” or “nugs”. Around 2011-2012, as more types of THC products were becoming popular, the term “flower” became the norm. Especially among industry professionals.

Really good weed has a few different nicknames that pretty much all mean the same thing. The terms “Top-shelf”, “fire”, “kind”, “dank”, and “loud” are all commonly used to describe high quality flower. On the other end of the spectrum you have terms like “hay”, “reggie”, “dirt”, and “schwag” used to describe low quality weed. (“Reggie” is also used by some people to describe mid-level weed but as far as this article is concerned, there’s good and there’s bad.)

Even the most experienced stoner can at times, have a hard time identifying really good weed. Look, smell, taste, touch, and most importantly, high are the characteristics that best define good weed. In this guide we will break down each of these traits and a couple others that will help you tell the difference between good weed and bad weed.

Identifying quality weed

7 ways to tell good weed from bad weed

1) Price: Most dispensaries and delivery services break their menus up by tiered pricing. The levels usually consist of Private Reserve which is the best of the best and also the most expensive. Top-shelf which is almost the same as Private Reserve but a little less expensive. A mid level shelf that is packed with multiple offerings at multiple price points. And a lower shelf which also usually has a bunch of options in terms of price and selection.

2) Brand: Judging weed quality by the brand that produced it is a subjective (based on personal experience) way of determining good from bad. It’s a lot easier to judge the quality of an established brand than it is a new brand. An established flower brand, good or bad, will have a reputation that you can count on. Newer brands don’t usually have as much clout attached to their name which makes it a little tougher to trust them on brand recognition alone.

3) Look: Really good weed is easily identifiable by it’s look. Pretty much all good weed should have great “bag appeal” that includes bright, vibrant colors. Good bud will can have different shades of green, purple, and sometimes even pink. It should be covered with light to burnt orange hairs and excessively coated with a thick layer of milky crystals.

Bad weed has a very specific and easy to notice look. It often has faded or discolored leaves and hairs. Unusually high stem and seed levels are no good. Weed that has a red’ish or amber colored crystals is usually old and should be passed on.

4) Smell: Well grown and cured weed always has a strong, very pungent, and overpowering smell that is often described as “dank” or “loud”. It’s not unusual for really good weed to be smellable through the packaging. Skunky, gassy, piney, cakey, and fruity smelling flower is highly coveted. Really loud weed usually provides the best high.

Weed that smells like a freshly cut lawn is trash and should be avoided. Same with weed that smells oddly musky and/or has a mildewy smell. Old weed tends to smell spicy (in a bad way) or a bit like leather.

5) Taste: When cured correctly, great marijuana has an undeniably tasty flavor profile. Sometimes top-shelf weed tastes a lot like it smells while other times, not so much. Either way, the taste should be strong enough that it’s immediately noticeable with the first hit. Chocolate, fruity, sweet, hashy, skunk-ish, piney flavors are indicators of good weed.

Bad weed tastes like shit. If it tastes “old” it probably is. I’ve often heard the flavor of old weed described as too spicy, almost like a pepperoni pizza or dusty like a dirty attic.

6) Touch: The best buds are sticky to the touch. Moist but not wet. When you squeeze them they should feel both spongy and firm. There should be enough moisture that they feel fresh but dry enough that the stems snap when bent. A good way to test your flower is to give it a squeeze and let go. If it sticks to the underside of your finger without falling off, that’s usually a good sign.

If a bud breaks up too easily or crumbles into shake or dust, it’s low quality. Dry weed should be avoided. It may have been good at one time but that time has past. The phrase “the drier the higher” is total bullshit.

7) High: The best way to tell good weed from bad weed is the high. Again, this is a subjective rating as everyone’s tolerance is different. Only you know how high you get after a normal session and for how long. It’s not unusual for someone to think they’re smoking good weed only to realize they are higher than usual after they get done blazing their normal amount. Really strong munchies is a good indicator of a strong stone.

Low quality flower doesn’t get you that high or keep you baked for very long. Bad weed gives you a headache or makes you feel nauseous. Weak weed has you craving another session much sooner than you’d normally smoke again.

Final thoughts and overview

7 was to tell good weed from bad weed

Bad weed looks like shit, tastes like shit, smells like shit, works like shit, and possibly even makes you ill. Whenever possible, you should avoid smoking low quality flower. I’d rather not get high than smoke bad weed.

Good weed is beautiful, smells incredible, tastes awesome, and provides a healthy and happy high. It’s fun to smoke, doesn’t burn your throat, and makes you feel good.

Let’s recap:

Good Weed

  • Private reserve or top-shelf.
  • Looks very appealing to the eye and has vibrant, almost bright coloration.
  • Smells fresh but not grassy. 
  • Tastes strong and flavorful.
  • Feels sticky and properly dry but not too dry.
  • Has a strong long lasting high.

Bad Weed

  • Sucks!
  • Bottom shelf.
  • Looks tired, faded, and red or amber colored.
  • Has seeds and stems.
  • Smells old, grassy, hay’ish, or mildewy.
  • Tastes harsh and burns the throat.
  • Is soaking wet or dry as a bone.
  • Has a “dirty”, weak, or unpleasant high.

Whenever possible buy good weed and avoid schwag. It may cost a little more but your lungs will thank you. Hopefully this guide is helpful and provides you with enough information to make informed decisions the next time you’re buying weed. Pack a fat bowl of the goods and stay high. Cheers!

Update 6/17/2021

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