3 Things to Avoid When Buying Weed
Knowing what to look for when you’re buying weed is hard. There’s so many options and an overload of scientific terminology that it’s easy to get lost and go off impulse. In this article, we tried to highlight the most common mistakes people make when choosing flower and three easy things you can do to get better at buying weed.
The three most common things people look for at dispensaries is THC content, strain recognition, and price. Here’s why following the crowd is not the best thing to do.
3 Mistakes People Make When Buying Weed
1) A higher THC percentage does NOT mean you will get higher
People always want the strongest stuff. Whatever does the most with the least. However, a higher THC percentage doesn’t always mean stronger, and rarely means more effective.
Don’t believe us? The University of Colorado’s Cognitive Science department conducted a study that found that users with similar tolerances smoking bud at 16% and 24% THC respectively both self-reported the same levels of “highness.” They also monitored cognitive metrics, conducted blood tests, and more that all backed up the self-reporting.
Why? Because there are hundreds of cannabinoids and terpenes in cannabis that work together through what is known as the “entourage effect,” to produce different effects.
Equating a higher THC percentage with effectiveness and quality is like using the amount of sugar in a cake to determine how good it will taste. While THC is a critical ingredient in marijuana, there are other factors that are perhaps as important if not more-so, which we’ll get into later on in the article.
2) Strains kinda… don’t really mean THAT much
While strains can be a great way to classify cannabis, they’re not as reliable as you may think.
A flower’s strain name is decided by the name of the seed. This doesn’t account how fresh the flower is, what general techniques were used to grow it, if it’s been treated with certain chemicals, and more.
Further, in a bid to promote certain products, companies often name them after popular strains with little to no basis for doing so.
Much of the original popular strains such as Blue Dream, OG Kush, and Green Crack have been cross-bred so many times that their genetics have been diluted to the point where using the name is almost meaningless.
The same goes for indica, sativa, and hybrid classifications as well. These are all names and terms used to classify weed that can’t be scientifically determined by any metric, thus leaving it up to marketers and cultivators discretion to choose what to share with consumers.
3) Prices can be deceiving
Many people think higher prices mean higher quality and vice versa. While this is true to a certain extent, this perception is often exploited by brands to take advantage of customers.
Take, for instance, Cookies, one of the most popular cannabis brands on the market. Cookies is known for having some of the highest quality weed, charging upwards of $80 for an eighth.
What Cookies actually does (in most markets) is license their brand to other companies and charge them a fee to sell their products under the Cookies brand name. This means a company that was selling their weed for, say, $45 an eighth, now sells it for $80 so they can pay Cookies their licensing fee and move more product based on the brands hype.
If a product is too cheap, it’s usually a sign that some corners have been cut. Other than that, price really isn’t the best way to determine quality and value when buying weed.
3 Things To Look For When Buying Weed
1) The nose knows
Despite all of the complex terminology and science behind marijuana, it is our most primitive tools (our eyes and noses) that many experts believe to be our best bets at determining the quality of weed.
Terpenes determine much of the aroma and effects of a given type of flower, and our noses can pick up on this. Just by smelling a batch of bud, you may be able to pick up on how it will make you feel, how fresh it is, and more.
Terpenes and cannabinoids degrade over time, so the fresher the flower, the richer in effect it will be.
Flowers in which much of the active compounds have been degraded tend to be darker and brownish, while fresher, higher quality flower tends to be brighter, greener, and lighter.
Checking the harvest date can be a good way to qualify freshness. Flower older than 4-6 months won’t be as high quality as otherwise.
We don’t sell weed unfortunately (though we do love it), but if you’re interested in CBD and CBG hemp flower, we have the freshest bud you can find. We grow in small batches, process, package, and ship our hemp all under the same greenhouse roof to prioritize freshness.
3) Check for red flags
Cannabis often isn’t tested by the state for things like spider mites, or mold.
In fact, Ben Rosman, the founder of the Michigan Coalition of Independent Cannabis Testing Laboratories, said his lab has conducted studies for 8 to 12 months, and found traces of mold in weed samples from dispensaries that had not been detected by any of the state tests.
This is why it’s important to check for powdery mildew, mold, and spider mite webs by examining the buds. These are usually more prevalent in lower-priced, outdoor-grown weed, but all flower is susceptible to a lapse in quality control.
At the end of the day, no one can tell you what is and isn’t right for you when it comes to buying flower. Just like with food and alcohol, everyone has their own unique preferences that develop over time. This said, we hope this article helps give you a better idea of what to look for on your journey to finding what’s right for you.