How to Tell if You Are Getting Quality Flower

Cannabis is becoming more widely accepted due to legalization measures and proven health benefits. But the market is still highly unregulated. It can be difficult to tell if you are getting quality flower.

Quality Flower 1
Quality Flower 1

Fortunately, there are ways to tell if the flower you are using is good. This article will discuss the steps you can take to determine your weed’s quality before you consume it.

The Issue

Cannabis has become legal in most states. But it is still illegal on a federal level. Many companies take advantage of the lack of federal regulations and sell weed that is not as pure and potent as advertised.

If you consume cannabis that is below quality standards, it may not be as potent as promised. It may also contain ingredients that make you sick. The weed could contain chemicals that are harmful to lung and heart health.

High-quality flower will also have a longer shelf life. Poor quality buds dry out quickly and lose their flavor and potency. Buds that are properly grown and cured will last longer.

How to Tell if You Are Getting Quality Flower

Examine its Appearance

You must examine the appearance of the weed you receive to determine if it’s a quality flower.

Quality flower will feature vibrant colors such as green, blue, purple, red, and orange. You may also see tiny hair-like strands on your strain. The strands are the remnants of the pistils of a fertile, mature plant. They indicate that the cannabis was harvested at its peak.

Potent weed will also be covered in trichomes. Trichomes are the resin glands of cannabis. They are very small shimmery, white particles that contain cannabinoids and terpenes. They are a sign of quality flower.

If your flower features pale colors like green, yellow, and brown, it is likely dried out and low in potency. Low quality flower will also have excessive leaves, seeds, and stems that indicate it was not properly trimmed. It may be covered by brittle leaves which show the plant is underdeveloped.

Substandard weed will not have visible trichomes. Trichomes turn amber as it ages. The darker color indicates that its THC content has degraded and transformed into the non-psychoactive cannabis constituent CBN.

Smell the Cannabis

Woman in a white dress in a lavender field
Woman in a white dress in a lavender field

Terpenes are responsible for cannabis’s potent aroma. They also play a role in how cannabis affects you.

There are over 200 terpenes found in plants. The ones most found in cannabis include energizing limonene, sedating, and earthy myrcene, and woody pinene which promotes pain relief and relaxation.

Terpenes are found in the trichomes of weeds. When trichomes degrade, so do their terpenes. If you don’t’ smell the rich scent of terpenes when you sniff your weed, it means it is not quality flower.

So how should your weed smell? There are a few aromas that tell you your weed is safe. They include:

  • Skunky: A skunky aroma is a sign of potent weed
  • Fuel: A fuel-like or gassy aroma comes from a combination of terpenes like myrcene, linalool, pinene, and humulene.
  • Earthy: Earthy-smelling weed will feature a blend of humulene and pinene
  • Fruity: Weed that has a sweet, berry, or citrusy scent is rich in limonene

If your weed smells grassy, moldy, or mildewy, it is not quality flower. A grassy smell develops when weed decomposes into ammonia. A moldy scent could indicate that mold contamination occurred during the flowering or drying phase.

Touch the Cannabis

Quality flower is dense and thick. The density indicates that the plant received adequate nutrition and light during its harvesting period. It may also have a sticky texture due to the presence of cannabinoid-rich resin.

If the flower is dry, brittle, and thin, it’s not high-quality bud.

Here are some characteristics to look out for when you touch cannabis.

  • Soft and Plump: The cannabis should feel soft and plump like ripe fruit.
  • Sticky: The trichomes in weed will give it a sticky texture. But if the weed is saturated or damp, it may be improperly cured. It is also likely to develop mold or mildew.
  • Springy: Your weed should spring back after it’s squeezed. If you notice a dent in your weed after you press down on it, it means it is too moist. If the weed breaks apart when you squeeze it, it’s too dry.

Check the Lab Test Results

Many cannabis companies are aware of the lack of regulations in the industry that breed mistrust. They aim to increase loyalty by providing lab results for their products. They show how potent the weed is and the ingredients it contains.

Cannabis testing comes with some downsides. There are no standardized methods for testing. Each lab develops its state testing requirements, so it’s difficult to determine which companies are meeting standards.

Chemical report
Chemical report

Lab results can also be hard to understand without a science degree.

However, if a company provides lab results, it shows some degree of transparency.

Genetics and THC Content

You can determine if weed is quality flower by looking at the ingredients and weed content – assuming that the company honestly represents its products.

High THC content does not necessarily indicate quality flower. Some strains are predisposed to have a lower THC percentage.

The best way to determine a plant’s quality is to look at its terpenes profile and cannabinoid content. This information will give you an idea of how the weed will affect you.

Look for Reputable Brands

Do some research before purchasing weed. Find out if the company has gotten positive customer and online reviews. Companies with good reviews are likely to be trustworthy and provide quality flower.

Now you know the characteristics of quality flower. What will you do to ensure your weed is up to standards before you consume it?

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