The world of weed has changed dramatically in the last decade. Not only have the dynamics of the industry transformed for dispensaries, investors, and growers, but users have had to keep up with constant shifts as well. If you’ve been to an upscale shop like The Bakeréé recently, your head might have spun a bit when looking at all of your flower options.
Instead of going through a trial and error process to find the strain that you like the best, we’re here to share some insight so you know what to look for. When it comes to the best qualities of a cannabis strain, certain features will hold more weight than others, and some aspects are deal-breakers while others have more flexibility.
Before you make another trip out to your local dispensary, let’s review how you can judge cannabis strains for yourself and determine what’s good and what’s not quite worthy of your time.
Do You Taste Your Weed?
Anyone who has smoked marijuana before knows that there are a wide range of aromas that can come along for the ride. From diesel and skunky tones to more fruity or savory smells, the scent of your flower can have a huge impact on your experience. However there’s another component that many users often overlook, and that’s the actual flavor of the strain.
Similar in concept to the aroma profile, nugs of weed have their own flavors that they impart onto your palate during a smoke session. Most of the time the smells and tastes match up nicely, but there are certain strains that offer different aspects between your various senses.
Think about what appeals to you from a flavor standpoint and then ask your budtender which strains they would recommend. Rather than messing around with unknown tastes, you’re more likely to have a good experience if you purchase cannabis strains that you’ll savor.
How High Can You Go
The use of marijuana for medicinal purposes cannot be overlooked, but in this particular instance, we’re focusing more on the recreational aspects that weed can bring. Let’s face it – if you’re smoking a joint or hitting a bong, there’s a good chance you’re doing it to get high.
But how high do you want to be, and are there limits to what good or bad cannabis strains can bring? The primary component of marijuana that imparts the crazy effects we feel is tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. In general, the higher the THC level of a certain strain, the higher you’ll get.
A good rule of thumb is to consider your strain selection based off of the THC level you can handle. New smokers would do themselves a favor to stay away from anything above 15% or so, while more experienced users can go much higher. Some strains reach almost 30% THC, so if you end up with some of that in your pipe, be prepared for liftoff!
CBD For The Win
While we’re on the subject of science, there’s another major element to selecting a quality cannabis strain that can make a big difference when it comes to medicinal usage. THC isn’t the only compound to look for when shopping for weed, as cannabidiol or CBD can play a huge role.
If you’re using pot to soothe chronic pain or help you battle insomnia, finding a strain with high levels of CBD should be a top priority. Different than THC, something with a 9% CBD level would be considered massively large, whereas strains with 1% are still considered to be rather effective and worth your time.
Not only does CBD help relieve the symptoms associated with a wide variety of medical conditions, but it doesn’t impart a high feeling and can actually counteract the psychoactive effects of THC. Keep this information in mind the next time you choose a strain, as the ratio of THC to CBD can dramatically change your experience.
Looks Are Important
We’re all told not to judge a book by its cover, but in this case, taking a good hard look at your weed before buying it can make all of the difference in the world. Often times, identifying the best qualities of a cannabis strain comes with a quick glance and a bit of knowledge.
If you’re interested in a particular strain because of its flavor profile or THC levels, the next logical step is to take a peek before you purchase. What if the nugs look shriveled and brown? How about if they have a lot of crystals on them? Would you be able to know what’s ideal and what’s not?
Quality nugs of weed will vary in color, but they’ll all have a bright and robust appearance. Anything that’s tinged brown or looks overly dry is most likely old and isn’t worth your time. Indications of crystals, called trichomes, or even a stickiness to each bud means you’re in for a treat, as both of these elements mean you’re looking at a high-quality product.
Take Your Time
At the end of the day, even the most experienced cannabis user might end up with a bad strain on their hands every so often. Despite knowing the tricks of the trade, marijuana can sometimes be misleading and a strain that seems amazing could be a bit lackluster. For a quick recap, here’s what to look for when seeking out quality cannabis strains:
- Choose a flavor that sounds appealing to you. If it isn’t clear by the strain’s name, ask what the profile might taste like.
- Consider the THC level of the strain and how that will play into your high.
- Evaluate how important CBD is for your particular situation.
- View your weed before buying, and look for vibrant and fluffy nugs. Strains that appear crystallized or sticky are your best bet.
Don’t be afraid to ask your budtender for recommendations when trying to narrow down your purchase. Before long you’ll have a few favorites to fall back on while you continue the fun of experimenting with new strains!