4. Flower structure: Skillfully cultivated and cured sativa-leaning flowers tend to be light and fluffy in shape and composition, while indicas tend to be tighter and denser in flower structure. Though the structure and the experience you end up having usually have little to do with each other. Rock-hard flowers are a sign that cultivators may have used plant growth regulators, which can lead to an unpleasant taste. Extremely fluffy flowers could be a signal that the plant was not grown under sufficient light intensity and was not cultivated to its potential.
1. Ethical cultivation: Rae emphasized that ethical cultivation avoids synthetic fertilizers, uses living soil, and practices sustainable agriculture. “Look for Clean Green Certified, Sun+Earth, or other organic products and producers who use regenerative agricultural practices. Sungrown cannabis often ticks all of these boxes,” Rae advised.
A sad sight, low-quality cannabis is seen in many shades of degradation. From dirt brown to an immature lime green flower, nature provides several visual clues when you’re looking at a good plant gone bad.
While all good cannabis should be visually appealing, a top-shelf strain can easily display a vibrant array of colors. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
But at the end of the day, it’s all about what you like when you smoke weed. What you prefer might be different from what the local budtender, delivery driver, or your friend likes. There are hundreds of strains grown by thousands of cultivators. The goal is to find the right strain for you. It’s simply about finding the right product that works with your personal chemistry by a brand or cultivator that you like and can thus enjoy over and over again.
Trichomes are the most abundant feature on the surface of good-quality flowers. To the naked eye, they appear as a fine layer of crystals that shimmer under torchlight or the flame of a lighter.
To ensure you only buy the best buds, learning the differences between top-shelf fire from rugged brick weed is vital. You don’t need to be a connoisseur either, as the differentiating traits can be seen and smelled with no assistance. Learning the differences will help you browse the shelves, sure, but it’ll especially help you judge the plants in your own garden. That, in turn, will help you make any necessary adjustments.
How buds feel in the hand says a lot about their quality. Every grower hopes for dense and heavy buds at the end of the growing season. These flowers simply hold more mass, look much healthier, and smoke smoother.
Away from their biological role, pistils serve as useful progress markers. During the early flowering stage, these reproductive parts boast a brilliant whiteness. As the weeks go by, their appearance turns to a solid dark orange.
The key signs of low-quality cannabis include:
Although you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can definitely judge cannabis buds by their appearance. There are many factors that indicate quality to a trained eye, and colour is one of the most important.
As we discussed before, aromatic molecules known as terpenes are responsible for said signature scent. Despite the similar undertone, though, most strains feature unique smells thanks to different concentrations of terpenes.