While many Americans can now buy and grow marijuana legally — choosing from an endlessly varied selection of premium bud — some still have to take it wherever they can find it. Even U.S. government researchers are forced to work with what most experienced cannabis users would deem pretty bad weed.
It’s paler or duller in color, sometimes brown or yellowish. It’s often dry or more crumbly, and it lacks a distinctive smell (although sometimes it smells like hay or grass). It’s also sure to taste terrible. In certain cases, this kind of marijuana may have been "blasted," or entirely stripped of its cannabinoids to make butane hash oil. Either way, avoid it.
It’s full of stems and seeds
In this sense, marijuana is like any produce you might buy at the grocery store: You can just tell when it’s healthy and ripe for consumption. Good weed has more vibrant color, like a thriving plant. It has a heady, pungent aroma and taste. It’s somewhat springy, dense and coated with sticky, frosty, crystalline trichomes — tiny glands packed with THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid that gets you high. Bad weed, by comparison, looks like some junk you yanked out from underneath your lawnmower.
Arguably the worst thing about bad pot is that it’s not very potent — which means you have to smoke a ton of it to feel anything like the high you’re after. In that case, you’re liable to get a headache before you’re even halfway stoned. Some users have encountered weed so crummy that it doesn’t seem to work at all. If you wind up with bud that only produces noxious smoke and induces a general nausea or cranial pain, what’s the point? Ditch that garbage and find out where the dank nugs are at — because you deserve better.
As with the food in your pantry or refrigerator, you’ve got to keep an eye out for mold and rot. These can afflict even decent marijuana, and they look like the mold and rot you’re used to finding on bread or cheese — furry discolorations on the surface. Packing this crap in your bong can make you seriously sick, don’t risk it.
Quick Growing Tip: Flushing plants at the right moment will prevent excess nutrients from accumulating in flowers and eliminate nutrient burn.
If you’re looking for medium-quality bud, or simply trying to dodge the bad stuff, look for these traits:
High-grade. Top-shelf. Fire.
You’re probably familiar with the small, shiny structures on the surface of cannabis buds and sugar leaves. These mushroom-shaped glands—trichomes—pump out terpenes during the flowering stage.
The substance contains a complex array of molecules. Those of interest to us include cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, along with terpenes like myrcene, pinene, and limonene. The more trichomes a flower possesses, the more resin it will produce. The more resin coating the surface of a bud, the more cannabinoids and terpenes sit ready to be combusted, vaporized, or chewed and swallowed.
Quick Growing Tip: Boosting terpenes will improve the overall smell and flavour of your plants. Select strains such as Lemon Shining Silver Haze and Haze Berry to start with a genetic advantage.
Of course, some home growers with the intention to sell may also accidentally produce cannabis of similar quality. Novice growers will often mess up during the process and leave themselves with dry, unremarkable buds.