The Complete Guide to High-Quality Weed

How to Identify Good Weed

Although purchasing cannabis online has plenty of advantages, many Canadians have reservations about ordering buds on the Web. Understandably, customers complain that they can’t smell or inspect virtual flowers compared with buds at a brick-and-mortar dispensary.

Until that glorious day when Silicon Valley invents smell-o-vision screens, online cannabis shoppers need a different set of criteria to pick their buds. Instead of relying on factors like smell and appearance, you will have to focus on official grades, reviews, and lab reports when choosing an online dispensary.

Ways To Evaluate Weed On The Web

Although it might be challenging to gauge buds online, it’s far from impossible. While choosing the right cannabis strain also boils down to indicas vs sativas vs hybrids, this article goes into more detail about cannabis properties not as often discussed. All of the info presented below can help you accurately assess our buds’ quality. 

Start With The Obvious: Images Still Matter

It’s impossible not to notice pictures of your preferred strain when browsing a website. Although they shouldn’t be the primary focus of your research, looking at a few authentic photographs can give you a decent first impression.

The main feature that sets top-shelf cannabis apart is a thick layer of white trichomes. Amber trichomes, on the other hand, indicate your buds were harvested later in the season and contain higher traces of the sedating cannabinoid CBN. 

Higher-end marijuana must also have a professional trim, which means no extraneous leaves or seeds should be clinging to the buds. In general, mid-level leaves are mostly green, while better-than-average buds could have a variety of colors, including orange pistils and even a tinge of purple.

Two colors you never want to see on your cannabis buds, however, are brown and yellow. Either of these discolorations indicates the buds weren’t properly handled, harvested, or cured. Typically, people who use these lower-grade buds report a harsh smoking experience devoid of potent cannabinoids and terpenes.

As a final tip, it’s always a good idea to research the defining features of your favorite strain. Although a dense trichome layer is usually associated with premier buds, some strains naturally don’t express this trait. Knowing your strain’s typical phenotype can help you determine whether your online vendor is working with an authentic genotype.

What are the characteristics of high-quality weed?

  • Appearance

High-quality weed is always a sight to behold. They appear green with flecks of purple or orange. Some strains will appear dark and come with thousands of trichomes that sparkle in the light. In most cases, high-quality weed tends to be covered in a blanket of dust, which typically means higher THC. Whenever you come across brown weed, it means the strain is mid-range or low-quality weed. Pesticides, molds, and other harmful materials may contaminate such weeds, and taking them can produce a deleterious effect on your health.

High-quality weed appears relatively hairy and may feature a purple, orange, or darker green color. Please note that the appearance of a weed is determined by the nature of the strain, so we don’t recommend judging a weed based on its appearance alone.

  • Smell

After a weed strain draws your attention due to its numerous hairs, trichomes, flowers and attractive color, it’s time to use your sense of smell to narrow down your choice to what suits your taste. There is a rule of thumb indicating that marijuana should possess a fresh smell that is easily detectable while a bad weed will smell like grass or hay. Always make sure that your weed smells like cannabis before smoking it.

The smell of weed is determined by the concentration of terpenes. The terpenes determine how the plant tastes and smells. High-grade cannabis strains possess a skunky or extremely strong smell peculiar with marijuana. The best weed is often loud. They possess a smell that is likely to feel the whole room.

A good weed is recognizable from its herby, sweet, and skunky smell of marijuana that offers a pleasant experience. It is pertinent to note that this smell may differ from one strain to the other or terpene content. The most commonly encountered smell include delicate tones of berries, grapes, oranges, and lemon.

Make sure you pay attention to bland or dull weeds; it could be a bad sign. Avoid any weed after picking up the scent of moldy grass or a similar odor since they may be trying to send a message about a possible source of contamination in the plant or serve as an indicator that your weed is dried.

  • Taste

This is where experience in purchasing weed comes in handy. Ardent weed users will know exactly how his or her favorite weed tastes, but for starters, all you are looking for is a fresh taste. It should not be skunky or very harsh. Top grade weed features a spicy component with lemon zest, fruit loops, or a wonderful earthy flavor. This is an indication of high terpene content which may also contribute to the overall effect of the weed.

  • Feel

Now comes one of the most important aspects of choosing an excellent weed. The textures of marijuana will give you an idea of the trichomes present in the weed. Trichomes are reservoirs of THC that is responsible for the relaxing and mood-lifting activity of marijuana. Quality cannabis must possess enough crystals as a sign of quality. They should feel sticky when dried. Non-sticky marijuana means the quality will be reduced, and it may likely turn to dust easily. When feeling your weed, make sure it is not too dry or too wet, it should feel a little dry and sticky at the same time.

  • Seeds, sticks and stems

Good marijuana possess a thick bud with fewer seeds, sticks, and stems. The buds determine the effect of the weed; hence the reason why you should always look for weed with a fuller bud without the three S’s mentioned above. If you’re stuck with too many seeds, stems, or just dry weed, consider making cannabis edibles or brewing marijuana tea rather than smoking these.

  • Orange hairs

Everyone loves a good plant with some wonderful flowers. This is the case of marijuana and orange hairs. Marijuana strains with orange hairs show that the plant is well pollinated and ripe for the harvest. It is patiently waiting for you to harvest the best feeling ever.

  • Well-trimmed

Although this may not serve as a good yardstick to determining the quality of your weed, it is pertinent to note that a good weed will always look well-trimmed with fewer leaves, sticks, and seeds. This shows that the plant is well nourished and maintained. A well-trimmed weed shows the level of care and attention a weed must have gone through while on the farm and during the packaging process.

  • Contaminants

Don’t just get excited over the appearance, smell, and taste of your marijuana. Take out some time to examine if it contains some contamination from molds and pesticides. The common way to do this is to focus on the color of the weed. Patiently observe the weed for any possible thin, white hairs appearing like spider webs. Avoid any weed that is discolored or features an unusual appearance.

Lab Reports: An Online Shopper’s Best Friend

The most objective way to evaluate cannabis buds is to read an official third-party lab report. These reports are especially important for online shoppers because they can give you an idea of your flower’s potency and pungency from the comforts of home.

For convenience, most labs list the cannabinoid and terpene percentages on grids in their reports. Since this information is so crucial for online shoppers, let’s take a few moments to explain what you should look for when scanning these lists.

Cannabinoids: A Potency Preview

Cannabinoids are unique compounds found in the cannabis plant, so it makes sense to zero in on cannabinoid counts when reading a lab report. This data will give you a good understanding of just how potent your chosen strain will be.

Here are the three most essential cannabinoids to look out for on a report.

THC: The Wild Child  

The most significant cannabinoid in every marijuana strain is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). When this compound binds to our endocannabinoid system, it causes the intense “high” sensation frequently associated with good ganja. So, the higher your strain’s THC level is, the higher & lengthier your “high” will be.

In general, high-potency flowers will have THC content between 20 – 30 percent. For a less intense experience, you might want to look for strains with THC in the teens.

CBD: The Chill Cannabinoid

Although THC steals the show, it’s far from the only cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. Indeed, the non-psychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) has garnered a great deal of attention in recent years for its calming effects.

Interestingly, strains with higher CBD percentages tend to produce a less intense high even with moderate traces of THC. According to the latest research, CBD naturally blocks THC from making contact with CB2 receptors, thereby reducing the “high” experience.

Customers who are more interested in high CBD goods should take a look at CBD specific products.

CBN: The Couchlock Cannabinoid

THC and CBD are undoubtedly the two most prominent cannabinoids, but many secondary compounds might influence each strain’s effects. The most significant of these secondary compounds is cannabinol (CBN).

Since CBN only develops as THC degrades, it has often been associated with “inferior” weed. That doesn’t mean, however, strains with high CBN aren’t without value. Indeed, there are now a few growers who cultivate high CBN strains for medical marijuana patients.

The main reason people seek out CBN is due to its sedative effects. If you’re looking for a “couchlock” sensation rather than a heady THC high, then perhaps you would like higher traces of CBN in your lab report. 

Terpenes: What Trichomes Will You Taste?

Cannabinoid counts can tell you a great deal about a strain’s potency, but they can’t tell you anything about its flavor. To find the best buds for your tastebuds, you need to take a closer look at the terpene profile.

Let’s quickly run through the qualities of a few of the best-studied terpenes.

Myrcene: A Lazy Tropical Terpene

Often associated with mangoes, myrcene is one of the most common terpenes in the cannabis genus. If you’ve ever had an indica strain, chances are you’ve smelt this fruity and musky terpene before. As you’d expect from a terpene often found in indicas, myrcene is heavily linked with sedation.

Limonene: A Citrusy Mood-Enhancer

Limonene is a pungent terpene found in citrus fruits like lemon and grapefruit. Studies now suggest limonene has an energizing and uplifting effect, which makes it a popular choice with depression patients. Preliminary research also suggests limonene might have antispasmodic properties.

Linalool: Lovely Languorous Lavender

Naturally found in the lavender plant, linalool is a floral terpene that’s often linked with relaxation. Like myrcene, linalool might have potential as a treatment for various anxiety disorders. Another study revealed linalool might have natural analgesic qualities.

Alpha-pinene: A Fantastic Blast Of Freshness

When you hear a strain described as “earthy,” chances are it has a high amount of alpha-pinene. Closely associated with pine trees, alpha-pinene is a woodsy terpene that has a stimulating effect on multiple bodily systems. This fresh-smelling terpene might help boost memory, digestion, and respiratory health.

Beta-caryophyllene: Bring On The Heat

Although beta-caryophyllene is technically a terpene, some scientists believe it’s more accurate to call it a cannabinoid. Responsible for the spicy notes in black pepper, beta-caryophyllene has the remarkable ability to bind directly to the body’s CB2 receptors. Current research suggests beta-caryophyllene has potent anti-inflammatory properties and might also help with anxiety.

Humulene: A Hint Of Hops

Humulene is often described as beta-caryophyllene’s “sidekick.” Not only is humulene commonly found with beta-caryophyllene, but the two terpenes appear to work together to create a more substantial anti-inflammatory effect. In terms of taste, humulene closely resembles hops with a pinch of citrus.

Canada’s Cannabis Grading System: A Useful Piece Of Info

As we’ve just explained, lab reports are the most objective way to evaluate cannabis buds online. To better assess your strain’s quality, however, you might want to take a look at its formal grade.

Yes, there is such a thing as a cannabis rating system in Canada. Although it’s relatively new, most cannabis dispensaries now rank their buds on a scale from A (poor quality) to AAAA (excellent quality). On Online Dispensary Canada, you will notice an A – AAAA rating by each of our buds to help you get a sense of our current batch.

It’s important to note that this grading system doesn’t reflect a strain’s overall quality. Instead, this system highlights the features of whatever flowers are now on sale. So, these rankings can change over time depending on farming practices, harvesting time, and the length of the curing process.

Search Online Dispensary Canada With Confidence

At Online Dispensary Canada, we understand the difficulties associated with shopping for cannabis online. Although we can’t transport our buds across cyberspace for inspection, we do offer numerous tools to help customers gauge the quality of our products. 

Under each of our strains, using sour diesel as an example, you’ll find critical information like a THC count, an official grade, and a high-quality image. You will also find a detailed description to help you determine the effects and flavors of each strain.