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Identify high-quality cannabis by examining its appearance, aroma, trichome density, moisture content, and proper curing. Seek vibrant colors, a strong, pleasant aroma, and a balanced moisture level for the best experience.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a brand new patient or connoisseur, buying cannabis can just be plain old intimidating. When you walk into a cannabis retailer, you’re greeted with a million different options, all with different branding, varying strain names, and a wide range of prices. So how do you know which buds are the best and which ones to skip? To get to the bottom of this conundrum, we have to look at the factors that make high-quality cannabis — and you might be surprised at what you discover. 

It’s not all about the THC. 

Perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions about what makes cannabis good is having a high THC percentage — shocking, we know. But the best cannabis is marked by an intricate arrangement of cannabinoids and terpenes, not just THC. This complex arrangement of compounds is said to produce dynamic, well-rounded effects that result in an overall more pleasant high. This phenomenon is often referred to as the entourage effect. 

If buds are solely rich in THC and lacking in other terpenes and cannabinoids, it could produce a smoking experience that is one-dimensional, short-lived, and perhaps even anxiety-inducing. Unfortunately, very few of these compounds, like CBD, CBN, and CBG, are advertised on the label, making it difficult to determine if the cannabis product you’re buying is actually worth the extra cash. 

Lucky for you, there are a number of other ways to determine if the cannabis is of high quality besides the internal chemistry.

So how do you tell if cannabis buds are quality?

Typically, we’d tell you your nose knows best. Terpenes like limonene and pinene not only impact the high but also how the nugs smell. Each bud should have a really pungent and noticeable odor that can range from sweet and citrusy to earthy and sour — but if you smell hay or mold, beware. That said, we know that it is not always possible to sniff your green before you buy it, so let’s talk about some other factors. 

The look of the buds can also help decipher quality flower from not-so-quality flower. For example, if your buds are coated in sparkly, sugar-like trichomes, you’ve probably got some potent cannabis in hand. You may also see some orange hairs poking around, which can also signal good cannabis. Quality buds can also range in color from vibrant green to deep, almost black, purple hues. So if your weed is colorful and sparkly or vibrant and hairy, you’ve likely discovered some high-quality cannabis. 

Additionally, the freshness of your cannabis can say a lot about the quality without having to touch, see, or smell what’s inside the package. In many states, it is required that the testing labels reveal when the buds were harvested and when they were packaged. Both of these details are important as over time, cannabis begins to lose its potency. However, it also needs to be dried and cured for an appropriate amount of time before ending up in your hands — usually, a couple of months does the trick. 

Another element to consider is the packaging. Many brands decide to package their goods in mylar bags, which can cause the nugs to get crushed or jostled easily. When this happens, the precious trichomes that contain most of the cannabinoids could fall off. Whereas, cannabis packaged in jars reduces this risk. The jar acts like a forcefield surrounding the goodies inside. 

You’re the boss. 

Ultimately what makes weed good to you is entirely subjective. So don’t be afraid to embrace it if you prefer a bargain brand over the top-shelf brand, that is perfectly fine! Think of it like shopping for wine — sure, the $80 bottle is probably the bee's knees to discerning palates, but at the end of the day, it’s all just grapes. So no matter what your budget or your taste, JARS has got what you need to make you smile.