Low-quality bud, most commonly referred to as “shwag,” “ditch weed,” and “brick weed,” is something to stay away from. This is the weed that will be a waste of money unless you’re smoking for the first time. The high will be far away from what you expect. You’ll probably be stuck with a harsh headache and sleepy vibes, but nothing else. To ease transportation within the black market, cannabis is many times compressed into bricks, leaving you with a lot of stems and leaves that will only ruin your joint.
Hopefully, you’re reading this before you’ve blazed on some bad-quality cannabis. We hope you’re not standing in front of your computer with an empty bowl, wondering why the weed didn’t hit. Whether you’re still in time to use this knowledge or not, your low-quality cannabis joints and bowls are a thing of the past. We’re here to teach you how to become an absolute pro when visually assessing your bud.
Cannabis quality is what differentiates you getting home, rolling up and having a smile, or coming home to realise you just wasted $50. Find out how you can control this.
Those white, microscopic hairs are probably the visual aspect of the bud that will be most conclusive when it comes to the potency. The more crystals on the nug, the better. It’s here that you’ll find your THC, the component responsible for giving you the traditional cannabis high. These are also what falls into the bottom layer of your 3-piece grinder. Next to this delicious frost, you’ll also see brown hairs. These don’t get you high and the abundance of them does not represent anything about potency, only quality. The brown hairs, technically referred to as pistils, represent maturity in a flower. This means that the grower took good care of their end of the deal and you should trust them.
Before anything else, look at the cherry and the ash of the joint. The ash should always be white. If ash is grey or black, then the weed is too humid. This isn’t conclusive when it comes to the quality of the high. However, a humid flower will give you a nasty headache and will have extra water weight. You’ll be paying for a lot of water, which won’t add anything to your high.
If it doesn’t smell like weed, it’s not good flower. If the fragrance is not at all familiar, it won’t be a crazy, dank strain you never tried before. Shwag usually smells very earthy and farm-like. There are certain strains that have a very earthy smell, but it’s a weed-earthy aroma, not a soil-earth stink.
Ideally, you’ll be able to pick it up, open the bag and have a real close look and feel of the flower before you take it home. If so, here is what to look for:
When looking into your next baggie, be sure to examine the colour. This is probably one of the most important factors because the greenness will represent the healthiness of the plant. Not only will it show how well-treated the plant was, it will also show you if the curing and drying process was well conducted.
At first glance, fire herb should make you wish you already had a joint of it rolled up or a bowl packed. This is the weed that you’ll find on most cannabis Instagram pages. The green will pop through all the juicy trichomes. The buds should look like they were just removed from the plant, even though they have been drying and curing for the past few of weeks.
A deep look into the quality of your marijuana is very important. Here's our guide on assessing properly for yourself the difference between good and bad bud.