Buying marijuana flower can be intimidating. When you enter a cannabis shop, you are met with a massive selection of products. How do you even begin to navigate your options? Why would you spend $60 on an eighth of Purple Punch that is 23% THC when there is a $20 eighth from a different brand with 28% THC? And it can be even more challenging if you’re buying online and can’t see the product.
When it comes to purchasing cannabis, many people employ a system that reflects my wine purchasing strategy: I find a cool-looking label that fits my price point and move on to the checkout line. Does this help me find a good wine? Nope! But it allows me to get back home in a timely manner and that is half the battle when I’m grocery shopping.
From my experience as a budtender, I found that price, THC percentage, and strain name are the most common reasons customers choose a product. Even though these criteria are helpful for narrowing down your options, none of them speak to the quality of a product.
So, what is the difference between that $20 and $60 eighth of Purple Punch? Why spend the extra cash? To answer those questions, we have to take a look at the characteristics that define quality cannabis.
Characteristics of quality cannabis
Like with any crop, a successful cannabis harvest starts with high-quality seeds but knowing how to identify the best ones can be tricky even for growers with years of experience. To help give you an idea of what to look for when preparing for your marijuana garden, here we talk about how to identify quality cannabis seeds on sight.
- Appearance & Color. High-quality seeds have certain aesthetic qualities that set them apart from seeds that aren’t as healthy. The most viable seeds are brown, tan, or even black, as immature seeds are lighter colors like white, yellow, and pale green. Some people even claim that the best seeds feature dark spots or stripe patterns and that there should be a healthy sheen on the surface when held under light, like a fresh coat of wax.
- Size & Shape. You can identify quality cannabis seeds by their size and shape, especially when you can compare several seeds side-by-side. The largest seeds with the most symmetrical round or teardrop-shape are the best quality, while immature seeds are small and often have an irregular shape.
- Hardness & Durability. The best seeds have a hard outer shell with a smooth, uncracked surface, while undesirable seeds have soft surfaces that crinkle, crack, or crumble completely quite easily.
- Age. If you know how old the (fully mature) seeds are you’ll be able to have a better idea of viable they are. Like all genetic material, seeds degrade over time, so freshly harvested seeds are often more viable than ones that are months or years old. You should store seeds in a cool, dark place (even a freezer) so they don’t rot or get mold.
- Float Test. The “float test” is an easy way to check if a seed is viable or not. It’s as simple as dropping a seed into just enough distilled water to see if it has enough mass to sink within an hour or two, and if it does, then it generally has a better chance of germinating than seeds that float. You should do this right before you plant the seed because the water saturation can cause it to mold or decay.
Trust the grower
At the end of the day, quality cannabis is produced by quality growers. Producing great cannabis is not magic—it is a skill that is developed over time through hard work. Good weed should be nothing short of amazing because the proper time was put into it. You will be able to see, taste, and smell the effort that goes into growing quality cannabis.
Being able to trust a grower also gives you confidence when trying a new strain. You can’t always know how a strain will affect you, but you can know if the strain was grown by someone who values quality. If you like a particular strain from a grower, try another one of their strains, you might like it.
How do marijuana laws affect buying cannabis seeds?
The law is the first thing to take into consideration. Before doing anything else, you’ll want to double and triple check the laws in your area about which types of cannabis products you’re allowed to purchase as well as any laws about growing weed at home. This is important because the legal status of both cannabis products and home-growing cannabis will in large part dictate where and how you buy your seeds. If you live in a state where it is legal to grow weed at home and there are not that many restrictions on home growing, then you’ll likely be able to buy cannabis directly from your favorite licensed dispensary. In some cases, you may even have the option of buying from a brick-and-mortar retailer or an online retailer.
Understanding Quality Cannabis in Dispensaries
If you’re new to the world of cannabis, it can be stressful to determine if a marijuana product is good or bad. As stated above, however, if you are shopping at a reputable dispensary and abide by basic quality characteristics, there really isn’t much risk of purchasing a poor product.
That’s not to say that some dispensaries aren’t better than others, but typically not many dispensaries sell anything that is terrible. With so many dispensary options to choose from though, it can be a bit overwhelming to search for the product you are looking for.
Look for dispensaries like Silver Stem Fine Cannabis, who offer high-quality cannabis at affordable prices to make sure that every customer or patient leaves with something they will love. From seed to sale, Silver Stem oversees their cannabis to ensure every product meets their standards. On top of their seed to sale operation, Silver Stem strictly adheres to the highest standards within their grow, making sure that all of the flower they produce is up to par with their dedication to top-notch quality. Dispensaries like this are leading the way in attention to detail regarding cultivation, which is why they have some of the finest cannabis around.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, seed to sale, it simply means that all aspects of the cultivation and sale of cannabis are conducted by the same company. Dispensaries like Silver Stem that operate in a seed to sale fashion have been known to produce higher quality cannabis products on a consistent basis.
Also, since everything is being conducted in-house, the staff is generally more knowledgeable on the products they are selling. What does this mean to you as a consumer? Not only are you pretty much guaranteed a killer product but also excellent customer service every step of the way.
Asking these questions will help your budtender recommend the best products for your taste and personal preference, meaning you have a higher chance of leaving the dispensary satisfied. If a budtender is unwilling to answer your questions or simply does not know the answer, it may be smart to ask another budtender or try a different dispensary.
A key indicator of quality in a dispensary is if the employees are knowledgeable and passionate about the products. This shows that the dispensary invests time in their employees and products and also that the employees believe in the quality products they are selling.