This article originally appeared on Jointly and has been reposted with permission.
When you go to a dispensary for the first time, it can be hard to know what good weed looks like. A lot of novice cannabis consumers make the mistake of spending too much money on low-quality cannabis because they don’t know what good weed looks like.
By the time you’re done reading this article, you will be able to visually identify high-quality cannabis so that you can make the most out of your dispensary visits.
What does weed look like?
Before we answer the question “what does good weed look like” let’s dive into the basics: “what does weed look like?”
When cannabis flower bud is ground up it looks somewhat like dried oregano.
According to the DEA: “Marijuana is a dry, shredded green/brown mix of flowers, stems, seeds, and leaves from the Cannabis sativa plant. The mixture typically is green, brown, or gray in color and may resemble tobacco.”
In general, cannabis has varying tones of green and brown, and visual variances include the absence or presence of amber, orange, red, and blueish-purple hairs. Additionally, you may see trichomes, which can be glistening clear to milky white and sometimes even red.
What does good weed look like?
Now that you know what weed looks like, let’s answer the main question: “what does good weed look like?”
Good weed is cannabis that has been grown and harvested properly. It has been cured and trimmed well, and doesn’t have any mold, mildew, or contaminants.
Cannabis sold in a legal dispensary has to pass a mold and mildew lab test. Unfortunately, humidity, air circulation, light, temperature fluctuations, and/or poor packaging can cause approved cannabis to develop mold or mildew before you get it. Make sure to visually inspect your cannabis before smoking it.
RELATED: What Makes Weed So Sticky? And Is It A Good Thing?
Buying cannabis tainted with mold or mildew is not only a waste of money, but is also dangerous. If ingested, both mold and mildew can cause health problems.
To make sure you are buying good weed that is not tainted with mildew or mold, avoid weed that has:
A thick spider web texture on the flower (mildew)
Cotton-candy like gray or white webbing around the bud (mold)
Fine grey or white power that resembles powdered sugar, this texture is different from than desired trichome/kief dust (mildew)
Gray spots, which can hide in the interior of a bud and are only visible when breaking apart a bud (mold)
Sawdust like powder that is different from kief dust (mildew)
Unusual dark spots (mildew)
Yellow or grey fuzz (mildew)
Now that you’ve learned visual clues to identify weed that isn’t good, let’s get into what good weed looks like.
What does good weed look like? How to pick top-shelf flower
Good weed is like fresh produce. A fresh head of romaine lettuce has rich green colors, is not wilted, and looks good. Similarly, healthy, vibrantly colored cannabis will likely “look good” to you. High-quality cannabis usually has:
Rich green tones
Vibrantly colorful hairs (may be green, orange, red, amber, or purple)
White or amber-red frosty trichomes
Packaging that includes details about how it was grown
Packing that includes details about when it was harvested, so you know how fresh it is.
Is colorful weed stronger?
There is no scientific evidence to support the claim that colorful weed (i.e. weed with amber-orange, red, or blueish-purple hues) has a higher cannabinoid content than weed with only green tones. But decades of cannabis users feel that colorful weed is often stronger and higher quality than weed that is brown. Of course, that is not always the case.
RELATED: Why Does Weed Give You The Munchies?
Color in cannabis flower comes primarily from anthocyanins, which are the same compounds that give blackberries and blueberries their color. The temperature that the cannabis is grown and cured at has a major impact on whether anthocyanins are produced and retained. (Want to know how to grow purple weed?)
While there is not a definitive rule, colorful weed often indicates careful growing and curing, which often means the cannabis is high quality.
Is brown weed bad for you?
If you are wondering “why is my weed brown?” or if brown weed is bad for you, we can settle your mind. There is no evidence to suggest that brown weed is bad for you.
However, brown weed is often lower in quality than green or purple weed and has a reputation for being harsher and worse tasting than colorful weed. Some cannabis strains are naturally brown, and others become brown due to the growing conditions.
What should good weed look like?
Now when you enter a dispensary, you will know how to visually identify high-quality cannabis flower.
Good weed has rich green tones. It can have hues of orange, red, blue, and purple. And good weed should have a white frosting of trichomes, which is where the cannabinoids are stored.
Get started on your cannabis wellness journey
Have you started your cannabis wellness journey? Jointly is a new cannabis wellness app that helps you discover purposeful cannabis consumption so you can achieve your wellness goals with cannabis and CBD. On the Jointly app, you can find new cannabis products, rate products based on how well they helped you achieve your goals, and track and optimize 15 factors that can impact your cannabis experience. These 15 factors include your dose, the environment in which you consume cannabis, who you are with when you ingest, how hydrated you are, the quality of your diet, how much sleep you got last night, and more. Download the Jointly app on the App Store or the Google Play Store to get started on your cannabis wellness journey.