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How to Tell Good Weed From Bad?


Your marijuana doctors might send you off with just the right recommendation to combat your medical condition, but ensuring you get your hands on good quality weed is nobody’s responsibility but yours. So how do you do that? How can you tell if the weed you’re buying is the best you can get your hands on?

Characteristics of Good Weed

Top shelf weed has its own tell tales. These could be the way the weed looks, smells, tastes, and what its certificate of analysis tells about it. If you know what to look for, finding good quality marijuana isn’t really hard.

When marijuana doctors send you to a nearby dispensary to get your pot, don’t end up guessing your way into a bad high. We know it can be hard, ask your physician about the best quality of weed so we’ve made a list of things you need to look out for when buying.


Good quality weed will usually have a complicated smell, going from earthy and skunky to citrusy and pine-like. The smell profile of any good weed depends on its terpene profile (we’ll discuss that in a minute). While different high-quality flowers might smell different, one thing remains common. All of these flowers have especially strong and pungent fragrances, one that cannot be missed or mistaken.


Smell and taste go hand in hand. If you find a flower that smells citrusy, it must taste citrusy too for it to be high quality. This falls true for every weed flower. Your ‘loud’ odor must be complemented with a loud flavor.


Ever squished a high-quality bud between your fingers? You’ll feel just how spongy and sticky it is. Not only that, but the stems should break easily, not crumble in your hands. The bud must be moist to the point where it isn’t too dry nor too wet to get moldy.


High-quality flowers are usually glistening with trichomes. The more frosty your bud looks, the better it is in quality.

And while you’re looking at your flower, be sure to find a vibrant color for yourself. Bright greens, flaming reds, and purples, all represent good quality buds.

Flower Structure

Different strains must have differently formed flowers but they should neither be too hard or too fluffy. Indica strains must be tight and dense (not rock hard) while Sativa strains must be light and fluffy (but not too much).

Cannabinoid Profile

Unlike other tell tales of a good quality cannabis flower, this one is based on how the flower appeases the senses. Rather, it depends on what goes into the production of the flower.

The first requirement to determine the profile is a third-party lab test and a certificate of analysis. (Ask marijuana doctors anywhere, they wouldn’t recommend buying cannabis that isn’t supported by a third-party quality guarantee.)

Through this COA you can find all the other cannabinoids and terpenes present in the flower. A high-quality flower will have ingredients other than CBD and THC. Look for products with an extensive ingredient list.

The COA will also enlighten you about the presence or absence of toxins, heavy metals, residues, etc., in your flower. Make sure you don’t buy or consume a cannabis product without a COA or one that consists of any toxins or metals.

Tell Tales of Bad Weed

If the signs of good quality weed are obvious, you can definitely eliminate the bad quality weed.


If your pot does not exhibit any of the ‘pot musks’ you’re so used to, it might not be of good quality. A high-quality pot has a very distinct aroma, one that cannot be mistaken. On the other hand, low-shelf marijuana may have absolutely no smell or one that is completely different from what pot smells like.

If your pot has a musty or unpleasant smell, it is an indicator of a low-quality pot. Weed that smells like freshly cut grass is also an indicator of a poorly cured and processed stash.


Lower quality pot can either be too dry and brittle to touch or rock hard and moist. Both are good indicators that you shouldn’t be wasting your money on them. You don’t want your weed to crumble in your hands upon touch and neither do you want them to be moisty grounds for mold to grow.


You already know what you’re looking for: brightly colored, glistening with trichomes.

So here’s how you eliminate the bad quality weed. 

  • Do not buy any dull-colored weed. It could be the result of pesticides and chemicals or mold.
  • Do not buy weed that has too many stems and seeds.
  • Amber-colored trichomes mean that the weed’s batch isn’t fresh.

If it doesn’t appeal to your sense of sight, it’s probably not the best quality weed.

Cannabinoid and Terpene Profile

If the product you’re looking into has no minor cannabinoids like CBG, CBN, THCV, Delta 8 THC, etc., or no terpenes like myrcene, alpha-pinene, or beta-pinene, geraniol, humulene, or linalool, they are low-quality products.

These additional cannabinoids are responsible for an overall entourage effect. On the other hand, all these terpenes are responsible for giving your flowers their attractive fragrance.

Flower Structure

If your weed is extremely hard, there is a possibility it was cultivated using plant growth stimulators. If the weed is overly fluffy and soft, it might not have received proper sunlight during cultivation.

In both cases, you’re not getting a high-quality product. Remember, high quality doesn’t just depend on the quality of seeds used but the method of cultivation and extraction.

Even with good quality marijuana, the quality can deteriorate if proper care is not administered. Storing your stash properly is just as important as buying good-quality weed.

Is Good Quality Weed Expensive?

Good quality weed is often more expensive than low-quality buds. It’s obvious, isn’t it? When extra care is put into how a strain is grown, dried, and cured; it more often than not, reflects in the price. But a pricey flower doesn’t always mean good quality. So don’t just buy weed that’s expensive. Look into its aroma, the taste, how it looks and feels in your hands.

These factors should give away the truth about the weed you’re buying.