How To Tell If Your Cannabis Is Good or Bad - RxLeaf

How To Tell If Your Cannabis Is Good or Bad

Kyle Sengboupha

How to know if weed is good or bad is a question usually answered with a few simple observations. You can’t always rely on the word of your budtender to give you good advice. Some of these peeps only blaze on concentrates or vapes, some only eat edibles, and some of them don’t partake in cannabis at all.

You can rest assured though, that if you take a few simple steps when buying your herb, you’ll almost always end up with the weed you need. Knowing what you’re looking for when making a medical or recreational cannabis purchase is important. All cannabis is not created equal.

How to Tell if Weed is Good or Bad: Complete Guide 1

The best way to always score that fire is by knowing how to spot the signs of good ganja. You can try to hide lousy weed behind a flashy name, but the results will be the same. If it sucks, it sucks. Avoid being annoyed when you go to score your next sack of bud by applying these tips to making your next purchase.

Let’s Get Started

Why It’s Important to Know if Your Weed is Good or Bad

The most important factor in knowing the difference between good and lousy weed is your health. Cannabis tested by a certified lab is the safe way to consume. Buying bud off the black market can be dangerous.

How to Tell if Weed is Good or Bad: Complete Guide 2

Putting poorly grown marijuana into your body is never a good idea. Dangerous chemicals like Eagle 20 commonly used by many unlicensed growers are very bad for you. Marijuana should be grown with love, and when it is, it shows.

You should always be vigilant about what you put into your body. This applies to marijuana too. Besides the health dangers and embarrassment of having lousy weed, who wants to waste their hard earn money to buy bad weed? By the end of this article, you’ll know how to spot the difference between good and bad weed just by looking at and smelling the weed in question.


Cannabis Slang for Good or Shitty Weed

Cannabis slang has changed over the years. Timeless classics have stuck with the community and culture through the years, and new ones have been adopted. To help clear the air on what slang words mean what, here are a few of the most commonly used words.

How to Tell if Weed is Good or Bad: Complete Guide 3

  • Reggie – homegrown, round-town brown, dirt weed, ditch weed, swag. These are all slangs for average to crap weed.
  • Dro – loud, fire, crisp, potent, pungent, colorful, and sticky. Dro is used when referring to herb that is grown hydroponically (using water and a growing medium) instead of being produced in the soil.
  • Dank – means that the weed is good.
  • Tubes – means doing water bong rips.
  • Dabs – wax, budder, shatter, sugar crystal, sauce, bho, pho, and co2 are all different types of cannabis concentrates also called extracts.
  • Wraps – skins, sheets, aka rolling papers have been a quintessential accessory for almost every stoner out there.
  • Trim – means shake or clippings from buds that were trimmed


Understanding Shelf Categories At Dispensaries

How to Tell if Weed is Good or Bad: Complete Guide 4

When you go into a cannabis dispensary to buy weed, it will frequently be divided into three categories. Top shelf, middle shelf, and bottom shelf will all have different prices too. Just because pot is on the bottom shelf doesn’t always mean it’s bad.

Sometimes there is just a lot of it, so the price is reduced to help sell it. As we all know, weed doesn’t last forever. The three shelves of weed are commonly referred to as gold, silver, and bronze or platinum, gold, and silver.


  • Top shelf is reserved for the best weed in the store and the strains that are in the highest demand. They are the most expensive strains that you can buy.
  • Middle shelf is where you tend to find strains that have been around since the 90’s like Chemdawg, Sour Diesel, and others. These strains are sometimes just as fire as top shelf.
  • Bottom shelf is where you find overstock of strains, shake, and popcorn buds. Bottom shelf weed is the cheapest option. It also tends to be a lot drier than top shelf due to the amount of time it’s been sitting around.


What Does Good Weed Look Like?

Looking at the weed, you’re buying is very important. That doesn’t mean stare at it like you are falling in love. Your weed shouldn’t be packed full of seeds and stems. In fact, there should be little stems and almost no seeds in good weed. Examine the herb that you’re considering purchasing, looks usually don’t lie. Is the weed sexy? Look for these three signs.

How to Tell if Weed is Good or Bad: Complete Guide 5


  • Vibrant colors such as green, purple, and red
  • Visible trichomes (crystals) on the buds
  • A good coverage of orange, red, white, or purple hairs on the buds


Sexy weed should have beautiful colors that pop. Bright green or purplenugs, gripped by vivid orange, red, and/or white hairs are almost always a good sign that your weed, is indeed, fire. You also want her to look like she was dusted and encrusted with diamonds.

A dense blanket of sparkly glittering trichomes is another must for good nuggs. The more of the tiny crystals that you see, the better the weed tends to be. When you combine beautiful sexy colors and coat them with diamond-like trichomes, you get a winner-winner steak dinner!


Mold and Pests are bad for bud

How to Tell if Weed is Good or Bad: Complete Guide 6

Moist, sticky weed can be good, but it can also be a bad thing. If weed is not cured correctly, it can become moldy. Smoking this mold is not good for your lungs. It also dramatically takes away from the quality of the weed. Discoloration is usually a sign of mold.

Remember that your weed should be pretty. This means no yellow dots or spider webs in it. A simple observation can usually spot these mishaps. If you see dots, stay away from this pot. It’s most often a sign of spider mites or other parasites. After you’ve checked for spots, dots, and discolorations, it’s time to see if your bud smells.


What Does Good Weed Smell Like?

Good looks are important when picking the nuggs you love, but they’re not everything. Your lovely lady lumps should smell amazing too. Don’t be fooled by a quick sniff when buying weed. Take the time to smell the nugs.

Good weed indeed will talk to you. If the bud is loud, it will tell you that it will stand out in a crowd. Instead of taking one short whiff and falling in lust consider trying the “three sniff” method to help find true love. This is a method you can observe Max Montrose of the Trichome Institute explaining on YouTube. Here’s the rundown and it’s as easy as 1-2-3.


  • First, take one short sniff. This will put the scent of the bud you’re smelling at the tip of your nose
  • Next, take a slightly longer sniff. This will pull the smell of the bud to the center of your nose
  • Finally, finish your sniff test off with one long whiff of weed. This last long sniff will pull the smell of the bud to the back of your nose


Trust your nose because your nose knows. If that herb smells funny, it probably is. Most growers use a plethora of additives to their plants. Sometimes they use things they shouldn’t. Sometimes the plants aren’t adequately flushed. Trust your nose.


Your Weed Should Always Look, Smell, and Taste Amazing

There seems to be an endless array of earthy, sweet, spicy, floral, and candy-like flavors associated with weed. Some weed taste like fruits, others, like flowers, some like candy, and some taste like the forest smells. If you take the time to use the tips you’ve learned in this article when making your next cannabis purchase, you should score some tasty weed.

How to Tell if Weed is Good or Bad: Complete Guide 7

The best advice for scoring the best weed is to buy it from a licensed caregiver or dispensary that can provide you with certified lab test results. After this has been established, it becomes a personal preference to what marijuana strains are your favorite.

Go out and use what you’ve learned to find that fire! Look for those sexy colors and blankets of trichomes, smell for those pleasing aromas, and be sure your weed is free from spots, dots, and discolorations. Stay safe and consume responsibly. Enjoy your elevated state of mind and the peace of mind that comes with knowing how to tell if weed is good or bad.

[email protected] Sengbougpha

Cannabis Entrepreneur For Over 9 Years @munchiifam @_thechubbypanda

1 Comment
  • Borealman

    Not necessarily true, I have tried dispensary weed and not one strain has come even close to the best black market weed I’ve tried, and I’ve tried a lot. Red hairs, purple hairs etc van be misleading. Some weed that looks good sucks, in fact often it looks great yet sucks anyway. I never learned much from this article, excpet maybe the three step smelling process, I’ll try that.

    January 29, 2019 at 5:49 pm Reply

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