High-quality cannabis buds
Also called: Fire, primo, top shelf, loud, kill, chronic, dank, headies, flame, kine, kind, and a host of other regional names.
Everybody claims to have high-quality cannabis in stock, but how can you tell for yourself?
The first thing you should know is that top-shelf buds will stand out in a sea of green. Besides the diverse spectrum of colors that premier genetics show, the amazing quality and complex aromas of truly dank weed will scream “pick me!” The nickname “loud” is used for this exact reason: the pungent smells and flavors are often too much to contain, and can draw attention to those who have it, especially when trying to be discreet. Truly outstanding cannabis has no price cap -- it can be considered a luxury item like fine wine and, depending on the laws where you live, prices can reach extreme levels.
First-class cannabis will have a thick coat of sugary resin that contains the cannabinoids and terpenes, giving the plant its powerful effects and captivating flavors. Advanced potency and flavor profiles provide a diverse range of effects and individual experiences that amplify the consumer's connection to the cannabis plant. The buds themselves are typically dense and chunky, thick from advanced CO2 levels during the flowering cycle and other innovative growing techniques.
The harvesting, drying, and curing methods used by the grower can greatly influence the end result. Truly dank herb should be sticky from the frosting of trichomes without being moist or wet. When ground, it should break apart without becoming a pile of dust, and when burnt, it should leave behind white ash (black ash is a signal that there is excess moisture in your flowers).
Proper trimming is paramount to true connoisseurs, allowing each cola and nug to be showcased and perfectly framed. If top-shelf cannabis appears leafy, it is most often because the sugar leaves surrounding the buds are covered with trichomes too precious to discard. Seeds are extremely rare to find in the finest-quality cannabis, so if you uncover one in your stash, keep it for your own garden (providing you can legally grow in your state, of course).
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This article was originally published as Leafly’s Visual Quality Guide to Selecting Cannabis. For this and more reference guides, including a guide to the visual difference between cannabis quantities, visit Leafly News.