How Do You Know Which Cannabis Is Good Just by Looking?

If you’re new to buying cannabis, a lack of experience can make things a bit awkward. You don’t want to walk into a dispensary without knowing at least something about what you’re looking for, but there’s a lot of information out there.

How can you tell good cannabis from the bad? It’s hard to know what to trust, and the last thing that you want is to look stupid while you shop. 

One of the most important things to know, other than which strains you’re looking for, is how to assess the quality of the cannabis you’re thinking of getting. After all, quality plays a significant role in your results and overall cannabis experience. 

When you’re a newbie, everything might look kind of similar. Fortunately, there are a few observable things that set quality cannabis apart.


What Should You Expect During Your Dispensary Visit?

The prospect of visiting a medical dispensary for the first time can feel quite overwhelming. When you know what to expect, however, it can make things a little less stressful. 

Here are a few tips to help make your first trip to a Florida dispensary a bit easier.

  • Do a little research ahead of time. Decide which consumption method or two you feel most comfortable with and look up a few strains that might be beneficial for your specific needs. It’s also good to write down any questions you might have before you go. 
  • Know the forms of payment. While many dispensaries accept cash or cards, some only take the former.
  • Bring your medical ID card. The card shows that you underwent a medical evaluation with a qualified physician and that you have a reason for purchasing cannabis. 
  • Don’t be surprised to see security. Most dispensaries have cameras. Some even have security guards at the door for the protection of the staff and the customers.
  • Expect a wait. Budtenders help one person at a time. Depending on how many others there are in the store, you may need to wait your turn. 


How Can You Tell Good Cannabis From the Bad?

When it’s your turn in the dispensary, you’ll have the chance to check out the different strains to see which one you might want to purchase.

An up-close inspection can help you to figure out if what you’re looking at is of good quality. How exactly can you tell? You’ll need the help of your eyes as well as your nose. 


By Sight

Your eyes can tell you a lot about the quality of the cannabis you’re inspecting. While all buds can look the same when you’re new, the visual differences between good and bad products are staggering. 


Bold and Vibrant Colors

One of the first things you might notice about cannabis buds is their color. Quality buds are visually appealing. They’re typically deep green with vibrant orange or red hairs on them. Some may have purple or silver hairs. 

Dull green or brown indicates the buds are old, while a lime green shows immaturity. 


Just the Right Flower Structure

The exact flower structure depends on whether a bud is an indica or sativa plant. Indicas are dense and tightly packed, while Sativas are a bit fluffier. 

Hard buds show that a grower may have used growth regulators, which significantly impact the flavor of the product. Very airy buds may indicate a lack of proper lighting as the plants grew. As such, these buds may not have achieved their full potential. 


Frosty Trichomes

Trichomes are the tiny and crystalline structures coating cannabis buds. They contain the plant’s cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. As such, they’re responsible for the flavor, aroma, and effects of the strain in front of you. They should look frosty. 

Amber-colored trichomes indicate older buds and that your experience won’t be as good. You’ll likely experience weaker effects, as well.   


Moisture and Stickiness

While you might not be able to handle the buds, you may be able to discern something about the moisture content with your eyes. Good quality cannabis will look spongy and slightly sticky. Those that are too dry will be crumbly. You may notice some “shake” (loose flower) at the bottom of the jar. 

On the other hand, buds that are too wet are a sign that the cultivator didn’t cure them properly. The excess moisture also invites the formation of mold and mildew, and that’s something you certainly don’t want either. 


Buds Only

Finally, look at the contents of the whole jar. The only thing you should see are buds. The presence of leaves, stems, and seeds let you know that the product isn’t of top-shelf quality. 


By Smell

Another indicator of cannabis quality is the way it smells. While you can visually assess the product through the glass of the jar, don’t be afraid to ask the budtender to open the lid. While you might not be able to handle the buds, you should be able to smell them. Just like your eyes, your nose can discern quite a bit. 

High-quality cannabis buds have a pungent but pleasant aroma. You may have heard the terms “dank” or “loud” in reference to the smell of the flowers. Other words often used to describe the scent of quality cannabis include “skunk,” “diesel,” or “piney.” 

The best buds should have a distinct fragrance. The stronger it is, the more nuanced the flavors and the better your overall experience is likely to be. 

Lower quality cannabis also has a variety of aromas, but these are much different. Avoid anything that smells musty or mildewy. Grassy or straw-like scents also indicate subpar cannabis. 

These unpleasant smells let you know that something went wrong somewhere along the line. The product may not have been cured properly or someone may have mishandled it at some point. It’s also possible that the buds are past their shelf-life. In any case, these scents let you know that you should look for something else.  


Where Can You Find High-Quality Cannabis?

Learning how you can tell good cannabis from the bad isn’t as difficult as it might seem. By looking over the buds and getting a good whiff, you can almost instantly identify the good stuff.

When you’re ready, visit your nearby VidaCann dispensary to put your knowledge to the test. Our budtenders are more than happy to assist you and let you judge the quality of our cannabis for yourself. You can also visit our online Florida dispensaries, which feature a wide range of cannabis products to suit your needs.

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