Most people who smoke marijuana will tell you “their definition” of what great weed is. Always some type of story that begins “ Oh , this one time I was so high ….” ;nevertheless it is hard to say what is subjective or situational in these stories . In other words ,where the truth ends and the tale begins. People have their preferences Indica or Sativa and some even have a select strain that they swear by. There are cannabis cups and magazines that line up the best marijuana and even break down the percentage of THC. Don’t forget the hundreds of dispensaries and caregivers that claim that they have “the best” Marijuana. While there are so many sources saying the same thing, it seems there are too many different variables that make it tough to achieve set standards for grading and judging Marijuana. So how can you make the right choice when selecting your marijuana?
Each strain of Marijuana is made up of its own unique cannabinoid profile. Growers have done selective cross pollination to control the genetics of Marijuana plants and modify their cannabinoid profile. There have been many efforts to observe the cannabinoid profile of cannabis over time but the accuracy of those efforts are limited due to Marijuana being deemed illegal in many countries. Understanding basic strain lineage and the differences between Indica and Sativa can be a great start to finding the stain with the cannabinoid profile that fits your personal needs.
In the last couple years there have been a couple labs that have offered Marijuana testing. The tests include the following break down of cannibinoids- THC, CBD, and CBN percentages. THC ,or tetrahydrocannibinol, which is a psychoactive ingredient found in Marijuana that offers a host of remedies from pain relief to appetite stimulation. CBD- Cannabidiol-carboxylic acid another psychoactive cannabinoid generally giving a more stoney affect and has been known to help with some medical issues. CBN- cannabinol is a byproduct of THC degeneration. CBN’s are rare in fresh Marijuana as they are created when the THC is destroyed. This can happen from simple oxidation and light. CBN’s are only mildly psychoactive and you only want trace amounts in your bud. Some dispensaries have used these labs tests as a tool to allow their customers/ patients to see a more accurate calculation of Marijuana potency, but is it the same for everyone?
There are three different types of body types Endomorph, Mesomorph, and Ectomorph. Endomorphs are naturally larger people. They carry higher amounts of body fat and have a harder time loosing weight. Endomorphs generally have larger bone structures and a lower metabolism. For Endomorphs it may take larger amounts of smoking to get their desired results. Mesomorphs are naturally athletic and tend to be able to gain muscle and loose fat easily. A Mesomorph may fluctuate with it comes to the effects of Marijuana depending on their personal BMI (body mass index) and the rate of their metabolism. Ectomorphs are slim and petite and can loose weight with ease they usually have a higher metabolism. Ectomorphs are the most unique of the three, depending on their body weight can use larger amounts of Marijuana or extremely small amounts. The effects of Marijuana will vary for each body type depending on the daily THC and CBD intake as some people have created a higher tolerance from using Marijuana on a more frequent basis.
Relying 100% on Marijuana lab test results is not the best way to find great Marijuana. As THC degenerates the CBN’s are steadily increasing changing cannabinoids and creating a different type of cannabinoid profile which is not consistent to the lab results that have been provided. So if your caregiver has provided you with lab results that are older than a few days you can bet they are no longer relevant.
Knowing what to look for and what you’re looking at can make finding great Marijuana a lot easier! Opinions come from the left and the right; but the question remains “what is it we are looking at”? Everyone loves Marijuana’s visual appeal and how it sparkles in all of its glory! Part of picking the best buds is picking the prettiest. Some people count the crystals or tri-combs deeming the strain with the most, the best. Be sure you really know what you’re looking at as powdered mildew and left over spider mite nests are commonly mistaken for extra tri-combs. Take an extra minute to look over the buds to make sure they are as they first appeared to be. Purple buds can also be misleading to people without proper knowledge and understanding. The most common type of purple Marijuana found is a direct result of not properly regulating the temperature in the grow environment. Particularly, when the Marijuana plants are allowed to get too cold during their flowering cycle. Marijuana also can develop purple pigmentation when they are allowed to mature too long. Letting plants over mature causes the red chlorophyll within the plant to become more dominant as the green dies off. Do a background check of the strain’s profile before writing it off as just a grower’s mistake as there are purple phenotypes that are naturally found in some strains and make for a wonderful high.
The cure is one of the biggest mistakes growers fall victim to and the jury is out “does this effect potency”? “Yes”, it most certainty does according to many of the top growers in the industry! Curing lets the plant continue to dry slowly releasing moisture and allowing the cannibinoids to become psychoactive. Hang drying for a slow cure process evaporates 70-75% water out of the plant. Remember no one wants super dried out Marijuana either, there should always be about 10-15% moisture left in the weed. Quick drying or quick curing can lead to an unpleasant experience. Quick curing methods such as oven-drying traps the chlorophyll’s, starches, and nitrates in the plant’s cells making your Marijuana burn unevenly and taste awful or “green”. Quick cured Marijuana can also be commonly confused for an un-flushed harvest, which can result in similar smoking issues but from chemicals that were not flushed out during the final stages of flower. Bottom line is an improper cure can cause degradation to the cannabinoids, increasing CBN’s and making it potentially harder to smoke.
Growers may have started with a beautiful crop but by the time it gets to the shelf, where is the smell? You’ll know a good cure when you smell one! Plain and simple, properly cured marijuana is the kind you can smell through a bag! It’s key when sniffing out the best buds to remember that most strains have their own signature smell. Be wary of shops where all the Marijuana smells the same. When all the buds smell alike it is a sure way to note a bad curing job and it is typical in these situations that when one is done wrong they all are! The moisture and feel of the Marijuana will always follow a good smell in a proper cure, making for great smoke.
In essence knowing good marijuana, is knowing yourself and what it’s going to take for you to get that perfect smoke. It’s not the same for everyone and it never will be. The combinations of THC, CBD’s, and CBN’s are ever changing and it may take some looking to find the strain with the cannabis profile and chemical combination that works best for you. Just remember that what you consider good Marijuana may not be for the next person.