What are the hallmarks of quality when purchasing flower?

What a challenging question! I’d love to write a book on this topic, but for the sake of learning, let me try to boil it down to the essentials:

  1. Who farmed it? – Easily the most important factor. Farmers are responsible for almost every single piece of the creation of a cannabis product and it is their values and techniques that will be most evident in the final product.

  2. Strain/Variety/Cultivar – What do you like, Sativa (Narrow Leaf) or Indica (Broad Leaf)? Most varieties today are a hybrid mix, but as consumers demand the more specialized varieties us farmers will adjust back to growing more pure strains.

  3. Trichome Content – Does it sparkle, does it look like its coated in snow? Artisan flowers are handled with care, so many of the glands on the outside of the flower should still be intact. These trichome glands are what contain the essential oils of the plant and it is these oils that provide all of the medicinal and therapeutic effects cannabis has to offer.

  4. Smell/Aroma ->Taste – Though these are often difficult metrics to assess while purchasing, they should be very easy to discern after purchasing. Don’t be repeat customer if the smell and aroma you’d hoped for is not there. With years of practice, smell moves up this list to no.2.

  5. Color – You usually get what you pay for here, but desirable flower has a very vibrant, lime-green aesthetic, while less desirable cannabis has a browner less appealing look. Cannabis that has been stored properly will retain it’s healthy color for much longer. Heat, UV, O2 and moisture wreak havoc on cannabis that is not properly stored.

  6. Moisture Level – I’m definitely partial to drier flowers, but moisture level is an important factor. A flower that is too wet can allow harmful pathogens to grow, but too dry can be devastating in transport. It’s a careful balance here.

  7. Trim – Personally, as a farmer, I like a little extra leaf left on nice quality buds, but the market always demands a tight, close shave.

  8. Packaging – Not terribly important but it can effect storage.

  9. Testing – Testing labs in California are not to be trusted…yet. There are no end to issues with the current testing standards and services offered by CA labs, but the upcoming regulatory changes should help. Currently potency results are completely unreliable and should be ignored, but hopefully, in the future, customers can bump this up the list.

  10. Tell someone else how you made your decision! we need more education in the marketplace. There is a lot of misinformation being circulated out there, and it’s up to us to help.


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