What is thc distillate

Good as Gold: What is THC distillate?

Good as Gold

What is THC distillate.  Encased within this golden drop of goodness is a semi-translucent, 99% pure decarboxylated and distilled tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) sap. Dollar for dollar, this morsel of oil is worth more by weight than just about any other consumable substance on the marijuana market, and for good reason: Cannabis oil distillates are arguably the future of cannabis concentrates.

With unmatched purity and sheer versatility, distillate oils provide a clean and potent product with limitless application potential. However, understanding the refinement process by which distillates are made can be difficult, as many of the methodologies are proprietary and still in R&D or even patent-pending phases.

A mature cannabis plant is known to contain hundreds of identifiable cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, each responsible for playing a role in interacting with our endocannabinoid systems.  

Through what is widely referred to as “the entourage effect,” these compounds interact with one another to give us the unique experiences we desire. When it comes to creating cannabis concentrates, cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids are pulled from the vegetative material of the cannabis plant together through various extraction processes. In to distill these compounds into their purest form, additional layers of refinement must be executed. This process is known as “fractional” or “short path distillation,” and it is known to produce single compound oils that can reach upwards of 99% purity.  what is thc distillate

 

Old Techniques

Fractionation and short path distillation in and of themselves are nothing new. In fact, these methods have been used for many years, both in the early days of cannabis distillation research as well as in other commercial industries alike. For example, the fragrance and essential oil industries can be credited for piloting many of the same fundamental refinement principles that we see overlapping in today’s cannabis distillate manufacturing scene. Steam distillation, as well as fractionation, are two common techniques that have been adopted from the botanical oil extraction markets by cannabis processors to make various oil distillates. These techniques work specifically for cannabis in the same ways they would for other botanical refinement systems ranging from fragrances to cooking oils. what is thc distillate

The Process

In order to isolate compounds such as THC into a pure and viscous oil, there are multiple layers of refinement that must first occur. Given that THC as well as other cannabinoids and terpenes are volatile and have varying boiling points, they must first be separated from the cannabis plant via hydrocarbon or CO2 solvent-based extraction techniques. This process removes the valuable and volatile compounds from the plant itself, while many fats, lipids, and other compounds remain. This necessitates further refinement through a process called winterizationwhereby a solvent such as ethanol is used in order to remove these undesirable compounds.

Apart from winterization, isolated cannabinoids must also undergo decarboxylation, by which the compounds are heated enough to activate their medicinal potential. Finally, the material is run through a short path steam distillation or rational distillation chamber in a series of multiple passes to purify the desirable compound (typically THC or CBD) to its isolated state. Molecules such as THC and CBD have higher varying boiling points. Short path distillation uses vacuum pressure, steam, and heat to manipulate boiling points so that compounds are subjected to much cooler temperatures when they pass through. what is thc distillate

The Outcome

Depending on the distillation process, these volatile compounds can either be fractioned individually or simultaneously for collection. Through this process, volatile compounds are separated by their molecular weight and individual boiling point, leaving less volatile and undesirable compounds behind. A distillate may be passed through this process multiple times to create an even more pure substance. What remains in a THC distillation is a clear and translucent viscous sap that resembles ultra-refined honey in consistency and hue.

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How to buy marijuana online UK

Online Dispensaries and Mail Order Marijuana: Whats Deal

Online Dispensaries and Mail Order Marijuana: What’s Deal? how to buy marijuana online uk

  Many people new to using a Canadian mail order marijuana service wonder about the authenticity or safety of purchasing their cannabis over the internet and having it shipped to their door through the mail.  Did you know the only way the only legal way for Licensed Producers to distribute their legal medical cannabis under the Federal MMPR/ACMPR program is by mail? Canada post staff and the average human are not trained to differentiate a legal marijuana package from an illegal marijuana package. All they know is that it is legal to ship medical marijuana within Canada. Check out some highlights this story in the Toronto NOW.  how to buy marijuana online uk 

A Switch To Online Purchasing

” Meet “P.” He uses cannabis to help control a chronic pain condition. P started out as a recreational user, going from “picking up dime bags in front of the Eaton Centre” in the 1990s to being a “dabbing dad with a full-time job as a TDSB teacher.”

When dispensaries began opening across Toronto, he checked them out. “The ability to see the bud was really good, in terms of being able to see a wide variety of flower,” he says. Increased police attention to Toronto’s dispensaries since last May’s city-wide raids has left P feeling less confident about purchasing his cannabis at storefront locations. how to buy marijuana online uk

 

Buying marijuana from a storefront

“I don’t want to go to the dispensaries right now because of all the [uncertainty],” he says. He fears that buying marijuana from a storefront comes with a high degree of exposure. “When you’re possessing cannabis outside your home, you could conceivably have someone rob you or a police officer accost you.”

  Arrests of dispensary owners have continued, with search warrants executed at more than half a dozen marijuana dispensaries in the last month alone. Many are wondering where to get their supply, and P has switched to online purchasing. In fact, a number of Toronto dispensaries closed by the raids continue to operate online, a mode ignored by law enforcement so far.“Although these establishments are not yet considered legal,” say the owners of one website, “the Canadian government has decided to let them operate in peace.”

 

Online dispensaries

Online dispensaries also seem to have the implicit blessing of the postal service. Many offer express shipping, and their entire business relies on Canada Post. Mail-order pot isn’t new in Canada. For years websites have offered marijuana by mail, but today’s online dispensaries are miles ahead of predecessors that would only accept cash sent by snail mail. Many require age verification (including an uploaded copy of your government-issued ID) and varying levels of medical documentation, ranging from a full Marihuana For Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) prescription to simple prescription as proof of an ailment.

For police, enforcing the law in the case of online providers can be difficult. While it’s easy to identify bricks-and-mortar dispensaries, those operating online often take measures to avoid detection and protect their customers. The shift online has been popular with customers, too. P says online sources offer a number of advantages over their storefront counterparts, including the ease of ordering from the safety of home. Another plus is anonymity. Even unlicensed dispensaries collect and store a lot of personal and medical information about their customers in databases.

best concentrates 2017

5 Differences Between Cannabis Concentrates and Cannabis Buds

Concentrates

Cannabis concentrates are becoming an increasingly popular consumption method, but a lot of people new to concentrates feel intimidated by them. Their emotions aren’t completely unjustified when you consider the learning curve and tolerance adjustment for concentrates. best concentrates 2018

Because concentrates are a lot more potent than flower and are often associated with complicated consumption technology, why bother switching to something intimidating and confusing when flower seems so much easier and familiar? best concentrates 2018

1. Concentrates Go by Many Names

Although the multiplicity of strains available can make one’s head spin, even beginners have a pretty good idea of what they’re getting with flower, regardless of its name.

“Concentrates” is an umbrella term that refers to a variety of different cannabis extracts and their monikers – and that’s where things can get more confusing. Don’t let the breadth of options drive you away – many of these are different names for the same thing. best concentrates 2018

Here are some quick tips for narrowing your search down:

  • Shatter, wax, crumble, sugar, honeycomb, sap, and oil often refer to a concentrate’s texture. While some people have a preference of an extract’s consistency, what’s important to many people is the solvent used and how compatible that extract is with their preferred consumption method.
  • Most concentrates are extracted using CO2, butane, hydrocarbons, propane, water, alcohol, and heat. Solventless extracts made using water (e.g., hash) or heat (e.g., rosin) are excellent choices for those wary of how consuming solvents might affect them.

2. Concentrates are More Potent

The most important distinction to make between cannabis flowers and concentrates is potency. While bud potency tends to range between 10-25% THC, a concentrate typically falls between 50-80% though some exceptional extracts can even push past 90%.

Those numbers may be enough to scare off any under-seasoned consumers, and for good reason: dosing gets trickier as potency increases. A mildly or non-psychoactive CBD-rich concentrate would be a good choice for beginners (that’s right, not all concentrates get you high).

Hash and tinctures also tend to have lower THC contents than other types of concentrates, so you might consider steering toward those before graduating to the more potent oils. Just remember to always start with a low dose and work your way up if you’re new to concentrates or have a low tolerance.

3. Concentrates Can Be Administered Differently

With bud, you can smoke it, vaporize it, and roll it, but there’s not much else you can do with it. Concentrates offer more options.

Dabbing – the process by which you apply an extract to a hot nail and inhale through a glass piece – is swiftly on the rise among cannabis veterans. Dabbing is an easy way to get a potent dose of cannabinoids, although the learning curve and equipment demands make it a less accessible option for new users.

Ingestible oils act like edibles in that they take effect slowly and last much longer due to the way they’re metabolized. These oils (or any extract, really) can be high in THC, CBD, or both. So if you’re interested in smoke-free methods – especially for treating medical symptoms and conditions – these capsules may be worth looking into.

Tinctures are a sublingual concentrate, meaning they’re dropped under the tongue and enter the bloodstream. They act faster than edibles and ingestible oils, though they’re often less potent.

Hash and oils may be also consumed using some of the same consumption methods as a flower. Some vaporizers are compatible with “loose” oils, though some portable pens are specially designed to be used with specific cartridges of oil. The motivated enthusiasts can even roll their bud-packed joints with hash and oils.

4. Plant Matter is Stripped from Concentrates

Here’s one benefit to concentrates perhaps you’ve never thought of: extraction processes strip out plant material and isolate the compounds you want like THC and CBD (…and potentially some things you don’t want, in the case of pesticides, contaminants, and residual solvents; make sure the products you consume are tested).

When you smoke flower, you’re also smoking the plant material that leaves your glass black with tar. That can take a toll on your lungs. However, you may have noticed that when you dab oils, the glass and water stay clean for much longer.

Vaporizers heat cannabis below the temperature of combustion, but hot enough to extract beneficial compounds. Health-conscious consumers, this route of delivery is for you.

5. Flowers May Have More Flavor and Terpenes, But Not Always

If flavor is something you care about, this point is for you: some concentrates will lose their aromas and flavors in the extraction process.

Terpenes are the volatile, fragrant oils secreted by the cannabis plant, and they give the flowers their smells from the sweet, fruity, and floral to the earthy, piney, and musky. Being so sensitive to heat, it can be difficult to preserve terpenes in many extraction processes.

For this reason, many producers have begun reintroducing these aromatic compounds afterward – which can result in products even more flavorful than the flower they came from

For the full article and more information visit Leafly!

Oklahoma Legalizes Medical Marijuana

Oklahoma Legalizes Medical Marijuana

Oklahoma Legalizes Medical Marijuana

ok medical marijuanaWith a ballot measure approved by voters in Oklahoma on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, the state became the 30th in the nation to legalize medical marijuana. A total of 57 percent of voters were in favor of this change, which will give doctors the right to prescribe cannabis for any condition they feel would benefit from it. This comes as a surprise to many, as Oklahoma is considered one of the country’s most conservative states. Not only did they approve this measure, but it is also one of the most liberal medical cannabis laws in the country, allowing doctors to use their discretion when prescribing marijuana.

The bill faced much opposition from many state officials but passed despite their open comments against the measure. Those who support medical marijuana legalization believe this shows the growing acceptance of cannabis treatments in our nation as a whole. It also confirms that the support of access to legal medical marijuana is a nonpartisan issue, as Oklahoma is historically a red state.

Leading up to the Election

Like many states, although Oklahoma didn’t have a comprehensive medical marijuana law in place, it did allow limited access to non-psychoactive cannabis extracts. However, the state reserved these medicines for those with seizure disorders or other severe medical conditions. Oklahoma State Question 788 gave voters the chance to vote on this issue for themselves. However, it faced vocal opposition leading up to the election. Dissidents included religious groups, the business community and even government officials like Governor Mary Fallin, Republican Senator James Lankford and others.

In fact, many believe officials placed the measure on the June primary election ballot in an effort to sink its chances. In general, older, more conservative voters attend these elections compared to the general elections in the fall. They may have hoped that younger voters and other demographics who are more in favor of medical marijuana would be less likely to vote.

In a last-ditch effort, many different groups, like the Oklahoma Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorneys Association openly campaigned against the measure. There was even a $500,000 advertising blitz from an opposition group who tried to derail the vote.

In contrast, those in support of the medical marijuana legislation didn’t receive much funding from national drug policy reform groups. Defying all the odds, voters approved the initiative during the June primary election.

What This Means for Oklahoma Residents

Despite all the opposition, the fact that Oklahoma voters approved State Question 788 is a huge step forward for medical marijuana legislation both here and in the U.S. as a whole. It means that despite official opposition, the state is still acknowledging the voice of the people.

Unlike other state programs, Oklahoma will not have a set list of qualifying medical conditions. This means doctors will be able to use their discretion and prescribe cannabis treatments to those they feel would benefit.

Although Governor Fallin did not support the measure, she has said she would respect the will of the voters. Her main fear was that this law would open the door to the legalization of recreational marijuana. To ensure the health and safety of Oklahoma citizens, she will work with lawmakers this summer during a special legislative session. Their goal will be to:

  • Determine how best to proceed
  • Address provisions
  • Establish a regulatory framework
  • Ensure medical cannabis use will truly be for valid medical illnesses

What’s Included in the New Law?

Although the new law is subject to amendments and provisions, as drafted, it would implement a program that would make accessing medical marijuana easier than in other states. First and foremost, the Oklahoma State Department of Health would open and administer a new office. Their responsibilities would be to:

  • Enforce regulations
  • Dispense licenses for growers, distributors and producers
  • Oversee the issuing of medical cannabis ID cards

Any adult over the age of 18 would be allowed to get an ID card as long as they have authorization from a board-certified physician. Minors would need the approval of two physicians, as well as permission from their parent or legal guardian. Patients could also designate a caregiver to purchase or grow cannabis in their stead.

ok marijuana card

Once they have their state ID card, patients would be able to:

  • Possess up to three ounces of cannabis in public
  • Store up to eight ounces at home
  • Cultivate up to six mature plants and six seedlings
  • Possess one ounce of cannabis concentrates

Even patients without a medical marijuana identification card would receive a level of protection from the new law. Those caught with less than one and a half ounces of marijuana would only face misdemeanor charges as long as they state they have a medical condition. This type of offense would be punishable by no more than a $400 fine.

Once the new law is enacted and put into place, it will be a good source of revenue for the state government. Businesses that cultivate, process, transport and dispense medical marijuana would have to purchase a license from the state’s medical marijuana office. In addition, there will be a seven percent retail tax placed on cannabis purchases. All revenue earned above what’s needed to run the medical marijuana program would go to the state’s education budget, as well as drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs.

Looking Toward the Future

Although there is no set implementation date, Governor Fallin has stated lawmakers will begin discussing the implementation of this law as soon as this summer. This means Oklahoma patients could be receiving medical marijuana treatment in the very near future.

As a vocal advocate for medical marijuana laws throughout the United States, we at MarijuanaDoctors.com will keep you up-to-date on all changes occuring in Oklahoma and beyond. More states will be voting on similar legislation this fall during the general elections, and we will be here to report the results.

Once Oklahoma has established their medical cannabis program, you’ll never have to look far to find a qualified prescribing physician. We’re here to connect you to the top medical marijuana doctors in Oklahoma.

marijuana-before-bed

Benefits of Marijuana Before Bed

Benefits of Marijuana Before Bed

marijuana before bedMany users of both medical and recreational marijuana find that one of its most amazing benefits is its ability to act as a sleep aid. Not surprisingly, the research on this topic backs up these reports. Not only does it help treat certain medical conditions, but it actually has an impact on the biology of sleep, allowing those who use it to fall asleep and stay asleep longer.

If you’re experiencing sleep disturbances, keeping some marijuana at your bedside might be the perfect tool to a good night’s rest. The right strain can provide a deep sense of relaxation, as well as other useful benefits that promote sleep. Even those with persistent insomnia find that cannabis before bed gives them the opportunity to drift into a peaceful slumber.

Marijuana’s Effect On Sleep

Marijuana affects your sleep in a variety of ways. As with most of the plant’s beneficial qualities, its interaction with our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) produces these effects. Marijuana’s cannabinoids — such as THC, CBD and CBN— mimic the activity of naturally occuring brain chemicals and bind themselves to ECS receptors. The ability of cannabis to produce these effects is what allows it to regulate sleep on top of offering other medical benefits.

Specifically, both THC and CBD change a user’s sleep cycle, the process that occurs while we sleep that includes five different stages. These changes are primarily to the progression and length of the cycles. For example, the REM cycle may be shortened but the period of deep sleep is extended. However, the result is a more restful night’s sleep. Those who use marijuana as a sleep aid typically experience four key benefits.

1. Falling Asleep Faster

A moderate amount of cannabis before bedtime can be more effective than chamomile tea. Since the 1970s, researchers have found that those who use marijuana before bedtime fall asleep faster. However, moderation is key, as high doses of cannabis may produce the opposite effect.

2. Longer Periods of Sleep

Not only does marijuana help people fall asleep faster, but they also experience more extended periods of uninterrupted sleep. Increased doses of THC corresponded to increased time asleep. However, users should be aware that increasing the amount of THC they take could lead to symptoms resembling a hangover.

marijuana better sleep

3. Increased Deep Sleep

One of the sleep cycles cannabis affects the most is the slow wave or deep cycle. THC allows users to stay in this cycle longer than average. During this stage, sleep is at its most restful and revitalizing, which means the body can get the complete benefits of a full night’s sleep. Most sleep deprivation is believed to be caused by shortened or interrupted periods of deep sleep that can impact a person’s health, leading to such conditions as high blood pressure and stress.

4. Rest for Those With Medical Conditions

Many disorders and medical conditions can lead to sleepless nights. Because of marijuana’s positive effects on sleep, patients who experience difficulties sleeping due to an underlying condition may experience a restful night as a result of medicating with cannabis. Patients with the following disorders have found that marijuana is a useful treatment option:

  • Insomnia: This pervasive condition affects millions of Americans. Most patients resort to over-the-counter or prescription sleep aids, but many have found successful results by using cannabis. On average, those with insomnia were able to fall asleep over an hour faster than usual.
  • Sleep Apnea: This sleep condition — characterized by interrupted breathing while sleeping — affects a significant number of the population. Those with this disorder often stop breathing during the night, causing them to wake suddenly. As opposed to wearing a cumbersome CPAP mask to aid breathing, cannabis could be a natural treatment option. THC is a bronchodilator, which means it has been shown to calm and regulate breathing. Although there are limited research studies to confirm the plant’s treatment of sleep apnea, the few that do exist show promising results.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition one may experience after a traumatic event, such as a war, disaster or assault. One of the characteristics of this disorder is the prevalence of nightmares which lead to sleeplessness. Because marijuana shortens the REM cycle, sufferers of PTSD report fewer nightmares and higher quality sleep.
  • Chronic Pain: Pain is a common symptom associated with a massive list of medical disorders, from cancer to Parkinson’s disease to fibromyalgia. Painful sensations can disrupt a patient’s ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, so marijuana’s combination of pain-relieving and sleep-inducing properties is the perfect medication for those who struggle with chronic pain.

Factors To Consider Before Using Marijuana as a Sleep Aid

Before visiting your local dispensary, there are a few things to consider about using marijuana to help you sleep. Tons of different strains are out there, and if you pick the wrong one, it could have effects you don’t want or need for your unique situation. So, here are some factors to keep in mind to help you find the perfect cannabis strain for a good night’s rest:

  • Indica Vs. Sativa: When you’re searching for a strain, indica varieties tend to be the best choice for sleep. There are also a few hybrids that can be effective. However, sativa strains are known for their uplifting and energizing qualities, so you may want to stay away from them if you already have trouble sleeping.
  • Combine Terpenes To Maximize Effects: Some theorize that the terpenes present in indica strains — or the flavor and aroma profile of the plant — are what give it its sedative qualities. To maximize cannabis’ effectiveness, try combining it with natural remedies with similar terpenes, like chamomile or lavender.
  • CBD Vs. THC: Many users prefer strains with a large CBD content because this non-psychoactive cannabinoid will not get users high. However, CBD has been shown to promote wakefulness. So, you may want to consider a strain higher in THC before bedtime.

Talk To a Marijuana Doctor About Using Cannabis as a Sleep Aid

If you struggle with a condition that leads to sleepless nights and are interested in using cannabis as a sleep aid, you may qualify as a medical marijuana patient in your state. Make an appointment with a marijuana doctor near you to find out if you meet your region’s criteria.

How to Judge the Quality of Marijuana

How to Judge the Quality of Marijuana

How to Judge the Quality of Marijuana

Access to quality cannabis remains one of the premiere concerns within the industry — both for doctors, patients and those exploring the ever-evolving applications behind one of the world’s oldest whole-plant medicines.

While medical cannabis has undeniable health benefits, patients can’t tap into those benefits unless they’re utilizing the highest possible quality of marijuana.

Beyond the desire for product safety and reliability, knowing how to judge the quality of cannabis allows for more empowered consumer decision-making. By recognizing the characteristics to look for when judging marijuana and understanding the difference between high-quality and subpar cannabis, you can be sure your body gets the best.

The Importance of Buying and Using Quality Marijuana

People turn to medical marijuana for a variety of health-based, personal and lifestyle reasons. Regardless of the rationale, every consumer deserves transparent, health-supporting strains grown by professionals who take their role within the industry seriously.

It is essential to be knowledgeable and proactive about the quality of cannabis for three key reasons.

1. Health Benefits

Following the larger logic behind most things we consume and metabolize, the fresher it is, the more “goodies” our bodies can extract from it.

Like produce straight from farmer’s market, high-quality cannabis contains a more elaborate mix of the 400 to 500 chemical compounds known to exist within its composition. More than 60 of those compounds are cannabinoids with an impressive array of medical purposes.

If you’re routinely opting for inexpensive or lower-quality kush, you’re missing out on the abundant blend of antioxidants, flavonoids and phytonutrients present in certified, professionally grown and high-quality buds.

2. Potency

The lower the quality of weed, the lower the complexity of cannabinoid concentrations. With a lower level of cannabinoids, you will be less likely to experience balanced, more-regulated interactions within your endocannabinoid system.

Conversely, poor-quality or inexpensive strands can hold higher levels of cannabidiol (CBD), a nonpsychoactive chemical compound that is harvested for its medicinal properties and does not have the euphoric or mood-enhancing attributes of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Use your nose as the first detective indicator of the quality of your kush. There’s a reason cannabis smells are so potent, after all — those tiny, crystalline trichomes that dot their exteriors are resin glands that produce what’s known as terpenoids. Nearly 200 different variations exist in these terpenoid secretions, the combination of which is directly responsible for the smell and flavor profiles of strain types. It’s a pungent yet powerful plant fingerprint unique to a cannabis plant.

But don’t be mistaken — not all smells are made equal:

  • Sweet Aromas: Buds that give off notes of fruit, nuts and flowers are among the highest sensory hints as to the quality of the buds.
  • Earthy Aromas: Smells of pine, smoked woods, lawn grass and even bits of spice can indicate more mid-grade or average strains that haven’t gone stale.
  • Smoky or Ashy Aromas: The proverbial “skunk” smell so associated with kush is unfortunately due to prevalent, lower-quality blends. Cannabis that’s old, improperly stored, grown in unfavorable conditions or generally ill-cultivated tend to carry these balmy, strong smells.

2. Crystals and Structure

Quality marijuana can genuinely dazzle the user with its shapes and structures. Well-trimmed buds are known for their geometric intactness, showcasing visibly round and symmetrically shaped buds that indicate balanced, even growth.

Pronounced Trichomes

Quality affects both the trichome amount and composition. Craft cannabis from top-tier dispensaries often contains visible, pearly white trichome structures dotting the entirety of a bud.

Trichomes are often nicknamed “sugar” because of the appearance of its look. The more “sugar” you can see on your buds, the better.

Geometric Balance

Experts compare top-shelf cannabis to the shape of a pinecone when at its peak. This is a simple, effective way to visually assess a critical aspect of marijuana quality — with a few geometric indications.

Individual buds should be relatively even-sized and spaced. While curing marijuana produces variations in a bud’s final appearance, they should still be thick and full in appearance. Clumps of buds together should look lush and even slightly geometric. Your buds should not turn to powder when crushed, but instead, maintain some chunks. Well-cultivated cannabis may also make snapping noises when you grind it down.

Generally Intact

The trimming of your marijuana has a lot to tell you about its quality. That’s because higher-level strains tend to be more meticulously trimmed, often by hand.

Growers use specialty scissors and other tools to cut along strategic points in the plant’s nodes, maintaining the integrity of a cola, or group of buds. Stigmas and bracts should be noticeable to the eye, even after packaging compaction. Seeds and stems should be rare, but don’t be surprised if you occasionally find one even in premium cannabis.

Most importantly, the buds themselves should still look plump and round. Crushed, flattened or brittle-appearing buds are a tell-tale sign they’re not nearly as fresh as they could be.

3. Hair

“Hair” might seem like a funny thing to look out for when assessing the quality of marijuana. However, the anatomy of a cannabis plant does, indeed, contain an array of hair-like structures that play an essential role in governing individual bud quality.

That’s because as cannabis plants mature, those wispy, hair-like curls that run throughout the entire cannabis flower grow progressively darker and darker. These curls are known as pistils, and colorful pistils are a key sign of bud freshness.

You’ll be able to tell a plant’s age based on the following hair patterns:

  • Young Plants: Younger plants have white pistils, which will turn shades of orange and yellow as they age. The bigger and more pronounced the tangle of pistils, the likelier it is that you have a healthy, freshly matured plant at hand.
  • Old Plants: Older, less fresh buds will have dark brown, ashy-shaded pistils. Pistil structure will be less visible — if it’s there at all.

4. Color

Coloration is the next characteristic to look at when assessing cannabis quality. From the individual buds themselves to the color of residue or remaining oils post-ingestion, you can learn a lot about a strain — including how and where it was grown — from its overall color scheme.

color of marijuana

While the vast number of popular marijuana strains come in shades of green, this isn’t the sole color cannabis connoisseurs value. You’ll want to examine the following components:

  • The Buds: Green flowers are by far the most common hue associated with marijuana. However, the highest-quality cannabis contains green bases accented with a vibrant, near-rainbow shade of oranges, reds and purples. In other words, the more colors you see on the overall buds, the likelier it is you have a complex, fresh strain. When assessing the greenery of a bud, in particular, opt for hues that appear bright, light and lush. Crystal-appearing trichomes should dot the broader collection of buds, giving the buds a pearly, crystalline sheen. Meanwhile, hair-like pistils will lend the buds further color, with vibrant oranges or reds entangling around bud growths.
  • The Ash: Fresh, high-quality weed should leave behind nearly white ash, not residue that’s gray, brown or jet black. If you’re vaping, the cannabis should leave behind no dust or ashy residue at all.

5. Moisture Levels

While senses like smell and sight are more immediate and easily learned forms of assessment, recognizing proper marijuana moisture levels allows you to appraise the age, curing process, storage needs and more factors of quality buds. It sets you up to be an even more informed and conscientious consumer.

If possible, assess the two primary moisture variables in most cannabis flowers:

  • Stickiness: Cannabis should be mildly sticky to the touch, but not saturated. You don’t want a damp marijuana cut, otherwise, the plant has not been cured correctly and will be difficult to smoke or ingest. However, your fingers should contain small trace amounts of residue after handling any buds produced from healthy and active trichomes that weren’t dried out during the plant’s curing process.
  • Springiness: Even dense buds should have a bit of give when you apply pressure to them. Once relieved, however, buds should “bounce back” to their original plump form without deep impressions or diminishes. With too much moisture, the buds won’t the return to their pre-handled shape. With too little moisture, they’ll dissipate into powder at your fingertips.

6. Texture

Touch is an often-neglected variable when it comes to understanding and judging cannabis strains.

ripe marijuana

While many budtenders and dispensaries won’t let you touch cuts or buds with your bare hands, they may have tools to evaluate the texture-based aspects of prospective blends. This can easily complement your other forms of assessment to assure quality control with your desired marijuana type:

  • Opt for soft and plump buds that look ripe and stay full and evenly shaped when you handle them
  • Buds should have a sticky feel, rather than dry or brittle
  • Buds should not be sharp, prickly or thorny by any means. If cannabis feels this way to the touch, it’s either very old and stale or has been poorly cut. It could even contain traces of dried stem or clunky seeds that were not trimmed adequately when first harvested.

Risks Associated With Using Subpar Marijuana

Low-quality or expired marijuana not only lessons its medicinal properties, but it can also cause adverse side effects or even aggravate some of the conditions patients were attempting to alleviate.

The most common risks to look out for with ingesting low-quality marijuana include:

  • Frequent Headaches: Regularly consuming poor-quality, stale cannabis strains using any method of ingestion can leave users with headaches — which should not be occurring due to marijuana use.
  • Mold: Colloquially known as “bud rot,” cannabis mold most frequently occurs when buds have been over-exposed to moisture. The most common types of cannabis mold will dot a flower with milky black or white coatings — which can sometimes be mistaken for trichomes — but emit a strong musty smell. You can assure the difference between trichomes or mold spores by placing a flower underneath a black light. Trichomes will look the same, while spores will show up as bright, even fluorescent green under the light.
  • Mildew: While mold has a distinct fuzziness and black-light reveal, mildew can often appear like a white powder on the surface of marijuana leaves or buds. This white will be purer and more concentrated than what trichomes naturally give off, and may even look like the cannabis plant’s leaves have been sprinkled with snow. If so, the plant has been compromised.

Don’t hesitate to shop around between multiple dispensaries to guarantee you’re getting the highest quality product for your purchase. Ask budtenders questions about a specific strain’s cultivation, harvesting and curing practices, as well as what would work best for your lifestyle or intended medicinal needs. If you aren’t satisfied with the thoroughness of their answers, look up other area dispensaries to seek their expertise.

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