The best smoking experiences often come with the best marijuana buds. When flower is really good, you spark up and experience pleasant highs, great flavor, and relaxing aromas. The worst smoking experiences often come when flower is, well, just bad. We always want the “loud,” “fire,” “Private Reserve” weed, and want to avoid the “schwag,” “brick,” and “bunk” weed at all costs.
Cannabis cultivated and cured to the highest standards typically exhibits a pungent and pleasant aroma. Flowers emitting a strong fragrance are commonly referred to as having a “dank” or “loud” odor, indicating the overall quality of the flower. There are a variety of terms for the types of aromas high-quality cannabis emits, including “skunky,” “diesely” and “piney.”
A sad sight, low-quality cannabis is seen in many shades of degradation. From dirt brown to an immature lime green flower, nature provides several visual clues when you’re looking at a good plant gone bad.
Overly “wet” buds have stems that don’t snap and tend to stay put when squeezed. The extra moisture content makes for the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. Wet nugs that tear apart rather than break apart are a sign that a cultivator didn’t properly dry and cure their cannabis.
Low-quality flower can take on a variety of quirky fragrances, which are rarely good. Often referred to as “schwag,” or “bottom shelf,” these low-end buds can reek of a musty or mildewy aroma. A musty or strawlike aroma is a clear indication of aged or compromised cannabis. Typically, when stored away from light and heat, cannabis has around a one-year shelf life before starting to really degrade. Unpleasant aromas are generally a sign of mishandling, poorly cured cannabis, or advanced age.
But at the end of the day, it’s all about what you like. What you prefer might be different than what the local budtender, delivery driver, or your friend likes. There are hundreds of strains grown by thousands of cultivators. The goal is to find the right one for you. It’s simply about finding the right product that works with your personal chemistry by a brand or cultivator that you like and can thus enjoy over and over again.
Poor flower structure can be easily detected with a discerning eye. While a properly cultivated flower will often be aesthetically pleasing, a carelessly grown plant can produce inferior-looking flowers.
Identifying high-quality, or as people familiar to buying weed say, “top shelf” flower can throw even the most experienced cannabis connoisseurs for a loop, so here are a few key traits that separate today’s high-end strains from less desirable ones.
So get out there, look for the four main indicators — smell, look, feel, and flower structure — to find a strain that best suits your personal taste.
New to purchasing marijuana & cannabis products? Read our beginner's guide to buying marijuana and cannabis.
FYI, there are few other sites out there that can help you find buds, but I can’t vouch for the reliability or quality of anyone not on this site. Should you wish to step off the Gentleman’s lighted path, you can check out 420dc.com, LeafedIn.org, WheresWeed DC, and Marijuanas.org. Be careful with anyone that asks you to pay using an app or Bitcoin or anything you can’t reverse in advance as a First Time Customer! Rip-offs are rare but it is the Wild West out there, pilgrim.
Want to get your hands on lab-tested products from brands like District Cannabis? DC’s medical marijuana program started accepting patients for any condition whatsoever thanks to emergency legislation enacted in 2015. They started accepting out-of-state medical cards in 2018. Your Gentleman, naturally, has some opinions:
Have you heard about the benefits of a sexy little cannabinoid called CBD and want to try it out yourself? There’s brick and mortar shops opening up all over the city since the last Farm Bill legalized hemp as well as a bazillion online companies that’ll ship to you anywhere in the US.
Still have questions? Don’t deny it! I can sense your yearning. Here’s the DC Weed Delivery FAQ page.
Maryland’s medical program has been going strong- visit my Ultimate Guide to Marijuana in Maryland for more info! Want more info on getting your medical marijuana card in DC, Maryland, or Virginia? Why, I’ve got a page just for you, my fine friend, step right this way. More reviews? Oh, Beauregard, you flatter me! Right here under the Medical tag.
- Grow up to 6 marijuana plants, only 3 of which may be mature (“flowering”) at a time
- Possess up to two ounces in public
- share up to one ounce with another adult 21+
- But you can’t sell it
- And you can’t smoke it in public, either; if you’re caught it’s a $25 fine.
- (You can actually go down to the station and get your weed back if you’re caught smoking in public with less than two ounces. Strange days, indeed.)
- This only applies on DC-owned land. Cannabis is still federally illegal and around 30% of DC is federal property, like National Parks & government buildings (map) but also federally-subsidized housing
The Gentleman provides his unique perspective on breaking marijuana news in DC, MD, and VA along with the latest weed gifts and cannabis products in our free weekly newsletter. Sign up right here!
The Gentleman is also an avid ganja tourist. You can find marijuana reviews here of products I picked up from a Dispensary while traveling in Denver, Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and adding more all the time, God bless America.
Cannabis is legal in Washington DC but there’s no dispensaries like you’d find in Denver, Seattle, or Los Angeles. When the city passed Initiative 71, a rider was added to the federal spending budget that prevents the District from setting up a similar retail sales program. No worries, baby! I71 still allows adults to possess, grow, and share weed, so in the absence of licensed businesses, a private market of marijuana gifts bloomed.
The #1 source for weed in DC! Discover the latest marijuana delivery, pick-up, meet-up services, medical cannabis, and growing laws in Washington DC.