Identifying high-THC cannabis at a glance isn’t easy, nor is confirming you’ve a batch of AK-47 by simply examining a bud in a bag. Contrary to popular belief, however, you don’t have to be a cannabis connoisseur to differentiate between good and bad weed. 

Truth is, drawing a line between good and bad weed isn’t all that different than checking the freshness and quality of other consumables. For the most part, it’s simply a case of letting your senses be your guide.

Consuming weed that’s past its prime has the potential to make you seriously ill, therefore should be avoided. 

So, whether buying from a dispensary or smoking your own homegrown stash, here’s what to be on the lookout for when good weed goes bad:


An Unsatisfying Scent
Bury your nose in a bag of quality weed and it should blow you away with its pungent and potent fragrance. If this isn’t the case, there’s a good chance it’s been aging for too long and its terpene content has begun to deteriorate. This is also an indication that its flavor and potency won’t be up to par, either. Good weed stinks to high heaven – it really is as simple as that.


An Abundance of Brown
Likewise, cannabis that has been sitting around for too long and/or hasn’t been appropriately stored away will eventually succumb to oxidation. Heavy oxidation is relatively easy to spot, as it has a tendency to turn much or all of the main bulk of the bud brown. Take a look at a picture of oxidized bud online and you’ll know exactly what to look for in future – it’s more or less unmistakable.


Moisture and Texture
There it needs to be a small amount of moisture in weed for it to do its job properly. Or to put it another way, you shouldn’t be able to crumble your bud into a fine powder, simply by rubbing it between your finger and your thumb. There should be a small amount of ‘give’ to it, indicating just the right amount of residual moisture.

Excess moisture in cannabis is just as bad, as it usually confirms that your weed hasn’t been dried properly (and most likely hasn’t been cured at all).


Monitor for Mold

Moldy weed isn’t always easy to detect, relying on a combination of careful visual inspection and aroma analysis to pinpoint. Anything that resembles a white powdery coating, an unusual layer of fuzz or evidence of rotting plant material should be taken seriously. The same also goes for a damp and musty smell not dissimilar to wet cardboard, which is a prime indication there’s something unpleasant lurking in your buds.


Harshness and Poor Flavor
Some cannabis strains are naturally harsh on the airways and have a tendency to be cough inducing. Nevertheless, set yourself up with a batch that’s supposed to be super-smooth and harshness is an indication of weed that’s well and truly past its prime. The same also goes for taste, as flavor deteriorates quickly when cannabis is not stored appropriately and consumed in its prime.


Indica Effects from a Sativa
Last up, it’s a curious phenomenon, but Sativa weed that’s long-since past its point of maximum potency can actually take on the guise of an Indica. At least, in the sense that rather than perking you up and giving your energy reserves a boost, it’s more likely to knock you off your feet and lock you to the couch.  This being an indication that the Sativa weed you smoked was in a pretty sorry state, or that it wasn’t in fact a Sativa strain in the first place!

Posted in: News