How to Find Quality in Legal Cannabis
When it comes to legal cannabis, sometimes it can be quite difficult finding a strain that meets your standards and it doesn’t seem help having dozens of options to choose from. With Health Canada’s restrictions on packaging and without actually viewing the product, it’s almost like a guessing game when it comes down to finding the stinkiest and tastiest bud. Here are some tips to help you feel good about your purchase from your local legal dispensary.
For craft producers the main focus is on the quality of the plant rather than the yield. The process is not rushed, and each batch gets however much time and care it needs. Craft growers give that extra attention needed during the growing process to create a better looking, smelling, and tasting flower. In the legal market we have begun to see a lot of craft producers start to make a name for themselves.
Man vs. Machine
Each legal producer has their own way of harvesting, curing, and trimming the plant. This is crucial when it comes down to finding the highest grade of cannabis as some plants may be damaged in the process. Some producers hang dry and hand trim their product to preserve the trichomes and terpenes of the plant. Most large producers run each plant through a machine immediately after the plant is cut down.
What most people do not know about the harvesting stage: if you cut a pant while it’s still wet it releases green leaf volatiles which gives it that grassy aroma. Therefore, if you are tired of the same old lack of smell, go for a strain that is hang dried.
When searching for quality it isn’t just the highest THC which seems to be the number one question on everyone’s mind. It’s the arrangement of cannabinoids and terpenes within the plant.
These terpenes play the role of the entourage effect as well as contribute to the smell of the flower. You may notice one strain smells more citrus like and sparks creativity while another may be more earthy and pairs well with a pillow.
So next time you are wondering why an eighth might cost $65 plus tax, just remember you are paying for all the other compounds, not just THC.
Genotypes and Phenotypes
Another role in quality cannabis is genetics, also known as genotypes. This acts as a plan for the plant’s growth however it’s up to the environment to determine its characteristics. The phenotype is the physical makeup and when growing cannabis this determines the taste, look and smell of the cannabis plant.
Genotype + Environment + Interaction of genotype and environment = Phenotype.
Some licensed producers have even obtained their seeds from Strain Hunters who have spent many years collecting rare and unique genetics from all over the globe.
Each licensed producer has a unique way of packaging their product, the only rule by Health Canada being the product cannot be visible.
While some producers have decided to use bags, others have decided to use jars. This also plays a factor in the quality of the product, since its being shipped far and handled by multiple people some flower could be greatly damaged in the process.
If you are concerned about what your cannabis is coming in, try choosing a producer that uses a dark glass jar. This prevents the fluctuation of temperature or the risk of having your bud getting damaged.
There are many factors to finding quality in legal cannabis but with a little research and experimenting you are sure to find a company that’s right for you. Try to keep a smoke log to track your thoughts, this will help your budtender guide you to the right product and you can stay clear of the ones you don’t like.
Cannabis is a journey and once you start building your palette and knowledge base you can start to tell which strains you know you are going to like before you open the jar based off simple things like genotypes, harvest techniques and packaging.