Like other plants, cannabis comes in a wide array of colors. Most strains appear green, but some look purple, blue, pink, or even a smoky black. One of the biggest myths in stoner culture is that a brightly colored bud is more potent or has a higher amount of THC. This isn’t true; the color of a marijuana plant has more to do with its genetics and growing conditions. Aside from the novelty of having purple or pink ganja, these don’t necessarily affect the quality of your cannabis or indicate what kind of smoking or vaping experience you’re going to have.
That said, marijuana flower from your local Maryland dispensary may have some color variations that are important to note. Ask your Maryland dispensary budtender if you can view the cannabis prior to your purchase and look for:
Bright, vivid cannabis — regardless of its color — indicates that the flower was harvested at its peak and is relatively fresh. Pale buds that have less color saturation are likely to be older, dried out, or from a plant that was poorly grown. Avoid buds that look crunchy or compressed.
A Whitish Sugar-Like Coating
If it looks like your buds were dipped in sugar or rolled in Parmesan cheese, buy them. It means they’re thickly coated in trichomes, the bubble-like heads of which hold THC. The more trichomes your buds have, the more potent they’ll be. Cheese strains are fairly famous for this appearance, hence their name, as is the well-known classic White Widow. While THC percentage is likely going to be higher in a sugary bud, this may not necessarily be the case. Regardless, trichomes also carry terpenes, or the plant oils that give cannabis its smell and taste. The more trichomes you have, the more terps you have too.
Orange or Reddish Hairs
When cannabis flowers mature, their pistils, or the “hairs” you see on buds, turn orange or reddish-brown. This means that the plant has reached its maximum THC production and is ready to be harvested. If your cannabis was harvested too early, those hairs may be pale green or even white. Harvesting a plant too early typically results in buds that are smaller, have fewer shade variations, and that just don’t smoke as well.
What Are Other Good Indicators That Your Maryland Dispensary Weed Is Good?
After you purchase your weed from a Maryland dispensary, you’ll want to look for a few things to know if the weed is good, the grower is good, and if you should buy this particular product again. When you handle and consume your cannabis, pay attention to its:
- Texture. If your cannabis flower is very dry or crispy, and breaks up very easily with almost no effort in a grinder, this means your weed could be old or dried out. Marijuana loses terpenes with time even in the best conditions; more are lost when growers package their product in non-airtight containers.
- Scent. If you stick your nose in a jar from a dispo and are immediately assaulted by the unmistakable scent of dank weed, you can be confident you’ll have a better smoking or vaping experience. Likely the weed is fresher and the packaging date may only be a couple of weeks old. If you are able to smell your cannabis prior to purchase, avoid buds that don’t have a strong scent. You don’t necessarily have to go with the strain that everyone turns their head to look at when the jar is opened, but if there’s little to no odor, there are fewer terpenes.
- Flavor. If you’re immediately taken to Flavortown with Guy Fieri as soon as you light up, your weed is rich in terpenes. Whatever strain you have, be it fruity or cheese or skunk, if you can taste those distinct flavors with each puff, you’re likely getting what seasoned smokers are after: the entourage effect. Terpenes may not get you high like THC does, but they have been shown to be powerful medicinal aids and can enhance the cannabis experience.
Remember to always clean your piece or use a flavorless paper if you’re rolling a joint to assess how well you like a specific marijuana product. If you’re using a pipe with residue from other strains, your smoking experience will be a mixture of your leftovers along with your new bud. Instead, give your piece a good clean with rubbing alcohol to ensure you’re giving a new product a fair shake. This is also best practice for just having a great smoking experience every time.
Ultimately, what determines whether your Maryland dispensary-bought cannabis is good or not is your own personal opinion. Every cannabis user has at least a slightly different experience with a strain, and even with the same strain from different grows. If you like what you purchased, consider it good weed. If others don’t enjoy it, then there’s more for you!