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Wednesday June 14, 2017

Updated on 8/2/2021

By Michael Walters

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If you ask a cannabis enthusiast what kind of quality they like to see in their marijuana products, they are most likely going to respond with some sort of synonym for high-quality. Whether it’s dank, fire or flame, the typical cannabis consumer is seeking out the best quality cannabis products they can afford.

But how do you ensure you are buying the best products on the market? Well, shopping at a reputable dispensary that you trust is a good start. But perhaps the best way to guarantee you are consistently purchasing top-quality marijuana products is to ask effective questions at the dispensary.

Identifying the characteristics that you find most appealing in cannabis and conveying that information to a budtender at your favorite dispensary guarantees you will get the product that you want.

Buying High Quality Cannabis

Before you stroll into a dispensary, you might want to consider brainstorming some information prior to your visit. Understanding your personal marijuana preferences will allow you to better communicate questions to the budtender and help make your experience quick and painless. Plus, you won’t have to wait in line wondering what you want at the last minute.

Before any dispensary visit, here’s some great information to think about:

  • Your favorite type of cannabis (indica, sativa, hybrid)
  • Your favorite type of cannabis product
  • The effects you enjoy in cannabis (and ones you’d like to avoid)
  • What you are looking to experience specifically
  • Strains you’ve tried and liked (if you have consumed before)

If you don’t have answers to the bullets above, don’t worry, there are still ways you can ensure you’re getting great deals on high-quality cannabis products. For example, researching the dispensary you are about to visit is an excellent way to make sure the establishment is reputable and full of quality products.

Check out dispensary store reviews and other experiences from customers to help you obtain a good sense of how that particular dispensary operates. When you’re researching a dispensary and find it has consistently bad reviews, then you might want to continue your search.

Look for dispensaries with 5 star ratings, like Silver Stem Look for dispensaries with 5 star ratings, like Silver Stem.

Try and find a dispensary with good, honest reviews that elaborate on the quality of products, knowledgeability of employees and overall store atmosphere. Doing so will give you a good sense of direction when narrowing down your selection of possible dispensary candidates. Researching a dispensary before visiting gives you the peace of mind to know that even if you aren’t exactly sure what product you want, you will still leave with something quality.

What is Quality Cannabis?

Before moving forward, it’s a good idea to have an understanding of what to look for in quality marijuana. Because, after all, if you aren’t able to tell top-shelf flower from schwag, then you’re at a serious disadvantage.

Luckily, telling good bud from bad isn’t too difficult if you follow a couple guidelines.

There are many opinions on what characteristics make flower more appealing, but generally people focus on several things:

  • Appearance

  • Bud structure

  • Smell

All three of these characteristics can be key indicators in determining the quality of flower at a glance. Appearance-wise, high-quality cannabis generally has a robust coating of trichomes and a minimal presence of sugar leaves. The nug structure should be firm, not too dry and a high flower to stem ratio. Flower that has a lot of visible leaves, airy and/or stemmy nugs and minimal trichome coverage is not ideal and you probably want to avoid purchasing.

Example of ideal nug appearance and structure Example of ideal nug appearance and structure.

In regard to smell, quality marijuana should have a strong, pungent smell. Good bud can have a variety of smells but there is one smell in particular you should avoid, hay. If the bud smells like hay or nothing at all, it is likely it wasn’t cured properly or contains minimal terpene content. Try to steer clear of hay-smelling weed and stick to skunkier, floral scents.

Sticking to these qualifying characteristics is not a guarantee, but gives you a pretty darn good estimation of quality when you need to make a quick decision.

Understanding Quality Weed in Dispensaries

If you’re new to the world of cannabis, it can be stressful to determine if a marijuana product is good or bad. As stated above, however, if you are shopping at a reputable dispensary and abide by basic quality characteristics, there really isn’t much risk of purchasing a poor product.

That’s not to say that some dispensaries aren’t better than others, but typically not many dispensaries sell anything that is terrible. With so many dispensary options to choose from though, it can be a bit overwhelming to search for the product you are looking for.

Look for dispensaries like Silver Stem Fine Cannabis, who offer high-quality cannabis at affordable prices to make sure that every customer or patient leaves with something they will love. From seed to sale, Silver Stem oversees their cannabis to ensure every product meets their standards. On top of their seed to sale operation, Silver Stem strictly adheres to the highest standards within their grow, making sure that all of the flower they produce is up to par with their dedication to top-notch quality. Dispensaries like this are leading the way in attention to detail regarding cultivation, which is why they have some of the finest cannabis around.

From seed to sale, Silver Stem pays close attention to their cannabis, like this Blue Dream plant here. From seed to sale, Silver Stem pays close attention to their cannabis, like this Blue Dream plant here.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, seed to sale, it simply means that all aspects of the cultivation and sale of cannabis are conducted by the same company. Dispensaries like Silver Stem that operate in a seed to sale fashion have been known to produce higher quality cannabis products on a consistent basis.

Also, since everything is being conducted in-house, the staff is generally more knowledgeable on the products they are selling. What does this mean to you as a consumer? Not only are you pretty much guaranteed a killer product but also excellent customer service every step of the way.

Questions to Ask at a Dispensary

The next time you decide to make a trip to a dispensary, we encourage you to ask more targeted questions to better understand the products you are purchasing. Understanding how your cannabis product progressed from seed-to sale is an important aspect of making sure you get exactly what you want.

To do so, consider asking the following questions:

  • How was this product cultivated?

  • What type of products do you have on hand?

  • Can you tell me which products will make me feel {desired effects}?

  • What strains/products will produce {desired experience}?

  • Do you have {favorite strain/product} in stock?

  • If not, do you have products similar to {favorite strain/product]?

Asking these questions will help your budtender recommend the best products for your taste and personal preference, meaning you have a higher chance of leaving the dispensary satisfied. If a budtender is unwilling to answer your questions or simply does not know the answer, it may be smart to ask another budtender or try a different dispensary.

A key indicator of quality in a dispensary is if the employees are knowledgeable and passionate about the products. This shows that the dispensary invests time in their employees and products and also that the employees believe in the quality products they are selling.

All in all, there are several factors that go into determining the quality of marijuana and marijuana products. Ultimately, it is up to the consumer to determine if a product meets their standards. However, proactively researching dispensaries and coming prepared with questions is arguably the best way to ensure you consistently purchase high-quality cannabis. So stop settling for mediocre cannabis products, go out and get your high-quality marijuana today!

Photo Credit: Silver Stem


Michael Walters Michael Walters

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a degree in Writing and Rhetoric, Michael started his journey in the cannabis industry managing content, communications, and technical writing for one of Colorado's largest dispensary chains. In 2016, Michael pivoted to the ancillary sector to become PotGuide's Content Manager and was responsible for overseeing all of PotGuide’s editorial endeavors and content marketing strategies. Now, Michael is PotGuide's Director of Content & Marketing, focusing his efforts toward new educational content and exciting media endeavors.

With a life-long passion for cannabis knowledge and education, Michael devoted himself to becoming a subject matter expert on marijuana at an early age. Now, Michael has worked in the marijuana industry for over four years helping break down negative stigma and promoting safe cannabis practices. An avid consumer himself, Michael has worked tirelessly to improve content marketing strategies for cannabis businesses and is devoted to creating meaningful content that is useful to a wide variety of marijuana consumers. Follow Michael on LinkedIn and Instagram for updates and insights.

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