Reggie vs kush
For those not living in weed-friendly states, it can be exciting to get your hands on any kind of cannabis, regardless of the quality. Grateful, you puff and praise the universe for sending such a thoughtful gift your way. Oftentimes, ganja comes crumpled up in cigarette box cellophane or bundled in a sandwich baggie. A delivery service may also bring clear plastic cubes decorated with cartoon stickers and made-up strain names. When you’re lucky, though, a friend gifts you precious flower from an underground grow.
Without access to legal, regulated retail cannabis, you may have very little control over what you consume, no idea about pesticides, cannabinoid percentages, and terpene profiles, and little insight on what defines quality. To assist with this, we assembled this guide to help you decipher the difference between low-, mid-, and high-quality bud.
Craft cannabis, artisanal, top shelf, piff, fire, chronic, headies, kind, loud are some of the terms you may hear when talking about the diggity dank. Boasting a vibrant spectrum of color (deep hues of red, purple, green, blue, pink and orange), high-quality chronic features prominent cannabinoid and terpene profiles, pronounced translucent trichomes, complex aromas, powerful flavors and attention to detail in every aspect—from cultivation, to curing, to trimming.
Artisanal growers use house-crafted compost teas, living soil, organic nutrients, and zero chemicals and employ techniques like glass-curing and hand-trimming with an emphasis on quality over quantity. Even quality outdoor sungrown can qualify as piff when cultivated by a knowledgeable grower. In fact, certain outdoor sungrown cannabis can be so good, machine-trimmed nugs may still qualify as fire. Hand-trimmed headies will be easy on the eyes, showcasing intact structure and geometry, letting you know that handlers have exercised extreme care and love out of reverence for the plant. Attention to detail and careful trimming ensures you’re receiving product with as many trichomes as possible, since that’s where the goodness lives. Preserve these nugs in a cannabis humidor, or a kief box and grind them using a kief catcher. Accumulated pollen is kief, a precursor to rosin and hash.
Related: Weed Porn: Cannabis Up-Close
The effects of craft cannabis are diverse, spiritual, medicinal, and quite potent. A trained nose can take one sniff and identify whether a sticky, dense bud is high in myrcene, pinene, or limonene. Tests and aromas indicating a robust and well-rounded terpene profile hint to a master cultivator producing bud that’s balanced, complex, and most enjoyable when consumed. Premium cannabis can soar in price, but it doesn’t have to be spendy. Prices vary by dispensary, grower, and city. Finding a seed is rare, so if you do, keep it. Grow it when you’re legally able.
Low-Quality Weed, Shwag, Dirt Weed
Low quality cannabis (a.k.a. shwag, dirt weed, brick weed, ditch weed, popcorn, bottom shelf, and shake) is brownish with hints of green. Usually compressed into bricks for transit, you’ll find a mix of of seeds, stems, and shake as well as dry, compacted nugs. Once you tease a single bud out of the bunch, you’ll notice that it’s light and leafy, lacking girth, like picking up old dead sticks and leaves out of the dirt.
On the nose, shwag is generally earthy and pungent, often tasting harsh and spicy. Cannabinoid concentration is usually quite low due to improper environmental controls such as superfluous heat, causing the buds to bloom prematurely. There are no bulbous, glittery trichomes present in low-grade cannabis.
Due to harsh environmental elements and improper handling, curing, and storage, bottom-shelf bud often tests high in cannabinol (CBN), a result of THC deterioration; when THC oxidizes, it transforms into CBN. Cannabis high in CBN causes marked drowsiness and sedation, not much elevation. By keeping your low-quality nugs in an airtight receptacle, you can slow down the degenerative process a bit. While high concentrations of CBN may be a sign your dirt weed was mishandled before it reached you, there are some benefits to this underappreciated, low-psychoactive cannabinoid, like pain relief and appetite stimulation. CBN also reduces inflammation and combats insomnia.
On the downside, the lack of care typically results in contamination from pesticides, mildew, mold, and insects. Brick weed may induce headaches or other unpleasant side effects. Buyer beware. The good news? Low prices.
Know how to identify each tier of weed.
Reggie vs kush
In a perfect world, we would all be strangers to the concept of “reggie” weed. That’s because “reggie” (slang for regular) is essentially the dregs of cannabis flower — bud from the bottom of the barrel. In some ways a successor to “brick” weed — plastic-wrapped blocks of generic pot more likely to give you a headache than a high — “reggie” is what you call cannabis unworthy of a more specific name. Thus, “reggie” does not represent one single strain or ratio of CBD to THC, but rather the entire spectrum of weed that is, by common opinion, subpar.
Before recreational cannabis was commercially available, most of the pot-smoking population was most likely regularly getting down with “reggie.” That’s because the advent — first of medical, than later recreational — cannabis reform has led to vastly improved growing conditions which, in turn, has elevated the quality of flower available to purchase to an almost incalculable degree. With a superior alternative available, “reggie” became a shorthand way of describing product inferior to what’s found on dispensary shelves.
On a more serious note, “reggie” weed also poses a danger to consumers, given its propensity to be found on the illicit market. Risks of inhaling mold or pesticide residue mean that “reggie” weed isn’t only a bummer for its lacking taste, potency, and appearance — it can also get you sick.
Need help determining if the buds in front of you might be “reggie” weed? Read through the guide below to learn all the telltale signs of unimpressive pot.
Before you’ve engaged your nose (and certainly before your taste buds come into play), one can often spy “reggie” weed by sight. Healthy pot has a number of classic cues, including bright colors. Cannabis that looks yellowed or brown with age is always best avoided. Another thing to look for is trichomes — top-notch weed should be rich with these sticky crystals, while “reggie” is often barren on this front. Reminder: the trichomes are really what make a given bud of flower worth smoking, so anything devoid of this cannabis essential is probably not worth your time.
Another way to analyze the quality of your cannabis is to give it the old smell test. While variances among strains means that there is no one singular “correct” scent when it comes to pot, there are certainly red flag aromas to be aware of. Cannabis that smells musty — like it’s been stored in a basement or somewhere dark and dingy — is not to be consumed. Ditto anything that gives off a chemical stench. On a more subtle level, weed that offers little aroma or simply smells “off” is best discarded, as well. Weed should smell natural and aromatic, so trust your nose!
Gallery — Moldy Marijuana and Signs That Your Bud Is Bad:
Unfortunately, you may sometimes only begin to wonder about the quality of your cannabis once you’ve smoked some. If you’ve advanced to the point where can actually taste the pot in question, are you noticing any terpene flavors? Notes of blueberry, lemon, or pine are signs that your flower is well-stocked on the terpene front, while anything that fails to produce some or any of these common tastes is almost certainly low-quality. Again, that runs the gamut from alarming, improper tastes (chemicals, mold) to the sheer lack of any taste at all. Whichever end of the spectrum your “reggie” may land on, the best option is to toss it (responsibly) and look for something far more delicious.
In some cases, “reggie” weed may be fine, which is to say remarkably average. Pot need not be tainted with toxic substances to qualify as “reggie” weed. For some, the matter comes down to potency. There is a galaxy of valid reasons to consume cannabis, but benefitting from the medicinal effects of the plant is hopefully a common desire among all fans of pot. If the flower you’re consuming is failing to deliver the expected high, that’s a qualifier for “reggie” status, as well.
However, one must be careful not to confuse strains bred to deliver subtler highs with poor-quality weed. But unless you bought your flower from a trusted grower or dispensary, this point is likely irrelevant. Assuming your pot was procured through other means, weak potency — be it feeling no effects at all, feeling a headache instead of a high, or feeling a notably fleeting or frail high — is another hallmark of “reggie” weed.
Without question, the best option to ensure you never spark another bowl of “reggie” again is to only purchase cannabis from reliable sources. For some, this may not be a viable option at the moment. In that case, a discerning eye and nose are a great first line of defense. Trust your instincts, too; if the buds seem off, they probably are. Always try to remember (bummer though it may be) that no pot is better than tainted pot!
You’ll want to keep your expectations low where “reggie” is concerned.