The marijuana plant has a strong psychoactive effect when smoked or ingested and not all marijuana is the same. The plant’s medicinal and psychoactive effectiveness varies depending on the strain, which derives from two main sub-species known as Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica. Hybrid strains generally come from both species, with one species being more dominant in the strain than the other.
Sativa plants are generally very tall, but thin plants. They have fluffier, less dense buds than Indica plants and are common for outdoor grows. Cannabis Sativa plants will usually have higher THC content than Indica plants, which means the associated psychoactive component or high is stronger. If you’ve smoked weed before, you would likely describe the experience as an enjoyable body sensation. Many believe Sativa strains to encourage activity and make you actually want to do something while high, in comparison to Indica strains that often result in a couch locked, I just want to chill at home type of experience. Sativa strains can make for a more enjoyable high during the day, due to the alertness that can often be maintained.
Indica plants are typically regarded as having higher medicinal value than Sativas due to their ability to act as a sedative, cause sleepiness and be rather relaxing. If you plan to stay in and not be too active during your high, indicas are the way to go. Many indica strains have helped customers with anxiety and other conditions. Indicas are sometimes higher in CBD, the second most common cannibinoid in marijuana behind THC. CBD can actually reduce the psychoactive effect of cannabis, but it is believed to have the most significant medicinal value in marijuana.
A hybrid strain combines both species of marijuana, resulting in a hybrid or cross-breed. Hybrid strains can have characteristics that come from both sativa and indica strains and are often bred to have specific qualities. Hybrid strains can combine sedative properties, mental clarity and other psychoactive effects, resulting in a marijuana strain that perfectly blends what the user is looking for.
Basic Weed Measurements
Marijuana is measured in grams, eighths, ounces, and pounds. The price of marijuana can vary from state-to-state.
- 1 Eighth = 3.54 Grams
- 1 Ounce = 8 Eighths
- 1 Pound = 16 Ounces
Marijuana can only be grown from female cannabis seeds and it is illegal to grow marijuana in the state of Washington. The higher quality these seeds are, the better your results will be. Female seeds are the only ones that will produce the marijuana flowers, or bud, which contains the highest THC in the plant. Male plants still play a role in fertilization, but male plants are kept separate and should not be grown with females. A male plant can ruin a harvest by “seeding” the females, resulting in bud that has excess seeds and would have otherwise been seedless. Seed free buds are ideal because the seeds are not smoked or consumed. Fertilized buds are entirely unnecessary unless you are using the seeds for a specific purpose.
Today’s most popular strains are often produced in grow labs, where exotic and high demand cannabis strains are grown. Many growers will obtain their seeds from grow labs, in order to get the best strains with the highest THC content.
What is a weed grinder?
A grinder is a tool that uses sharp pegs, called teeth, to grind up marijuana bud so that it can be used in joints, blunts or loaded into a bowl and used in pipes, bongs or vaporizers. Essentially, weed grinders make it easy to prepare cannabis for smoking by grinding the marijuana into perfectly sized amounts. Weed grinders can also be useful for preparing marijuana when cooking and making edibles.
Marijuana grinders usually have various sections to them and will have 3 to 4 different pieces. The top area is where you put the weed, which will be ground up into pieces, small enough to fall through holes, where it will fall and be accessible in the grinder’s second section. The bottom sections of the grinder will store excess THC that has fallen all the way through the grinder.
Taking the seeds out of your bud is called de-seeding and it’s an important step to smoking marijuana. If you have ever heard a loud popping sound while smoking, that’s because there was a seed in your bud. Seeds pop under high heat. Packing a seed into your bowl when you’re smoking weed is something you don’t want to do as it can cause a terrible headache and it’s not good for your high. Grinders help eliminate this possibility by grinding up your weed so that any seeds would be noticeable. Really high quality weed will be seedless and this won’t be a problem.
Determining Weed Quality
Weed can vary in quality and knowing how to differentiate good bud from bad can make all the difference when you’re buying marijuana at a recreational store. You can easily scout out the best weed and never regret your bud buying decisions.
Most bud will look different, feel different and smell different. Below, you’ll find some of the early indications of good quality bud.
THC presence – You can usually tell how much THC weed has by how it looks. If the marijuana appears to have crystals on its exterior that look like small, white, shiny flakes, that’s a good sign and indicates high THC presence. The weed will often look like it sparkles when you put it under light. Recreational stores will sometimes list the THC content for their strains, so you know exactly what you’re buying.
How’s it look? – Good quality weed will have large buds, with no stems or seeds. Marijuana with lots of stems is generally lower quality, grown by an amateur grower and of a less desirable strain. If the bud appears to look brown, this can indicate a low quality strain. Look for buds that have orange, purple, pink or red hairs.
What’s it smell like? – Weed has different smells depending on the strain. There are numerous smells associated with good pot. Marijuana plants that are picked too early are premature and will lack the potent smell that full grown plants possess.
Weed’s Texture – If it feels light, soft and is very sticky, you’ve got some good bud. In general, the stickier it feels on your fingers, the better it is.
The High – Of course, the best way to determine the quality of bud is to smoke it, or use it in an edible. There’s no greater way to know how strong weed is than by using it yourself. It’s possible for low quality weed to fool you on smell, look and touch, but it can’t provide a fake high.
What is a Hydroponics System?
Hydroponics is a popular way to grow marijuana indoors and it can be used for outdoor grows as well. Rather than growing marijuana in soil, as plants are grown traditionally, the user can use a nutrient enhanced reservoir of water. There are numerous benefits to growing in water opposed to soil, and soil itself is not essential to plant growth. Rather, soil acts as container for the minerals and nutrients that marijuana requires. A hydroponics system’s water reservoir allows the grower to control the nutrient type and level within the system. This heightened nutrient control is significantly better than growing in soil and results in higher yields. Hydroponics systems will often provide faster grow times as well.
What happens if weed is too dry?
Exposure to air, light and especially high heat can cause weed to become dry and brittle. Once this happens, the marijuana will break apart easily and it will lose many of its high quality characteristics. When weed becomes too dry, it’s not very enjoyable to smoke. It burns quick and it’s very harsh on your lungs.
A good environment to store weed is an airtight container or plastic bag. If you notice that the marijuana is becoming too dry, even while being stored in a container, just add a lemon or orange peel to the bag, seal it up, and let it sit for several hours. Doing this will allow the weed to extract the moisture from the peel, re-hydrating it. However, be careful not to leave the peel in for too long or it could ruin the weed by causing mold. This is an easy trick that you can use to re-hydrate weed time and time again, and it can be especially useful when you find dry bud at a significantly discounted price.
What happens if weed is too wet?
Weed rarely has too much moisture and this usually only becomes a problem if there’s a water spill or the environment the weed is grown in is far too damp. It can also be a sign that the marijuana wasn’t given enough time to try. Wet weed is a troublesome problem and it’s much more difficult to solve than dry weed. It also comes with the worry of mold, which can ruin your entire harvest.Trying to smoke weed that is too wet will cause the weed to burn very slowly and it will fail to stay lit. If your bud is wet, you can try to eliminate some of the moisture by using these techniques:
Open the container – The easiest way to remove excess moisture from your weed is to open the container that it is being stored in. This will expose the bud to air, light and heat. Just be careful not to do this for too long, as it can ruin the quality of the marijuana if its left out.
Add paper to the weed – If you can’t expose the weed to air, light and heat, such as when your weed is being hidden, try adding paper to the weed. Notebook and printer paper can absorb some of the moisture and get it ready to smoke. If it’s still too wet, continue adding paper until it reaches an acceptable level of moisture.
Wood containers – A sealed wood container can be highly effective at drying pot slowly and steadily. You can build your own wood container if you don’t have one on hand.
How Should you Store Weed? – Weed Containers
Weed can be stored in a variety of different containers and each one has its advantages and disadvantages. The most common ways to store weed can be found below.
Sandwich Bags – A sandwich bag is a cheap but highly convenient way to store marijuana. Prior to glass jars and prescription bottles, sandwich bags were the most common storage method. A sandwich bag is inexpensive and it’s something that most people already buy for other purposes and will have on-hand. Unfortunately, weed tends to degrade fastest in sandwich bags.
Glass Jars – A glass jar can be a great way to store marijuana and most novice smokers will prefer a jar over a plastic bag. Jars come in many different sizes, colors and shapes and are a great way to store high quality bud. A glass jar is air tight and it keeps marijuana fresh and potent for extended periods of time. While a glass jar may cost significantly more than a plastic bag, it’s something that you only have to buy once and you can use it time and time again.
Prescription Bottles – A prescription bottle is generally the preferred way to store marijuana. Prescription bottles are airtight, they are dark colored and protect your weed from light, and they are far more portable than a glass container. Prescription bottles can even be dropped without shattering, which makes it preferable over a glass container. Most recreational marijuana stores sell their product in prescription bottles. It’s more professional and better performing than plastic bags and cheaper than glass jars.
Wooden Boxes – A wooden box is a great way to store your cannabis when you want something stylish that’s representative of your personality. Wooden stash boxes are sold in a variety of different shapes, colors and sizes. You can choose a weed box that appeals to you, there are even custom ones with graphics and images. Just make sure the lid is a snug fit, it needs to be air-tight to prevent your weed from drying out. If there’s enough room inside the box to store your marijuana inside prescription bottles, this would be the best method.
See what strains are available at Seattle Cannabis Co