7 Ways to Tell the Difference Between Good and Bad Weed

difference between good and bad weed

If you are an experienced weed user, there are a number of things that you know to look out for when it comes to selecting your next high. These identifiers come with experience and allow you to have a good idea of whether the weed you are buying is of excellent, good, or poor quality.

The keyword you will notice in the above passage is experience. Well, what if you don’t happen to have any such experience. Perhaps you are new to the art of buying weed or coming off the back of a bad experience. If either of these is the case, then you will want to read our step by step guide on how to tell the difference between good weed and bad. This should make sure you have the best experience possible in the future.


One of the easiest places to start when it comes to analyzing the quality of your strain is with the colour. There will be some variation when it comes to color depth and shading of the leaves. This means you could find a range of green to deep green shades, sometimes with some blues, purples, and oranges thrown into the mix.  It is normal to have brown or red hairs on the buds.

What you do not want to see mixed among this range of colors are browns or blacks on the leaves. This almost certainly means that something has gone awry. If this is the case, then you are likely dealing with some issues and the likelihood is that you should move on in your search. With that said, this should not only be considered in isolation but as one of the major factors when you are choosing a food weed.


Your primal senses are undoubtedly the best guide when it comes to telling good weed from bad weed. If the colour looks like it could be ok, the next thing to examine closely will be the smell. This can be a tricky one due to the variety of strains available and the different smells that they produce. With that said, if you have used a certain strain before you will know how it should smell.  This smell should be “fresh”.

This term can be subjective depending on the person, but the smell should conform to what you feel is a fresh smell. This means it smells like weed. That kind of musky, dank, smell thanks to that you have become accustomed to. If it has no smell at all or one which does not match the odor you are used to, then it is likely a waste of your hard-earned money.


This one may be a little trickier for you to examine, but with a very close inspection, you can spot these small crystal-like tips. These are known as Trichomes and are very important when determining the overall quality of your weed.

These trichomes are home to the terpenes of your strain so they are very important in terms of both the aroma and taste of your weed. Generally speaking, a top-quality weed will be jammed full of these trichomes and that is a really positive sign. If there are not enough trichomes or they are under-developed when you look closely, then it is highly likely the strain was harvested before it should have been. If they are off-colour in any sense, (they should be a milk-white colour), then you should probably steer clear if you are searching for the best quality high you can find.


Going back to using your sense, how your weed feels can also be an excellent indicator when it comes to overall quality. It is also a delicate balancing act when you consider how it feels and will somewhat depend on the type. Broadly speaking though, the best quality strains should feel a little dry but also retain a certain slightly sticky feeling. This perfect sweet spot can often be difficult to both identify and hit.

With the feel again, this is something you will learn to judge more effectively with increased experience in the industry. The main point here is simply that you do not want your strain to be too dried out which means it could turn to dust easily, or also too moist and sticky which is also detrimental to the quality.  If you ever find cannabis that is a bit on the dry side, a decent homemade fix for that is a sliced potato or a piece of bread in the same bag for an hour or two.

Trim and Structure

In an ideal world, the bud structure of your strain would look something like having well-packed and rather large buds if you are looking at Indica strains, or something a little less dense if you are searching Sativa strains. For those that like a hybrid, as the name suggests, it will typically form a compromise of the two.

With a strain of weed that is well-trimmed, you are not necessarily pointing toward top-notch quality every time, but that is a nod to the good care and experience of a producer that the weed is well-trimmed. Something to avoid here would certainly be if it looks poorly maintained and with excess leaves and material attached.  That said, a little extra leaf is not always a dealbreaker considering that, for the most part, these days most cannabis is trimmed by human hands and they are not all alike.

Lab Tested

The next step is to get your product tested both by independent experts. This is extra security you should be looking for when you are in the market for the best weed strains. Lab tests can be costly and take some time to perform, but in the end, they offer insight into what the content of the product actually is.  It’s always a good idea to have several independent labs run tests to eliminate the chance of error on any single lab or test.

Well Graded

Last but by no means least in our range of things to consider when selecting a good weed over a bad one is the grading system. Firstly, you have to establish if you trust the particular vendors grading system.  This may differ from place to place but it can still offer a very good indication as to quality when it comes to reputable sites and retailers. Anything around the AAA-, AAAA+ from an honest vendor as a marker is usually of good to excellent quality. Below that and you are somewhat uncertain and should more than likely continue looking regardless of any great prices you may be offered, and if you ever see weed with a higher rating than AAAA+ then you are likely being misled.

If you are interested in more information about cannabis rating systems and how to tell a top-quality strain through this system, then we are also here to help. We recently put together a guide on the weed grading system which outlines each level and would be very valuable to take a look at.

Final Thoughts

To put the final cap on how to tell the difference between good and bad weed, we can see from the above categories that while they appear simple in nature, you still need sharp senses and keen knowledge to get the best deal. In reality, there are also many variable factors and there is no substitute for experience when it comes to judging quality, but if you do try to apply a few of the simple basics from this guide, it should go a long way toward having a good weed experience.

Leave a Reply