Bad weed sucks. Depending on where you get your cannabis from, there are a range of things likely to be found in your stash: pesticides, insects, mold, mites, dirt, metals and minerals and a wealth of other mystery items. Deadly chemical fentanyl has been found in marijuana recently, and of course you have the high-school issues of dealers putting basil, oregano or some other trash herb into your sack.

There’s a big difference between getting “the piff” and smoking mids (mid-grade quality weed). We’re not here to scare you; we’re here to help you identify bad weed. Having a poor experience will educate you quickly, but reading this guide is cheaper than getting screwed by your dealer. 


Yes, we all know the herb he's sniffy is not the happy kind.

The smell of cannabis is important; it gives you an idea of what you are about to taste. A good heavy skunky smell means you’re on some good shit. Cannabinoids and terpenes make up the aroma of marijuana, and a strong smell usually indicates a good flavor. On the flip side of that, if your pot smells like oregano, it is. If your pot smells like dried hay, it could be. If it smells like dirt, it will give you a headache. You know your stuff is hot when you can smell it BEFORE opening the baggie.



Ok, if you really want to learn about the quality of your bud, look up close. Lots of small crystals, or little hairs, known as trichomes, are what you are looking for. Those small crystals can be kept and harvested from a four piece grinder too! 

PRO TIP: Never buy brown weed. It is meant to be green, often with touches of orange, yellow, purple, pink and a range of other colors. But never brown.

Also, look at the texture of the weed. Is it coming in big, beautiful nuggets? Or is it the dreaded “shake” – ground weed with bits of stem and seeds in it? Dealers will often save the “shake” for themselves or for customers they have little respect for.

If your weed looks like this, be wary of its quality.
If your weed looks like this, be wary of its quality.

Dry or Wet?



Check your stash: is it brown, dried, crunchy and burnt out? Is it dense, slightly moist, and sticky to the touch? Or is it soggy and damp, to the point that you can’t do a thing with it? The perfect dry/wet balance here is important but not usually too hard to come by if you’re somewhere with decent ganja. Look for something that doesn’t break up and crumble too easily. Remember if it is too sticky, it won’t smoke well.



If someone offers you weed in leaf form, hand is straight back to them. They’re wasting your time and taking you for a fool! Cannabis comes in nugs, buds, flowers… or any of the other thousand colloquial names around the world. Ganja is not dusty dry leaves. High quality cannabis is trimmed more than once before it reaches the consumer, and is also curated and quarantined, so get the top shelf stuff.

Reliable Sources

medical marijuana dispensary

Purchase your nugs from a reliable and knowledgeable source. If you live in a legal location, medically or recreationally around the world, use your budtenders knowledge. Then use the internet; there are review and reports everywhere. Talk to your friends about their connections and sometimes, unfortunately, it is all about patience. Finding a good dealer can take time – once you do though, you’ll have a reliable source to buy from.

There’s guys that walk around cities offering “sour” to the nearest hapless tourist. Unless you’re in serious dankruptcy and fiending like a junkie, don’t buy from street-corner dealers – if it’s bad weed, you’ll have no way of tracing them. And it probably isn’t the greatest.

Things in Your Weed



If you find seeds in your bud, from our experience, you’re probably smoking “mids,” or low-grade weed. If you find insects, mites, plastic, or some other weird shit, don’t smoke the weed – you have no idea where it came from or what chemicals might be in it.

The best solution to all of this is finding a good plug. Whether that’s a dispensary or the guy down the street, it’s worth it to build a relationship with a dealer who you can give you solid, high-quality bud every time. There’s nothing worse than smoking bad weed!