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. I’m not here to scare you; I am here to help you identify bad weed. Having a poor experience will educate you quickly, but reading this guide is cheaper than wasting that ounce of fire.


Yes, we all know the herb he's sniffy is not the happy kind.
Yes, we all know the herb he’s sniffing 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! Here are some ways to reuse kief.

The other thing about appearance is the weed itself. How does it look? Is it a bunch of small popcorn nugs and sticks and stems and seeds? Does it look like bag of leftovers? 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 always green, and never brown.

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Dry or Wet?


Check your stash: is it brown, dried, crunchy and burnt out? Is it dense, slightly moist, sticky to the touch? 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, and 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 the right hook up can take time.

Things in Your Weed


There are things that happen when a plant is grown… it attracts other live things: bugs, spider mites, mold. These things are usually (in some cases) managed by pesticides. Unless you aim to smoke all organic cannabis, which is completely possible, check your cannabis for quality overall. You can guarantee that if a grower has taken no care in their product, it will be full of things you do not want to smoke. There are a lot of legal places to grow cannabis now, and as demand increases so does the use of pesticides. Consider if smoking chemicals is the best option for your body, and do your research. Like I said, finding a good hook can take time but is a worthwhile effort.

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