How to Identify Top-Shelf Dispensary Cannabis

If you’re like many people, you get your best top-shelf dispensary recommendations from close-knit friends. But when it comes to the more obscure strains, your knowledge may be lacking. Luckily, the cannabis industry has some established standards that help you distinguish low-shelf from high-shelf products. Dispensary workers and budtenders use the terms low-, middle, and top shelf to describe quality. However, what does that really mean?

Just like the fancy wine and scotch you see at the liquor store, top-shelf marijuana is typically more expensive than lower-grade products. It’s not hard to understand why, as these premium products feature carefully-crafted cultivation practices and unique, recognizable terpene profiles.

The most noticeable physical characteristic of top-shelf cannabis is its vibrant coloration and well-formed buds. Often, these buds have a green, sage, or jade hue that is indicative of freshness and a good quality product. However, the flowers’ hairs can also be vibrant orange, crimson, or deep purple.

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Additionally, the trichomes of top-shelf cannabis have a sugary white, yellow, or orange appearance and a sticky texture to the touch. By contrast, the trichomes of lower-grade products have a brown to amber hue that indicates that the weed has been around for a while and is past its prime.

In the end, the best way to identify top-shelf weed is simply by using your nose. A top-shelf strain will often have fragrance notes that match its name, such as Sour Diesel, Wedding Cake, and Zkittlez. These scents are indicative of a rich terpene profile that will translate to a distinctive, full-bodied flavor.

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