PotSidekick’s Quality Guide to Selecting Cannabis


Are you able to tell the difference between Poor and High quality cannabis?

Many new time smokers have trouble differentiating between the 3 categories of cannabis. These three categories are: Low Quality, Middle Quality, High Quality. When purchasing marijuana you should be looking for something that looks appealing, has a good color, and produces an enticing aroma. Additionally, you want to avoid any glaring defects like mold and mildew, seeds, insects, and discoloration.

A high concentration of trichomes indicates a strain with advanced cannabinoid production, which leads to potent cannabis. However, potent cannabis is not necessarily indicative of high quality — it could be lacking the flavor profile you are looking for, or, for example, it may be a stimulating sativa when you prefer a mellow indica.

Let’s run through some examples of low, medium and high-quality cannabis so you can better assess the quality of the buds you’re acquiring.

Examples of Low-Quality Cannabis Buds

 Also known as: bottom shelf, mexican brick weed, dirt, schwag, and numerous additional regional slang terms.

Low-quality cannabis is often transported as compact bricks, resulting in a mix of shake, stems, and compressed buds.

Typically only found on the black market, shwag tends to be less colorful than your average cannabis, often with more brown hues than green. It is dry and earthy in aroma with a taste that can be harsh. 

The effects from low-quality cannabis tend to be mellow, relaxing, lazy, and sleep-inducing. It’s not uncommon to experience headaches and other adverse side effects from poorly grown and cared-for cannabis.


Examples of Medium-Quality Cannabis Buds

Also known as:Middle shelf, regs, Reggie, work, mid

Mids can be identified by their surplus of green hues and numerous orange pistils. Seeds and stems are minimal-to-none, but the buds can suffer from a number of quick-to-market techniques like improper flushing of nutrients, quick curing methods, and sloppy trim jobs.

Pricing for middle quality is somewhat standardized based on your region, and oftentimes bulk discounts become available when buying more than a ¼ or ½ oz at a time. 

Unstable genetics or stressful environments can cause hermaphrodite plants that begin to show both sexes. These partially-formed seeds are often referred to as bananas for their elongated shape and yellow hues.

Examples of High-Quality Cannabis Buds

 Also known as: Top Shelf, Exotic, Fire, Dank, Loud, ZaZa

Besides the diverse spectrum of colors that premier genetics show, the amazing quality and complex aromas of truly dank weed will scream “get me!” The nickname “loud” is used for this exact reason, because the pungent flavors are often too much to contain and can draw attention to those who have it, especially when trying to be discreet. Truly outstanding cannabis has no price cap — it can be considered a luxury item like fine wine and, depending on the laws where you live, prices can reach extreme levels.

First-class cannabis will have a thick coat of sugary resin that contains the cannabinoids and terpenes, giving the plant its powerful effects and captivating flavors. Advanced potency and flavor profiles provide a diverse range of effects and individual experiences that amplify the consumer’s connection to the cannabis plant.



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