With legal cannabis hitting markets across the country, and dispensaries popping up daily in big cities and small towns, it can all start to feel like a blur. Shiny packaging can give the impression of high-end products, or it could mean someone wants it to appear that way; a strain name at one dispensary may not offer the same benefits, quality, or experience that you get from another.
As the marketing behind legal cannabis brands ramps up, it is important to draw a distinction between high-quality cannabis products and lower quality offerings that may also be available on the market.
There are typically three categories of shoppers:
- Budget Shopper: Someone looking for the cheapest options available who likely doesn’t care about anything but the price.
- Average Consumer: Someone who shops based on preference.
- The Connoisseur or Enthusiast: Someone that truly loves the product and industry, and is generally more willing to pay more for a better product.
The cannabis market is no different. Budget consumers may not care about the quality of their cannabis, but your average consumer could learn a few things from cannabis enthusiasts.
Why Cannabis Enthusiasts Prefer High-Quality Products
Cannabis enthusiasts choose high-quality cannabis products over other offerings because they prefer clean, consistent products, grown specifically for their needs. High-quality products are grown and processed in better, cleaner conditions, and the brands pay attention to the plants to allow the best genetics to truly yield connoisseur-grade products.
These products are usually available in smaller quantities than items that are common on the market due to the extra care that goes into growing, processing, and producing a higher standard of cannabis products.
Methods for high-quality cultivation & processing
High-end cannabis products are often produced as high-end goods in any other industry are produced: small batches. Cannabis brands that pay extra attention to specialty products may use living soil, hydroponic or permaculture techniques that yield more potent, fragrant, or beneficial flowers but can result in smaller quantities due to the individual attention given to the plant.
The special attention carries over into the processing side, where flowers are hand-trimmed, cured with plenty of space between branches to allow the flower to breathe, and, if extracted, treated to specific, scientific techniques that minimize unwanted residual compounds including careful purging of the final product, solventless extraction, or ethanol-based infusions. The alternative to this process would be going through a machine trimmer that can strip terpenes and other cannabinoids from the flower.
Risks Associated with Lower Quality (Budget) Cannabis Products
First, the obvious: Not all cheap products are low-quality and not all low-quality products are cheap. That being said, the “bargain of the week” is often not on sale because of its high quality. It could just be excess inventory, or there might have been an issue during production. Low-quality products may look haphazardly-packaged, or with misleading packaging that makes a mystery of the contents you’re buying.
Low-quality cannabis flower may present unknown health risks if there are pesticide residuals, powdery molds and mildews, or even small bugs. To avoid consuming these unpleasant and potentially dangerous ingredients, vet your cannabis carefully and always choose higher quality products.
What to Look for in High-Quality Cannabis Products
- A list of chemicals and ingredients used:
Your product should clearly indicate what chemicals or ingredients were used in the growing, processing, or infusion of the cannabis you are purchasing.
- Tests for residual chemicals from extraction or cultivation:
Testing for harmful sprays, molds and mildews, and hydrocarbon residuals allows consumers to confidently purchase safer products.
- Batch-specific testing:
Not every batch of every product is identical. There are slight variances, and a high-end producer will test each batch to ensure the most accurate results.
- Specific, verifiable genetics:
Certain breeders and strains can actually be traced to their sources and verified by the breeders. Verified genetics will often be more expensive and harder to get, but well worth the knowledge that you are consuming a genuine product.
- Proper packaging:
The packaging should look nice but, more importantly, it should serve the purpose of preserving and presenting the cannabis product and the qualities that it was cultivated for.
- Pleasant appearance and fragrance:
Don’t ignore the concentration of cannabinoids listed on the testing of your product, but also don’t forget that your body will tell you what is desirable and what is not. If a product’s fragrance or appearance isn’t pleasant, move on.
Choose Trusted Suppliers
If you’re on the fence about whether to take the budget route or purchase a high-quality offering, consider this: We buy organic, non-GMO, and farm-raised foods because they are better for us; quality cannabis should be no different. A better product offers greater benefits and avoids the risks associated with bargain brands.
For more information on finding high-quality cannabis offerings in your area, consult with Happy Valley to see which cannabis products will suit your needs. Happy Valley is a producer and cultivator of high-quality, lab-tested cannabis products. Our facilities are state of the art and we are pioneering genetic mapping of the cannabis plant to offer verified, consistent products for our customers.