The sheer range of cannabis effects and characteristics are what make it globally beloved, and it requires a look at the sum of its parts.
Walk into any licensed cannabis dispensary in a recreational state and you’ll notice — weed can get pretty expensive. Eighths can range from a reasonable $30 to as much as $80, before taxes even get factored in.
Many consumers feel like they need to get their money’s worth, and much like with alcohol, have looked to THC content to determine if the sticker price is worth it. The demand for flower that tests at 30% THC or more has become so prominent that growers often can’t sell their relatively low-testing flower to retailers.
But as it turns out, THC is far from the best indicator of a flower’s potency, let alone its overall quality. THC content is one static result in a live organism that changes with its environment, and should never be the deciding factor. Here’s what else you should look for when purchasing marijuana.
Check the Cultivation and Packaging Dates
The days of growers bringing fresh pounds of cannabis in turkey bags in the dispensary back door are sadly over. Industry regulations require inventory tracking, lab tests, compliant packaging and distribution in order to get any buds from the garden to the shelves, all of which take time.
It’s unfortunate, but far from unusual to see cannabis being sold six months after it was cultivated. Exposure to light and oxygen degrades THC content and converts it to the more sedating and less psychoactive cannabinoid CBN, which is great if you’re sleep deprived, but not much else.
Ask About Terpenes
More and more companies are now offering terpene profiles in addition to just cannabinoid content, which is a win for consumers. Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in cannabis and innumerable other plants responsible for that “dank” smell, but in cannabis they converge with cannabinoids in what’s called the entourage effect to express a certain strain’s effects.
Published: July 31, 2021
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News