Top 5 Things to Look For When Buying Cannabis

Posted October 14, 2021 By Kelly Graham

Not all cannabis is created equal.

As more and more cannabis begins to flood the legal market, it’s important for consumers to understand how to spot exactly what you are looking for—not all cannabis is created equal. From the way the buds look and smell to how it’s grown can all play an important role in your final smoking experience. In order to get the most bang for your buck, we’re here to share with you our top 5 things to look for when buying cannabis.


Look & Color

Your eyeballs actually do a pretty good job of getting you started on the right foot. The best-grown buds are almost always lush green in color. Additional healthy hues include shades of purple, red, and orange. Depending on the strains, high-quality buds may also be covered in tiny orange hairs or sparkly, crystal-like trichomes.

Cannabis that is all brown or looks burnt is typically a sign of poor quality weed. Your buds should also be virtually seed and stem-free. If you’re able to, examine the buds carefully before buying to make sure you’re getting the best green.



Next, let your nose lead the way. The aroma of cannabis can vary widely from sweet and floral to funky and skunky, but it should never smell moldy or like dried hay. If it smells “off”, that’s a sign that the buds have lost their effectiveness or were not cured properly.

The smell can also help lead you toward a strain that suits your needs. The terpenes that give cannabis its signature scent also help inform its potential wellness benefits. For example, if the buds smell citrus-forward, they’re likely high in limonene (commonly found in citrus zest) which is said to be able to boost your mood. If the nugs have notes of lavender, chances are they are rich in linalool which is believed to promote relaxation.


Testing Information

One of the biggest benefits of the legal weed market is that all cannabis products must be analyzed in a lab. They are not testing to make sure there are no contaminants, but also for the entire cannabinoid profile.

There’s often a sticker on any given product that will give you some of the highlights like THC content and total cannabinoid percentage. However, if you want to get all of the juicy details, you can request the Certificate of Analysis (COA) that will give you an incredibly detailed look at your buds.



Just because weed is expensive, doesn’t always mean it’s the best on the market. Pricing can be determined by a wide range of factors like packaging, potency, and the size of the buds. If you want to stay on budget but still be able to sample some of the best flower out there, ask about deals or ask for what many brands call their “Smalls”. They’re usually the exact same as the higher-priced “full-sized” nugs, just a little smaller.

Besides that, look for something in your price range that has the right combination of colors, trichomes, and THC percentage, and you’ll be on the right track.


Talk to Your Budtender

When all else fails, use the budtenders as your resource. Due to regulations, you can’t always touch and taste weed before you buy, but budtenders know the stock inside and out. They can lead you to exactly what you need at your price point with ease. Who knows, you might even discover something new!

With these 5 tips in hand, you’ll know exactly how to navigate buying cannabis in any retailer. If the weed looks colorful, smells enticing, has quality lab results, and fits your budget, you’ve hit the sweet spot—and don’t be afraid to talk to your friendly budtenders!

Kelly Graham

Kelly Graham

Sara is the track and trace manager at Glass House Farms. She enjoys hanging out with her son, gardening, camping, and volunteering/fostering for animal organizations in SB county.