Jan 09 , 2019
What's the difference between good and bad weed? Why are some marijuana strains purple? Alfalfa, broccoli and tree - they grow in more than one type of garden.
In this article you'll find massive amounts of information about all of the above and much, much more...
- What makes good weed good?
- What are some of the best strains of weed?
- What are some of the strongest strains of weed?
- Which is better: Cali weed or Dutch weed?
- What does OG or Kush weed mean?
- What is brick weed, and why is it not as bad as people say?
- What makes some strains different colours, and why is this popular?
- What are all the different slang names for weed?
- What is gas weed?
You'll be a weed connoisseur in no time. Let's dive in!
What makes good weed good?
How can you tell good weed from bad weed, or, to put it another way, what makes a marijuana strain ‘top-shelf’? Well, there are normally two key characteristics that make a good marijuana strain good. These are taste and potency.There are other indicators you can look for as well. For example, whether the bud is dried or sticky, or whether it’s covered in orange hairs or pistils will be clues you can look for. However, in general, the two most important characteristics of weed are taste and potency. The taste of weed is controlled by oils inside the strain, which are known as terpenes. Terpenes exist in both weed and other natural items such; for example, Limonene is a terpene which is found in Lemon strains, such as Lemon Skunk. An amazing (and perhaps unsurprising) thing about this terpene is that it’s also found in Lemons. This is one of many incredibly interesting things about weed: what you’re smoking exists both in weed and in many other natural products. These terpenes or the terpene profile make up the taste of a strain.
To some taste is the most important quality for a top-shelf strain, but to others potency is what gets it there. Potency is measured in THC %. The average bush weed or landrace strain (strains that grew naturally upon the earth before we started crossbreeding) is about 6-10% THC. Nowadays strains can measure at ridiculously high percentages. Kosher Kush, which is a very famous indica strain, has about 34% THC on average. This is almost six times what the average THC percentage was back in the 1960's. Kosher Kush isn’t even the strongest strain, as some measure up to 40%. Also, there are now concentrates and waxes that measure at up to 99% THC potency. This trend towards higher and higher potency is one that isn't likely to see a decrease in popularity any time soon.
What does good weed look like?
Colorful, shiny, rounded buds are like golden nuggets of happiness. Photo: @offwhitewidow
If you take a look at the picture above, you can see that the weed nugs have several features that make it instantly recognisable as top-shelf material. Firstly, the buds are nice and round. This means that it has been grown properly. Secondly, it is covered in silver crystals known as trichomes, which show that the buds have potency. These crystals are also collected at the bottom of certain grinders, which is known as kief. You can use kief to make your blunts more potent or your bongs more powerful. Finally, the buds have orange hairs on them, which show that the buds are even better. If you look at the picture below, you will see a purple strain, which has all of the same features; the only difference is it has purple buds. Both of these are considered to be highly potent, top-shelf buds.
Similar traits, but purple buds. Photo: @offwhitewidow
What does "dank" mean?
Buds absolutely swallowing on this grow. Photo: @ganja_delight
The meaning of "dank" is pretty easy to explain. It simply refers to a quality marijuana strain. Dank strains are normally incredibly pungent, but also incredibly potent. This means that they tick both the boxes for what makes a good marijuana strain. Whether or not a weed strain is dank changes all the time, and it also depends on where you are in the world. For example, you may go to a coffeeshop like Het Ballonetje in Amsterdam, which is one of my personal favourites. They sell a lot of really amazing weed in there, but a lot of what they sell wouldn’t be considered dank in LA. That is because LA is coming out with strains that are danker and danker all the time, like Gelato or Birthday Cake. Het Ballonetje doesn’t have clippings of these incredibly dank strains, whereas some coffeeshops in Amsterdam do. Hence, you can go to Het Ballonetje and buy some ‘dank’ weed, which people in LA would turn their noses up to. The main reason for this is the ever-changing cannabis scene, comprised of breeders constantly trying to bring strains to market that will be considered dank. We call these dank crosses dankenstein strains because some of them are truly monsters. In America, dank weed is sometimes called hi grade weed, weed loud, or gas weed. Many of the strains that test well over 30% THC may leave some users feeling uncomfortable. If you do feel overwhelmed, here’s a guide on how to feel less stoned:
- If it’s an indica strain, you should take a cold shower
- Then you should drink some coffee
- Then you should work out, preferably swimming
- If it’s a sativa strain you should take a cold shower
- After that drink some coffee
- Then you should take some time on your own in your room
- Focus on your breathing
- After you feel a little less overwhelmed, you should work out
If you’ve eaten too many edibles, you’re in for a long ride, we're afraid. The high from edibles is very hard to reverse, although having a cold shower and a coffee might do you some good. Just try to relax, and remember that it’s all part of the high. You’re also not going to die, don’t worry.
What are some of the best strains of weed?
Everyone’s got a favorite. What’s yours? Photo: @stonermike_yt
Again, this depends on what you mean by best. However, assuming you mean the dankest, strongest, tastiest strains on the market right now (as of 2018) here is weed strain list:
- Birthday Cake
- Alien OG
- Malibu OG
- Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies
- Lemon Cake
- Mountain Thunder
- Goat Head
- Mendo Queen
- Sour Power OG
- Karma OG
- Ghost Rider OG
- LA Cake
- Dutch Dynasty
- Apollo Haze
- Loud Lemonade
- Chef Kush
- Havarra Wedding
- Black Label
- Holy Roller
- Hazmat OG
- OG Strawberry Star Killer
- And much more...
An interesting trend to talk about in relation to new strains, is that the majority of them are hybrids. There are still some pure indicas and pure sativas being created, but in general most of them are hybrids. This follows a general trend, which is that hybrids are becoming far more popular than the traditional sativas and indicas. Originally all of the landrace strains were either sativa or indica. However, more recently there has been a general surge in interest towards hybrids. The reason for this is that hybrids offer both sides of the sativa and indica coin, in various degrees. If you look even further into this, it’s actually 50/50 balanced hybrids, or close ratios like 60/40 sativa- or indica-dominant strains that are proving to be even more popular. The main reason for this is that 50/50 balanced hybrids offer both sativa and indica effects in equal measure.
The metaphor I like to use to explain this effect is that it’s like receiving a warm indica hug, while also receiving a burst of euphoric cerebral energy. It’s like having a nice cup of tea while sitting in a massage chair, basically. This incredibly desirable duo of effects prove not only popular for recreational users, but they also help medical users with a number of hard to treat conditions. For example, depression is well-known for being difficult to treat. Many people have found that 50/50 balanced hybrids help the most for treating depression. One caveat, which is always necessary to state, is that this is not true for everyone. Just because your friend finds 50/50 balanced hybrids practically cure his depression, that doesn’t mean it will work for you. This is because weed affects everyone differently. Medical marijuana isn’t right for everyone, but it does have massive potential to a wide variety of people. Our advice here at Weed Republic is to experiment. Find a strain that works for you, whether it be indica, sativa, or hybrid. It’s best to go somewhere like Amsterdam, where most (but definitely not all) of the coffeeshops will be happy to help you pick a strain. If you’re a relatively new stoner, tell them this. Otherwise, they may give you something that will blow your head off. Tell them what conditions you’re looking to treat, and see what they suggest.
Why is purple weed so popular?
Some of the greatest strains in the world are known for their purple hues. Granddaddy Purple is a great example of a widely popular purple strain. Interestingly enough, purple weed is made by simply subjecting plants to colder temperatures during the vegetative state. This means that although it may look better, it’s not necessarily better quality. Grandaddy Purple is just a great strain; it wouldn't matter if it was blue, green, yellow, or any other color. Its potency and flavour are what makes it so popular, and the fact that it’s a heavy indica strain will make any indica fan a happy camper. An interesting note about Granddaddy Purple is that both of its parent strains were purple, too. This means its leaves are naturally more purple. For the most part though, your typical purple marijuana plant only has those purple tints because of the way it was grown.
Handfuls of purple weed, yes please! Photo: @richwitnomoney
Other popular colours in weed are orange weed, blue weed, and others. Brown weed is considered by many to be bad weed, or what some people would call ditch weed, which is discussed below. Purple plants are sometimes caleld Purp Weed plants.
Sticky weed vs. Dry weed: which is better?This is a very interesting question, and the answer is: it depends where you are! As Snoop Dogg says:
In California, sticky weed is considered to be much higher-quality; you want your bud to be sticky. However, in the UK (for example) it’s considered much better if your buds are properly dried. The most likely reason for this is that weed is much harder to come by outside of California, and sticky buds weigh more. Hence, if you’re buying sticky buds outside of Cali, you’re getting less bang for your buck. However, over in Cali, they don’t care about this. They want the stickiest buds, most likely because sticky buds are typically coated in trichomes, which make for a much better smoke. Dry buds definitely grind better, and they are rolled up much more easily into a blunt or a joint. Sticky buds grind out a lot worse, and they are very hard to roll sometimes. This, again, is likely a cultural thing, as bongs and water pipes are the most dominant way of smoking in California (at least until the prefilled vape cartridges came along). However, in the UK and in the Netherlands, joints and blunts are way more popular than bongs. As sticky weed is easy to smoke in a bong, and dried weed is much easier to roll, this is likely another reason why sticky weed is more popular on the West Coast and dried weed is more popular in Europe. Fluffy weed is also popular, because of the hairs and trichomes covering it.
What is ditch weed?
Not all weed is created equal… photo: @freidafarms
The unfortunate thing about so-called ditch weed is that it’s actually the entire history of marijuana. Ditch weed, or as it used to be known, landrace strains, is considered to be bad quality marijuana. The problem with this definition is that at one point they were the only available strains of marijuana, and all of the other marijuana strains came from them. The problem nowadays with landrace strains is that everyone’s tolerance is so high from all of the crazy strains they’ve been smoking, landrace strains don’t really hit you or get you high anymore. This is a real shame, as some of the landrace strains are actually exceptionally tasty. However, the average THC content of a landrace strain or ‘ditch weed’ strain is about 8%. You see, people from countries who haven’t been hit by the hype of new strains post their grows on Facebook groups and get laughed at. What a lot of the people who are laughing don’t realise is that without these ditch weed strains, they wouldn’t have their 40% strains. It’s a tragedy really, and the further we move from landrace strains, the worse off we will be. The problem with these modern, exceptionally dank strains is that they have very high THC percentages, and very low CBD percentages. Now, a lot of stoners would call me out for saying this, but I’m not convinced that massively high THC doses with 0% CBD is good for the brain. Weed isn’t bad for you if it’s smoked as it was supposed to be smoked. However, these incredibly strong strains and ridiculously strong concentrates could, very well, be bad for you. More research needs to be done to be sure. The other thing to note is that the people who are still smoking ‘ditch weed’ probably get as high, or nearly as high, as those with high tolerances smoking 40% THC strains. It’s similar to someone used to drinking drinking vodka, and a person who isn’t used to drinking drinks a beer: they’ll get almost as drunk as each other. The same is true with THC tolerance and with ditch weed. One thing that is definitely true however, is that landrace strains do not taste as good as some of the modern strains, which do have an absolutely incredible flavour. Other names for this include schwag weed, brown weed, dirt weed, super weed brothers, or kine bud.
Names for weed
“Marijuana roll call” @doobieville420If you’re a stoner, you probably already know that there are so many different names for weed it would be almost impossible to list them all. We're going to put our best foot forward with a list anyway though. Do you have names to add to this list?
- 2 long
- Alice B. Toklas
- Alligator cigarette
- Astro turf
- Aunt Mary
- Aunt Mary Jane Anna
- Bag of bones
- Blue sage
- Christmas tree
- Crazy weed
- Da kine
- Doña Juanita
- Good giggles
- Green goddess
- Happy cigarette
- Jazz cabbage
- L pape
- Left-handed cigarette
- Loco weed
- Love weed
- Magic dragon
- Magic smoke
- Mary jane
- Mary jane anna
- Rainy day woman
- Sticky icky
- Stink weed
- Whacky backi
- Weed cigarette
- And many more...
These are the slang words for cannabis, and we know there are probably many more. Maybe you don't recognize some of the names on this list. This is because how people refer to marijuana largely depends on where they are in the world. For example, "piff" is a name Londoners use to refer to cannabis, but most people won’t have heard this name for it if you haven’t visited London.
What does the term OG mean?
These particular OG Kush nugs could easily go at the start of this article under the “What does quality weed look like” section. Photo: @themacloud
OG means ocean grown or original gangster. You will often see these two letters after strain names. This is because they have OG Kush somewhere in their heritage, thereby affording them the two letters, OG, to show this. OG is a sign of quality, as OG strains inherit the same potency and the flavour that made OG Kush so damn famous in the first place. You could also see strains called Kush instead of OG, which means the same thing. Many breeders use OG Kush to create other strains because of the reasons given before. And, what did we learn at the start of this article? Potency and flavour are the two key factors you want when trying to create a top-shelf strain. If you see "OG," "Kush" or a combination of the two in a strain's name, grab it. It's going to be delicious and potent!
What is shake weed?
Shake weed is bottom of the bag stuff, which is considered by some to be low quality. They sell it in coffeeshops, where they refer to it as "gris." Sometimes you can get lucky with the gris that you buy, and you'll end up with a top-shelf strain for cheap. Next time you're in a coffeeshop, look to see if what the majority of what they're selling is top-shelf quality. If so, your gris will also be top-shelf. Gris might have stems in it and it probably won't be proper buds. While this turns some folks off, loose leaf cannabis has as much or nearly as much THC and other cannibinoids inside as your more aesthetically-pleasing buds do. If you do find stalks and seeds in your gris, don't smoke them; use them for other purposes. For example, you can make stalk tea, or you can use the stalks (after you’ve decarboxylated them) to create edibles. Stalks have a decent percentage of cannabinoids in them, so don't throw them away!
Don’t write shake weed off immediately. Photo: @stonerdaysandblaze
What is better: Cali or Amsterdam weed?
We love the smells of Amsterdam in autumn! Photo: @coffeeshopnewtimes260
If you asked this question about 30 years ago, it would undoubtedly be Amsterdam weed. Some of the best weed strains in the world were bred by the masters of breeding, the Dutch. They cultivated landrace strains and crossed them together, and they founded much of what is considered now to be standard breeding practise. However, the Americans have, more recently, taken over the game. Cali weed is now considered by most to be far better, because they are less restricted by laws.
Some folks are surprised to learn that weed is not actually legal in the Netherlands. Amsterdam coffeeshops operate behind a grey curtain: selling weed isn't prohibited by law, but weed can’t actually be bought. It’s illegal in the Netherlands to cultivate cannabis to sell, meaning all of the buying and growing of weed are currently illegal. This means that there’s no quality control, and a lot of the buds are grown with pesticides. This can be frustrating, especially if you smoke buds through a vaporiser.
Cali weed, on the other hand, is mainly organic these days, and is much more potent than what is being produced in the Netherlands. Most of the dankenstein strains are created in North America. Cali weed is far better quality, and the taste is much better as well. This is further evidenced by the fact that there are some coffeeshops who have access to the dankest of Cali strains, and they can charge a premium on them. For example, a gram of Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies or something like Gelato will cost about $40 a gram in a Dutch coffeeshop. This is because these strains are the dankest of the dank, and most coffeeshops don’t have access to them. This is largely because they are clone-only strains, so they require a link to the original breeders, which most coffeeshops don’t have. Those that do have the hook up can charge basically whatever they want. This makes for an interesting market for these incredibly dank strains.
What I will say in defence of the Dutch breeders is that at least they sell their seeds online. This is because they know that they can make a hell of a lot of money selling seeds. However, the boutique strains trademarked in California don’t sell their seeds, keeping them exclusive as possible. Thus, the Dutch seedbanks and the Dutch breeding process is better for its accessibility and heritage, but the Californians definitely out-do the Dutch in terms of dankness. Basically, the Dutch are still focused on mid-shelf weed, whereas the Californias are experimenting and reaching further and further into the top-shelf budz.
Frequently asked questions about weed
Can weed go bad?Yes, weed can go bad. Although once it’s cured and stored you can make it last a very long time. The reality is anything can go bad if left long enough. Thus, it’s best to learn how to store your buds properly. You can also freeze weed, which makes it last a lot longer. What you really want to look out for is mould on your weed. Often times improper curing can lead to mould, so make sure you pay attention if you're curing your own weed. Mould is no bueno to smoke and it's even worse to vape!
Is weed bad for you?This is a very controversial topic in the cannabis community. A lot of stoners scoff at this question and say, "Of course not! Weed is always good for everyone all of the time." This is not 100% true, and it’s short-sighted to spread the myth that weed is not bad for you.
Weed can be bad for you in several ways, not least in the fact that it produces almost as many carcinogenic bi-products as tobacco. That is why we recommend vaping your buds, because this is much better for you. When you smoke weed in a blunt or a bong, you’re essentially burning plant material and inhaling everything that is produced. If you think there’s nothing bad in there, you’ll be sad to learn that is not the case. Another way in which weed is bad for you is that if you smoke too much weed while your brain is developing, you are likely to stunt your brain development. As such, it’s not recommended that you smoke too heavily before the age of 25. It’s far less harmful than alcohol in this regard, but it’s not as safe as many stoners suggest. The final way in which weed is bad for you is, despite what you may have read, you can form an addiction to cannabis. You can form an addiction to anything that helps you fill the void, and weed is no different. The difference between an alcohol and nicotine addiction and a cannabis addiction is that weed is not physically addictive, but rather it is mentally addictive. This means that there’s nothing inside cannabis that is addictive like nicotine, but you can still become addicted to it, just like you can become addicted to sex. As such, you should be wary of smoking weed all day every day. You will start to become dependent on it, and you will also experience what a lot of people refer to as brain fog. Brain fog is where you wake up every day and you feel slightly cloudy, because you probably went to bed smoking. Although this isn’t particularly bad, you can definitely tell the difference when you stop smoking for a while. It is suggested that you take breaks from smoking, and that you don’t eat edibles every day. Edibles are particularly potent, and they will leave you feeling very brain foggy. Also, your memory is affected with a lot of cannabis use, but this goes away if you take a break of a month or so.
It’s not all bad of course! Weed is nowhere near as bad for you as tobacco and alcohol, and as a medicine it can have many health benefits. These health benefits depend on the person; it's not a cure-all for everyone. Weed is scientifically proven to help with pain, nausea, the side effects of chemotherapy, and much more. The rest of the evidence is anecdotal, but people have reported that it helps them with anxiety, depression, arthritis, MS, PTSD, stress, and much more. The main thing to note about weed as a medicine is that the true benefits are only now being tested and understood. That is because for so long it was an illegal substance in almost every country, so it was very difficult to do proper lab research on it. That is rapidly changing though, so keep an eye out for more developments (or we will and just come back for more articles)!
What is spice and how does it compare to weed?Spice is synthetic weed, and it’s considerably more dangerous than the substance it attempts to replicate. Spice has hit the streets of Britain, as well as other countries where weed is an illegal substance. This is particularly true in homeless communities; spice has reached epidemic proportions. It’s a massive problem for a lot of people, and it would almost certainly not exist if weed was simply legal in the first place. Many people turned to spice, which can cause overdoses in some cases, whereas weed is practically impossible to overdose on. This is a real shame, and is further evidence that weed simply be legal.
What is hydro or ‘dro’ weed?Hydro or dro weed is weed grown using hydroponics. These are almost always indoor grows, and the opposite of hydro weed is bio weed, which means that it was grown using only natural nutrients. Organic weed is considered to be higher quality nowadays, but hydro weed is normally stronger. To some it has a distinctly chemical taste, which can ruin the taste of organic buds.
What is Reggie Weed?
Reggie Weed, or bunk weed, is another slang word that simply means bad weed that has low THC content. Again, these are sometimes called landrace strains, depending on what you’re referring to. These strains of weed will likely make a comeback in the future as more and more people realise that 40% THC strains with hardly any CBD inside them aren’t very good for you. Only time will tell.
Reggie buds are more for medicinal users who don’t require large THC doses. Certain types of weed comes in sticks; for example, the Thai landrace strain is sometimes called Thai sticks. Thai sticks are recognisable by the fact that they are in a long thin formation, but they also normally have a red string tied around them. Some people love this smoke, and, although the taste is definitely not as good as top shelf strains, the high might be exactly what is right for them.
Reggie weed vs. Loud weedWhile Reggie weed is a slang name for bad weed, Loud weed is a name for good weed. Thus, you will almost always want loud weed. This does have some exceptions. For example, loud weed is almost always going to be potent, and you may not actually want potency. Some people don’t want to get absolutely destroyed when they smoke; they just want to have a nice, chill high. Hence, some people may actually prefer reggie weed. This is personal preference, and you can only discover what is better for you by testing a few strains out. Reggie weed is normally dark weed, whereas loud weed is much brighter. Loud weed is also fluffy weed, and should crumble easily.
What is the strongest weed strain?Right now the strongest weed strain sits at around 36% THC and is called Godfather OG. A strain is considered to be exceptionally powerful once it hits the 30% mark. Anything above 30% is considered to be very, very strong, and should not be smoked by those who are newer to cannabis. It may literally and metaphorically blow your socks off, and if it’s a sativa-dominant strain you may find yourself feeling completely overwhelmed. Likewise, if it’s an indica-dominant strain then you may find yourself glued to the couch, which can be a very uncomfortable experience. Here at Weed Republic we recommend 6-15% for newcomers (‘ditch weed’), 15-30% for medium stoners (mid-grade weed), and 30%+ (hi-grade weed) only for those who have a high tolerance and would consider themselves big stoners. We will likely see a strain that has over 40% THC very soon (if it doesn’t already exist), mostly likely in the niche LA dispensaries. If you can get your hands on some of these top-shelf weed nugs, you won’t be complaining.
What is the meaning of "weed out"?To weed out is a phrasal verb meaning to remove the unwanted things from a situation. This is the Oxford English dictionary meaning. However, stoners obviously have their own meaning. It means to pick out the seeds and stems from a bag of weed, allowing only the best buds to remain.
Oregano vs. weedYou can vape oregano inside a flower vaporiser, but there’s literally no point unless you like the taste. Oregano is sometimes used by scammers who sell the much cheaper herb in a bag and say that it’s weed. This behaviour is mainly done at schools by idiotic kids, but some seasoned stoners can also be caught doing this. That is because oregano and weed look almost exactly the same when they’re both ground up. A lot of flower vaporisers are sold legally because they claim to be for vaping things like oregano (whether people believe that or not is another question).
There's so much more to weed than what most people give it credit for. With this article we've only just scratched the surface of basic knowledge any stoner should have. No matter what you call it, marijuana is a substance that has a long history that continues to evolve thanks to continued use and appreciation by passionate stoners just like you. So pat yourself on the back and maybe go light up your favorite strain as a reward for all of the new info you just stuffed inside your brain!
And as you're puffing away, let us know if you come up with any new names for weed that need to be added to the list!
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Written by Hamish | Cover photo by: @seatowngabriel