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Cannabis flower (bud/weed) is dense with cannabinoids such as THC and CBD that create psychological and euphoric effects, and terpenes (scent molecules) that allow you to feel various effects such as calm and invigorated, like essential oils do, adding complexity to the high. The holistic experience of cannabinoids plus terpenes is called “the entourage effect.” In harmony, they will produce the most dynamic, least anxious high as possible, so when shopping for cannabis flower, you’ll want to look for more than just THC content alone. Experts agree that the best high is produced by the synergy of THC, CBD and wide terpene profiles. What are other features to look out for?

Color: green/diverse colors show freshness; too bright green may not have proper cure & may be harsh to smoke. Brown shows age. Purple may indicate relaxing effects. Orange hairs don’t indicate potency but are visually appealing Trichomes: frosty/ crystally-looking buds contain more cannabinoids
Scent: your experience will be better with the most appealing, complex aromas
Structure: tight/ loose buds may indicate indica/ sativa or growing conditions Feel: fresh bud is sticky and resilient. Dry bud is less fragrant and may be older
Burn: is it smooth or harsh on your throat? Popping sound may indicate seeds
Trim: a neat trim removes harsh-smoking stems & leaves so buds looks prettier
Hybrid: crossbreed of sativa and indica. The majority of current cannabis strains are hybrids due to generations of breeding. Asking for a “sativa” or “indica” will likely get you sativa-dominant or indica-dominant hybrid
Indica: broad-leafed, compact plant considered to have calming, sedative,
“stony” full body effects. Can be used for pain, restful sleep and relaxation Sativa: tall, airy plants considered to have uplifting, mentally-stimulating, “heady” high effects. Can be used for fun, socializing, enhancing creativity, focusing and getting things done like cleaning and gardening

*Effects can vary from person to person & may be opposite of your expectation

smalls: small buds
kola: the thickest, largest central
bud trim: leftover bits including leaves & stems after trimming
kief: potent trichomes and trim at the bottom of container

Indoor flower may display tight bud structure, range of color and potent scents because conditions like light and growing conditions can be monitored and adjusted; greatest environmental impact
Greenhouse grown either using mixed-light (natural light augmented by electric) produces better, more terpy results due to broad spectrum of light frequencies; or light-dep (blocking natural light) to shorten growing season for fast turn-around rather than quality flower
Outdoor aka sun-grown flower uses the full spectrum of sunlight, often producing wider terpene profiles; lowest environmental impact


*TIP what scents do you like the best? citrusy, gassy, earthy, funky, berry, fruity, floral, piney, spicy, sweet etc. Request them or ask for buds with high-terpene contents, aka “terpy”
*TIP ask for fresh flower. Old buds contain more CBN and can be highly sedative
*TIP seeds are rare but finding one can be a special treat: plant it or give it away
*TIP ask your budtender about their favorite, most consistent brands and preferred strains
*TIP ask your budtender for strains that provide the effects you want (created by terpenes) such as calming, relaxing, uplifting, euphoric, appetite stimulating, clear headed, focused, etc. instead of for an “indica” or “sativa”
*TIP find growers that you trust and try their newest interesting strain

Brought to you by Contra Costa NORML:
Contra Costa County learn more at ContraCostaNORML.com & the Weed Fairy link on BasaSF.com for additional tip

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