What Makes Cannabis High-Quality?

posted by Chris Valentine

If you’ve been consuming cannabis for a while, you’ve probably noticed that not all brands are equal, despite their price points. Higher prices doesn’t necessarily mean a better product. You can’t judge a cannabis product by its price, regardless of whether the price is high or low.

Sometimes, low-quality products are packaged with a higher price point, and if you want to find truly high-quality products, you have to look at more factors.

1. Does the cannabis brand cultivate unique strains?

When you’re looking for premium cannabis, unique strains hold some of the biggest potential. That’s because brands that cultivate unique strains do so with the intention of producing specific terpenes, and it’s the terpenes in cannabis that produce specific desirable effects.

Look for brands that produce their own strains. For example, Verano brands produce cannabis flower from a variety of proprietary strains. Verano offers a purposeful, curated collection of cannabis strains, pre-rolls, vapes, and extracts—all derived from the premium flower thoughtfully cultivated in-house and deliver specific, desired effects for every comfort level and taste.

2. Does a product suit your needs?

Although some factors that determine high-quality are objective, others are subjective. For instance, if your goal is to get a good night’s sleep, you’ll probably prefer an indica strain. Products made with sativa strains may not be what you’re looking for. As such, if you try indica and find it actually keeps you awake, it doesn’t mean it’s not high-quality. It just means that particular product and/or strain isn’t a match for your needs.

If you’re looking for a specific effect from your cannabis products, do some research to find out what strains, brands, and products are likely to be a match for your needs by looking at product reviews. You can always just experiment, but it’s often helpful to see what other people have experienced.

3. What is the extraction process for oils?

There are several processes used to extract cannabis oils, and they aren’t all equal. Most extraction processes strip out the terpenes, which results in a lower-quality product. For instance, high pressure and heat strip away terpenes. While no extraction method is perfect, butane or hydrocarbon extraction seems to preserve the most terpenes.

Terpenes are important to preserve because they play a major role in the “entourage effect,” where each terpene has a unique function in the overall activation of cells in the nervous system. The absence of certain terpenes means the absence of certain effects.

Smoking flower or eating products made with raw, ground cannabis flower is the ideal way to get all of the terpenes and cannabinoids present in a strain. However, if you prefer oils and tinctures, make sure you choose a premium brand that extracts as many of these important elements as possible.

4. Are the final batches lab-tested?

The only way to know for sure if your cannabis is high-quality is to look at lab results. Every good cannabis brand should be lab testing their products by the batch. Not just once, but every time, every batch.

While lab testing doesn’t automatically mean a cannabis product is high-quality, lab results will give you proof of a product’s quality. However, be aware that it’s possible for some companies to fake their lab results. Or, they might only publish one lab test rather than test by the batch.

A lab test will show what’s actually in the final product in terms of cannabinoids, terpenes, and the absence of toxins like heavy metals. All of these things are important to verify for yourself.

Aim for brands that test every batch of their products and provide the lab results on their website for everyone to see. Good brands with valid lab results will also have an excellent reputation with great reviews and plenty of people saying wonderful things about them.

5. Do the edibles use high-quality ingredients?

In addition to the actual cannabis being high-quality, you’ll also want to check to see if a brand uses high-quality ingredients all around. For example, edibles should be made with high-quality non-cannabis ingredients, like chocolate, or vegan pectin in place of gelatin. The entire edible should be made from the best available ingredients in order to be considered high-quality.

6. Is the price reasonable for a premium product?

While you don’t want to use price as the deciding factor, be wary of cheap cannabis products that claim to be premium quality. Prices should be reasonable, but premium products generally cost a little more because quality ingredients cost more. If you find a cheap cannabis product that claims to be made with premium ingredients, it’s questionable.

Stick with premium cannabis brands

It’s exciting to explore different cannabis strains and products, but try to stick with premium, lab-tested cannabis brands while you experiment. You’ll be more likely to find what you’re looking for when you look within a pool of high-quality options.

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