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Gone are the days when you would sniff a sample nug, or examine a big bag of buds to evaluate the quality of your cannabis. Without access to feedback or reviews, you have to rely on the packaging, testing, and the people behind the brand, to get to know what quality is on the inside.
by Dessy Pavlova · March 16, 2023
Gone are the days when you would sniff a sample nug, or examine a big bag of buds to evaluate the quality of your cannabis. In the legal cannabis market, most often you’ll have to rely on marketing, word-of-mouth suggestions, and cannabis reviews, hopefully with pictures, to learn the best tasting products with the effects you want. Without access to feedback or reviews, you have to rely on the packaging, testing, and the people behind the brand, to get to know what quality is on the inside. Here’s how to evaluate quality cannabis in the legal cannabis industry.
In the legal cannabis industry, packaging plays multiple roles – vessel, to keep the bud fresh even if it spends months on the shelf, and label, to tell you exactly what to expect on the inside.
You’ll find a number of different variations of cannabis packaging – glass is the preferred cannabis connoisseur choice, but it’s not always the most sustainable for bootstrapping cannabis companies. Bags might be less desirable, especially from an environmental perspective, but in a highly regulated space, child-proofing is much easier with plastic resealable packaging. Some brands might use tin cans, but most cannabis connoisseurs would agree that glass is preferable, where available. Some of the best cannabis brands use bags though, so don’t limit yourself based on just that.
Depending on your jurisdiction, the labeling requirements for cannabis could vary. For the most part, you can assume to find some solid regulatory-mandated information to help you make some core important decisions:
Although there seems to always be a rush for the highest THC content, this isn’t necessarily an indicator of a fabulous smoke. Anything over 20% is usually relatively hard-hitting, so if that’s not your jam, make sure you choose the lower numbers.
Other Cannabinoid Levels
Not all jurisdictions mandate CBD levels on the packaging, but many will at least list the CBD percentages. Other cannabinoids like CBN and CBG will also be listed, and each has its own reported effects to take into account depending on your use case.
The smells and tastes we know and love in cannabis are sometimes listed in the form of terpene percentages. If you know the terpenes that most appeal to you, this can help you find the right cannabis cultivar for you.
Purity and Lab testing
All cannabis producers must send their cannabis through a lab to test for potential contaminants, producing a COA (Certificate of Analysis). If you can find a brand that puts their COA up for consumers, you’ll get all the details on their cannabis product.
Brand Every cannabis product is branded. Once you know the brand that appeals to you, this can play a deciding factor in choosing quality cannabis products.
The best cannabis brands market directly to their target audience. In many industries, paid ads and product marketing campaigns are the way to reach key consumers – in cannabis, the marketing regulations limit traditional paths, although new and expanding platforms like Bud.com offer direct marketing opportunities.
Cannabis brands build their reputations in a number of ways – through their websites, social media, PR – but the best marketing is still word-of-mouth. Today, those recommendations are most reliant on budtenders and cannabis retailers, but knowing how to read the details can help you make an educated decision. When a brand is consistently good, the product will speak for itself, but it takes ensuring customers are aware of the availability and access.
What are your favorite cannabis brands and products?