top of page

Guide to Buying Potent Cannabis Every Time

Pictured Above: Established in 2001, Humboldt Seed Company is a Northern California heritage brand providing quality cannabis genetics to commercial cultivators and home growers in legalized states across the U.S. and international markets including Spain, Canada, Jamaica, South Africa, Colombia, France, Portugal, Greece, the UK, Malta and Thailand. With a focus on environmental and social justice, they combine traditional breeding and modern scientific practices in their strain development program. They have served the cannabis community for over two decades.

Why You Can't Trust Labels

In today's cannabis market, one of the biggest misconceptions is the reliability of THC numbers on product labels. Companies often manipulate these figures (knowingly and unknowingly) through questionable lab practices. They might submit samples with lower moisture levels, artificially inflating THC content, or submit only the desirable parts of the plant to skew overall results. Correctly cured cannabis typically has a moisture content above 11%, essential for accurate testing. Despite what labels might suggest, THC levels regularly reported between 30% and 38% are misleading. True connoisseurs know that beloved strains like OG Kush rarely exceed 18% THC, yet still deliver a potent high thanks to their rich terpene profiles and the entourage effect.

Why Traditional Markets Often Have the Best Weed

Interestingly, some of the highest-quality cannabis still comes from independent caretakers and traditional producers who prioritize proper curing processes. Over recent years, the average potency of street cannabis has jumped from 16% to 18% THC. These traditional providers often produce superior products, ensuring both recreational and medical users enjoy the best effects. Areas like Northern California's Golden Triangle, Oregon, and Washington are renowned for producing top-tier cannabis due to their ideal growing conditions and skilled cultivators.

Lab Testing Manipulation 

Lab testing manipulations are rampant in the recreational market. Testing facilities sometimes skip crucial moisture content recordings, which can artificially boost THC percentages. A cannabis sample with reduced moisture content seems to have higher THC by weight and volume, deceiving consumers. Understanding that most cannabis flowers contain THCA, which converts to THC upon heating, further complicates accurate labeling. Educating consumers about these practices is crucial for them to make informed decisions and avoid being misled by inflated THC numbers.

The Role of Terpenes & Other Cannabinoids

The misconception that high THC percentages equate to better weed is widespread. In reality, the most seasoned smokers know that the best effects come from a combination of cannabinoids and terpenes. For instance, strains testing between 16% and 18% THC can offer profound effects due to their rich terpene profiles. The entourage effect—where different cannabinoids and terpenes work together—plays a significant role in the plant's overall impact.

The Importance of Moisture Content

Moisture content is a critical factor in cannabis quality. Unfortunately, some states have outlawed deli-style dispensaries, where consumers could examine the product before purchase. Instead, consumers are often left with sealed bags, making it difficult to judge moisture content. Advanced knowledge of the plant becomes essential in such environments. Finding a trusted producer and sticking with their products can help ensure consistency and quality.

Regional Challenges & Extraction Trends

Growing conditions vary significantly by region, affecting the quality of cannabis. For example, Arizona's desert climate poses challenges for indoor growers, often resulting in visually appealing but less potent weed. Conversely, states like Oklahoma, where humidity is a significant issue, see a trend towards extractions. Less desirable flowers are processed into high-quality extracts like rosin and resin, offering a different but equally potent product. This is not a slight to the producers in legal states who do their best to battle conditions of varying temperature and humidity in new climates with exotic cultivars.

The Best Places to Grow: The Emerald Triangle, Oregon, and Washington

The most desirable cannabis often comes from regions with optimal growing conditions, such as Northern California's Emerald Triangle, Oregon, and Washington. These areas naturally provide the right climate, reducing the need for extensive indoor controls. This leads to better-quality cannabis and genetic propagation that’s difficult to replicate in less ideal climates like Arizona, Michigan or Oklahoma.

The Future of Cannabis Legalization & Quality

The future of craft cannabis hinges on the ability to import and export, allowing everyone access to the finest weed from the best growing regions. There's no need to establish expensive indoor grows in every state. The idea that cannabis requires pharmaceutical regulation is flawed; it’s a natural supplement with therapeutic benefits and no risk of overdose. Local products from hemp stores can often rival the appearance and effects of traditional cannabis, highlighting the evolving market landscape offered by the 2018 Farm Bill. Understanding these factors can significantly enhance your cannabis shopping experience. By recognizing the limitations of THC numbers and the importance of moisture content, terpenes, and regional growing conditions, consumers can make more informed choices. Stay tuned to Cannabis Cactus for more insights on navigating the ever-changing cannabis market.


Subscribe to get exclusive updates

Thanks for subscribing!

bottom of page