How to check quality of green plants

It’s pretty awesome living in a place where you cannot only buy weed legally from a seed bank, but where you have the option to choose from a selection of strains, concentrates, edibles, and topical as if it was a mere trip to the gas station but must always consider the following factors to check when selecting quality green plants.


Well-grown, quality cannabis buds should have a pungent, identifiable smell; indicating high terpene content for pungency is directly linked to potency and terpene content. Alternatively, inferior quality buds often lack any smell or smell like hay which is the sign of poorly grown or cured plant. For reference, rich scents like coffee and chocolate are typically indicative of an indica strain and sharp citrus notes are generally indicative of a sativa.


Quality cannabis is primarily green in color with a wide range of accent colors and though the shade can range from light green to darker green. You must consider the bud if it does come from a healthy plant. It is uncommon for quality buds to have hints of purple, pink, blue, etc. however, if the majority of the bud is red, brown, tan, or yellow in color, it came from an unhealthy plant. Buds that looked bleached white are the victim of light burn which is an unfavorable growing condition in which plant is subjected to extremely high-intensity light and should be avoided.

Bud Structure

As a general rule of thumb, indica buds should be tight and dense, while sativa buds are often more light and fluffy with more pistils (little orange/red hairs) than indica buds. However, when grown carelessly, indica buds can take on sativa appearance with open, incomplete buds and visible stems. Hybrid strains often share structural traits of both indicas and sativas.


Following the harvest, cannabis buds must be trimmed in order to eliminate the leaves surrounding the bud. Quality cannabis buds should be tightly hand-trimmed as opposed to machine-trimmed for it mangle buds and disrupt the fragile trichomes they harbor. Avoid buds that have been machine trimmed or an untrimmed bud with excessive leaves as it is a typical indication of rushed cultivation practices.


The goal of properly grown cannabis is to produce buds densely packed with ripe trichomes, as this is where the cannabinoids and terpenes are stored. Trichome density is relatively easy to distinguish with the naked eye; i.e. how ‘frosty’ is the bud? Quality buds will be covered in trichomes that sparkle like crystals, whereas poor quality buds will lack trichome coverage.

Hermaphroditic Traits

Quality buds are only produced by female cannabis plants – males produce pollen sacks, which you don’t want to smoke. Strong female genetics remain female even though the potential stresses encountered while growing. Alternatively, some more finicky strains will produce female plants with hermaphroditic tendencies, which mean that with enough stress or time, the plant has a tendency to produce either male flower sites or bananas (also called nanners). These are generally not desirable characteristics and should be avoided. This is your plant’s final attempt to self-pollinate and reproduce after being stressed to a point where it views death as imminent. Thus, the earlier in its lifecycle, the plant shows hermaphroditic traits, the higher likelihood the bud is seeded.

Mold and Pests

Quality cannabis buds are free from mold and pests. Mold manifests itself as white powdery mildew or grey fuzzy mold. Insects like mites, gnats, thrips, and aphids can leave the fecal matter, eggs, and even dead friends behind on your buds.

Healthy plants have the best chance of producing a robust cannabinoid profile, and while most people are looking for maximum THC content, one of the most beneficial cannabis compounds is called CBD. Even if it doesn’t get you high, athletes and travelers find it incredibly helpful for pain relief.