How to judge marijuana
Demand that your dealers supply higher quality herb! If all tokers would only buy herb that matched these criteria, think of how good the supply would have to become!
#1 Is it organic?
This might not be important for some, but for this connoisseur, it is the number one most important factor. Not only do organic buds taste and smell better then "chemmy" buds, but the high and the comedown are also much nicer. If your dealer doesn't know, maybe it's time to grow yer own!
#2 Is it properly dried?
If the bud is dried properly, a stem will snap when bent. If the stem just bends, the herb is wet and not yet ready for smoking. Another way to tell if herb is dried properly is to see if a joint will smoke properly and stay lit.
I recommend a Sweetleaf grinder to prepare the herb. These can be found at any good headshop. They break the herb into material of perfect density for rolling.
If the joint won't stay lit, the herb is most likely too wet. (Another possibility is that the herb wasn't leached properly, and too many fertilizer salts are present, which is even worse!) Do not buy wet herb, you are paying for water that will evaporate out of the buds.
If it's already sealed and wet, this is very bad, as mold is highly probable in this situation. Avoid smoking mold, as you could get a lung infection.
I recommend using a small hand held 10x or 30x microscope to inspect your buds for mold and general quality.
#3 Is it properly cured?
Marijuana potency and flavor are increased when the herb is cured properly. This is a different process than drying. Does the herb smell green, sort of like lawn clippings? If so, the herb is most likely not cured properly and therefore not very good.
Properly cured herb will have a multitude of luscious aromas, many of which which words cannot describe as these flavors do not exist elsewhere in nature. Properly cured herb does not need to be squeezed to smell amazing ? it will do so on its own.
#4 Is it still fluffy?
Too often buds get crushed or smashed, which decreases potency. These are very delicate flowers. Rough handling and crushing causes the loss of many precious resin glands.
Believe it or not, most Mexican herb was fantastic before compressing!
#5 Does it taste as good as it smells?
Lots of herb smells great, but often it just tastes like smoke, or slightly sweet smoke. It's a special herb that tastes as good as it smells. HP13 and Mothership are great for this.
A true connoisseur might consider how the second half of the joint tastes? With much of today's herb, the first half of a joint will taste great. The second half, however, may just taste like hot tarry smoke. With truly special herb, the joint will taste great down to your lips burning on the roach.
#6 Does it bite you in the throat?
Is the herb smooth and rich, or is it chemical and harsh? If the herb bites you in the throat upon inhalation, it most likely has chemical residues remaining in the tissues, and should be avoided. If the joint pops and sizzles, then say no thanks!
This is not to be confused with an expanding smoke which can make you cough ? that is a good thing!
#7 Does it sparkle?
Put the herb under the natural sunlight, and look at it up close. (Indoors, a bright light will suffice.) Is it sparkly, like a jewel? This is a great sign. Those sparkles are the resin glands, and that's where the magic happens!
Many people mistakenly assume that very white herb is very crystally. Not true. All that white stuff is mostly stalks, and they don't contain THC! Look at a white bud in the sunlight and notice if it sparkles. Probably not much. This is why I'm not a fan of the White Widow line of strains.
#8 Does it burn to a clean gray ash?
If so, this is a good sign. Many things need to have been done properly for this to happen, including leeching, curing, etc. Much of Amsterdam's herb will not do this, and it loses points in my book for this.
#9 Does it get you high?
I often see buds that look quite good to the untrained eye, but are really quite bad. Much of the BC bud exported to the US is like this. (I know that the connoisseurs in BC are smoking great herb! But their export is not such high quality.)
Also, some bud doesn't really get you "high." It gets you low! These are usually pure Indicas, which some people prefer. Personally, I prefer Sativas, which usually provide a clear and cerebral high.
#10 Does it make you want to come back?
It all comes down to that. Is the herb so delicious that you just want to keep on puffing it? If so, you've got a keeper, and smoke on!
Preferred papers and pipes
I prefer to roll joints using a Club rolling paper. Club rolling papers are the connoisseurs choice. They leave no ash and are easily the cleanest paper you can smoke with. I love to wear and eat hemp, but I don't use hemp rolling papers. They taste like hemp.
Or you could use a vaporizer, which many people prefer. If not, a clean glass pipe or bong works great. Just make sure it's clean. I recommend the use of rubbing alcohol and salt to clean your glass. The salt does not dissolve and acts as an abrasive to easily knock off all the resin.
Don't even bother trying to properly distinguish the subtleties of fine cannabis using dirty paraphernalia. You lose at least half the flavor.
? Jason King is the author of The Cannabible. This article is an excerpt from The Cannabible II, due out later this year. www.thecannabible.com