When you grow and use marijuana, you have to be able to accurately evaluate the potency and taste of your buds after every harvest has been dried and cured. Knowing how potent your buds are, and what kind of high and taste they provide, are essential to your job as a professional grower. You want to know if those strains are worth growing again, and whether you like the high or not. If you’re selling weed, you gotta figure out how much are those buds worth.

Here’s how you can know for sure you’re growing killer weed…

Clean Your Head

I usually consume marijuana once a day most days of the week, sometimes more than once a day. This means I’m never truly sober, and it affects how much a particular bud will stone me and if the high seems exciting or boring.

So at harvest time I abstain from marijuana for five days or more. It’s hard for me, because I experience withdrawal effects such as insomnia, loss of appetite, headaches, depression, anger and body pain. But it’s worth doing, because it cleans out my system and gives me a sober baseline, allowing me to feel the full impact of the newly dried and cured buds I need to evaluate. If I have multiple new strains to evaluate, I do at least a mini-abstinence period before sampling each new set of buds.

Have Other People Evaluate Your Buds

If I just can’t handle an abstinence period, or for whatever reason can’t trust my own head when I’m evaluating buds for potency, high and taste, I throw a bud evaluation party. This is a blind taste test. I invite other growers over, label each strain with a letter or number, and do a detailed survey after each bud has been sampled.

This isn’t the most scientific way to evaluate bud potency and high quality, because after the first round or two of sampling, people are so utterly blasted that they have a hard time feeling the buds that they sample later on in the session.

However, I’ve found that it’s a useful method, especially if I’ve got novices or un-chronic stoners in the mix. People who don’t get high all the time like most of the other growers in my group do, or who have just started getting high, feel the high a lot differently than growers who smoke dabs all day.

I can’t always trust my own evaluation by itself. I’ve grown strains that looked gooey, smelled fantastic, and had a great reputation, but when I sampled them, I didn’t feel the high very much. But when other users sampled those same buds, they were falling all over themselves to say how strong they were!

Cannabinoid & Terpenoid Testing

The price of cannabinoid and terpenoid lab testing has decreased slightly in the past five years, and there are also test kits and lab equipment you can buy yourself for somewhat affordable prices. The cannabinoid and terpenoid percentages, ratios and other data from these tests is very useful, but the tests can’t always tell you if the buds are going to produce a truly impressive high.

For example, I’ve grown strains that tested out at only 15% THC and had relatively high CBD percentages, but those strains made me feel a lot higher than other strains that tested at 21% THC and lower CBD percentages. The subjective high you feel has a lot to do with what terpenoids are on board. So don’t be misled: super-high THC content is often a useful indicator of the value of your buds and the power and pleasure of the high they’ll produce, but not always.

Ask Bud Sellers What They Think

If you live in a legal cannabis state and feel safe doing this, bring your buds to a couple of commercial dispensaries and have them evaluate the buds and tell what their pricing structure would be if you were a bud supplier to them. If you have intelligent, honest retailers evaluating your buds and telling you what they’d pay you wholesale and what they’d sell the buds for retail, that’s a useful value indicator. You can do the same thing with black market sellers.

The dispensary people are usually going to do evaluations that some growers don’t do—evaluations involving cleanliness, presence of pesticides, molds, mildews, debris, spores, pet hairs, and other contaminants. In most legalized states with authorized cannabis retailers, the retailers have to strictly examine any product they sell before they sell it, to ensure consumer safety.

The Too-High Test

I’ve always cherished those strains that are so powerful and/or have such a unique high that they can “cut through any high” and make their presence known inside my head, no matter how high I was to begin with.

This is the opposite of the abstinence-before-evaluation strategy. Instead of cleaning my head so I’m sober when I start consuming buds for evaluation, I’m my usual chronically high self. I figure that if a bud can make me feel a lot more stoned when I’m already very stoned, that bud is worth a lot.

Oh, and one other important thing: when you’re evaluating buds, and just in general to protect your health, use a precision desktop vaporizer like the Arizer V-Tower instead of combustion.

Yeah, I love burning a joint or bowl, but the sad fact is that when you combust buds, you’re inhaling several hundred toxic combustion byproducts, some of which create effects that negatively impact the high you get from cannabinoids and terpenoids, and other byproducts that create burnout symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and lack of energy.

Only when you test buds by vaporizing them just below combustion temperature (around 420°F) are you free of those evil combustion byproducts. You’re experiencing only cannabinoid and terpenoid effects. This is how you get a true picture of the depth, taste, high and potency of your bud.

Happy testing!!!