Man holding a marijuana plant

If you’ve spent some time browsing our selection of bud, you’ve no doubt noticed the grades applied to our products, specifically A, AA, AAA, and Quad. We often get questions from customers wondering exactly what this means, and how we define those grades. That’s what we’re here to clear up! Below is a list of our judging criteria, as well as what you can expect from each grade.

1. Bag Content

A key factor in marijuana grading is to look at the entire selection from one strain and examine how many stems, seeds, and shake are mixed throughout. High quality bud will have extremely little to no additional stems mixed in, and won’t have shake in the bag. There may occasionally be seeds, but a small amount won’t change the grade.

2. Flavour and Aroma Profile

High quality bud should have a strong, distinct aroma and a clear flavour. Lower quality bud sometimes smells like hay, or will just have a much less distinct scent to it. This can be due to an error in the growing process, and while the bud will still often smoke well, it doesn’t meet the standards we look for in our highest grades. In terms of flavour, it often takes an experienced smoker to truly delineate and breakdown the taste of the smoke. With that being said, there should still be defining flavour to the bud, even if it’s light. The best strains will both smell and taste potent and distinct.

3. Trichomes

This is the most important factor for grading any bud, and it is also the hardest to get the proper information on. Trichomes are commonly known as “kief,” and contain the terpenes and cannabinoids that provide the taste, smell, and high that marijuana is known for, hence why this is an important factor. You can identify the trichomes by their telltale crystal-like shimmer. They’re visible to the naked eye, but to really get an idea of the trichome profile of the bud you’ll need a strong magnifying glass and good lighting. High quality buds will be covered in trichomes, while lower quality buds will be lacking.

4. General Structure

You often hear people describing their nugs as dense or large. This is because high quality bud will grow large and tightly packed thanks to refined growing processes. Lower quality bud tends to be in strange oblong shapes and is much smaller. It also tends to flake and break apart easier. Higher quality weed will be dense and strong and won’t break apart with a light touch.

How This Relates To Our Grades

Single A
This bud doesn’t have a very distinct smell to it and isn’t very dense or large. It tends to break apart easily and has a rather light trichome makeup, which during transport can make it more shake than bud at times. We rarely sell single A bud for this reason, but when we do the price reflects the quality. It will still work, you just may need to smoke more of it.

Double A
This bud ranges in quality through its nugs. Some are small and flakey, while others are dense and tightly packed. The trichome makeup is usually large because our double A bud tends to be the smallest nugs from our triple A strains. The smoke is often similar to triple A bud, but double A bud can have nugs of varying quality so we price it accordingly.

Triple A
Here is where you start to get some truly high quality bud. Triple A strains tend to have larger nugs that are nicely dusted with trichomes. They provide a great smoking experience and have a distinct taste and aroma. The nugs tend to be fairly dense, but this ranges depending on the strain type.

Quad Strains
Quad strains are the cream of the crop. These strains are the highest quality that we offer at Bud Lab, and they’re priced to match that. They are coated in trichomes and produce a truly rich flavour and aroma. The nugs themselves are large and dense, providing customers with the best smoking experience around. Quad strains can also be strains that are specifically cultivated to contain different makeups than typical bud, like Charlotte’s Web, a high CBD strain with incredibly low THC content. Strains like these are great for medical use.

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