What to look for in your flower & the differences that make them unique.
should have a strong and distinct scent. The better the grade, the harder it is to hide the odor. This strong scent is attributed to an organic compound called terpenes. Low-quality cannabis will lack such terpenes and create a lackluster smell often associated with hay or dirt.
Also due to the terpenes found in cannabis, each strain will leave a distinct taste in your mouth after ingesting. The better the grade, the more distinct the taste. Some can be pleasant, having hints of citrus or spice. Others may have a strong but less pleasant taste such as diesel (or dare I say, 'cat piss' as some strains have been labeled). Whether or not the strain is delicious, a stronger taste implies a better grade.
Many high-quality flowers tend to be robust in color because they are bred specifically for these attributes. Some have been dubbed super model buds of cannabis flowers, such as any that have high traces of purple, blue, or red. However, be careful when you see flowers that are brown or have a dull color - this is an indicator the flower came from an unhealthy plant. Steer clear of white cannabis too.
Regardless whether your buds are cone-shaped, look like long cylinders, or little plump pine trees, cannabis should be dense and not sparse. Avoid buds with lots of visible stem or popcorn buds.
Most enthusiasts know the difference between a trimmed flower and a non-trimmed flower. Try and stay away from buds that have not been trimmed, having excess leaves that possess few trichomes, or those that have been beat up by a trimming machine. Desirable buds are those that have been trimmed by hand. Trimming buds by hand preserves the trichomes, which is where the THC and CBD are produced.
High quality flowers will have large amounts of these little frosty crystals, unlike low quality flowers, which will appear naked and have very few trichomes. Often times a low trichome count can be associated with premature harvesting.