Quality Cannabis (QC) Analysis

Let's dive into a little QC analysis. Every review is an attempt to capture the quality of cannabis. In analyzing dried flowers from Canadian Licensed Producers, we get insight into vital processes such as cultivation, harvesting, handling, care and packaging of cannabis. It is also important to note that quality dried flower is a precursor to good products such as extracts, oils, capsules, vapes and edibles


To measure quality of each cannabis product, I designed a Google Form I dubbed CannTrac to capture session experiences from the removing the lid, to grinding and settling into the effects. This process has yielded over 150+ reviews you can find on this website as well as rankings for all cannabis products in Canada .


For more on Reviewing Cannabis, click here.


QC enhances the whole experience, from visual appeal, aromatherapy and the sensations of its effects. Set and setting do play a large role in the experience as well as the method of consuming cannabis; however this will be covered in a future post.


Measuring QC is broken down into five components as well as capturing the aromas and effects of each session. Let's highlight these components and take a gander at buds that match their description.


(each photo is hyperlinked to a Profile page for more info, photos and more)


Look

Seeing is believing, making the look of cannabis a key attribute. Even if the most potent cannabis is provided in a misshaped mess, your excitement levels will dwindle. However, even a very nice looking bud can deceive a tokers overall experience. Here are four key attributes when looking for QC:

Colour

Great colour in cannabis is varied and vibrant; from leaves, to pistils and even trichomes can throw some shade. Varied greens, or purpling (see Flavonoids), vibrancy of the pistils and the sparkling can change vastly between the same plant based on growing conditions. If you’re spending an excess time looking at

your bud; then you know it is a good one.


Pistils/Stigmas

Those fiery hairs defying gravity, stretching in search of pollen. QC can be spotted by their pop against the background, length or degrees of colour; adding a different visual layer to your cannabis.


Trichomes

Literally, the juice of cannabis. These micro-mushroom top, oozing, sparkles of cannabinoids can indicate QC based on their colour, maturity and density. From White Widow’s dense sheen to Deep Indicas’ with oozing amber glands; the structure of trichomes are signs of QC.



Calyxes

What defines an epic mountain range? Is it the one single outcrop, or is it successive peaks, valleys...this is how I feel when looking at a quality bud. Quality calyxes can be measured by the definition of the tight whirls and the number of nodes protruding from a bud. Being able to pick it apart a via these ridges sure is fun!


Feel

Touch it, squeeze it, feel it like a shrunken lime. QC fits nice in your clutches, dense and moist enough to remain sturdy for clumsy hands. If you can’t grasp a piece of bud to behold or sniff, your experience may be dulled. Here are the three areas by which the Feel of cannabis can be measured.

Size

Size is relative to the amount of cannabis you purchased. An expected size seems to be from .3 to .6 grams per bud; with a 3.5 package consisting of 4-6 nugs. QC stands above with extra sized buds nearing 1 gram, allowing for those memorable moments .

Density

No one enjoys delicate buds that crumble at first sight. For one it is difficult to observe a bud that disintegrates, much harder to consume. QC is dense, giving way very little when squeezed and requiring due diligence to break apart.


Moisture

Going in hand with density, a moist buds stays together and does not crumble into dust. QC should be sticky on the touch, requiring careful handling (or chopsticks). Lack of moisture may cause trichomes to separate from your buds and/or negatively impact your toking experience.



Smell

QC makes someone in another room think your smoking indoors when you only opened the package. Terpenes provide more than pleasant aromas, but their impact on olfactory senses can leave you thirsting. Aromas in QC can be observed from three stages of handling cannabis.

Package

QC provides a blast when that seal is first ripped. The first, and perhaps the most lasting, experience can have a heavy impact on the perception of quality.







Grind

Terpenes are volatile, best expressed when disturbed. Breaking apart your cannabis will reveal hidden aromas, more delicate than from its packaging. When grinding your cannabis, be sure to remark these subtleties.

Smoke

Finally, after all the ogling and touching, you are finally consuming your cannabis. The method you consume your cannabis heavily impacts the aroma; nevertheless QC will be far more aromatically potent in any form of consumption.





Aroma Profiles are captured for each review in order of dominance. Three selections are made as Primary, Secondary and Tertiary.


Aroma Profiles Cannabis:



Taste

Acknowledging smoking or inhaling vapour can be harsh, especially when it is resinous cannabinoids, QC improves this experience by easing on the harsh impact through proper care, impacting flavour and aftertaste:



Flavour

QC can impart many flavours associated to your favourite foods, expanding your experience and recalling familiar memories. Measuring for off flavours or pairing them with similar experiences help determine QC.






Smoothness

QC makes inhaling cannabis a pleasurable experience. Through inhaling, we can notice sensations at the back of the throat, lingering tastes on the palette as well as density and richness of the smoke. Measuring harshness of a joint can be tricky as some cultivars may be resinous (see Hash Plant) providing a harsh experience but not denoting it as poor cannabis.

Aftertaste

Often the best cannabis experiences are those you remember the least of all, however the special ones are those that leave a lasting flavour on the palette, leaving your lips smacking, while cannabis that leaves an off taste in your mouth will dissuade you from consuming it again.





Potency

This is a significant aspect of QC, which will make most turn their backs on poor cannabis. Often it is described as pure potency, the ability of cannabis to elicit an experience leaving your current frame of mind or perception. Cannabis can do this in many ways, both physically and psychologically on the body and mind.


Here are the 3 ways potency in cannabis can be measured.

Clarity

Although cannabis is meant to jostle you out of your state of mind, QC is able to do so in more subtle ways. Clarity defines the impact of potency vs. adverse effects such as headaches, excessive nausea, or fogginess. QC allows for clean and clear effects to enjoy the nuances of the highs and lows.


Intensity

It has been a while since the ‘Maxwell Tapes' but QC allows you to relive the experience. Perhaps the most important aspect of anything written on this page, the intensity of cannabis measures how fast and far cannabis allows you to travel from your present state of mind and sensations into a new one. Be forewarned, High THC cannabis can lead to extreme unwanted effects and anxiety.


Efficacy

Did that Death Bubba knock you out? Did that Sour OG prepare you for action? Then they were effective in delivering their intended effects. Measuring efficacy, we can determine if a strain is consistent in delivering its intended effects; even though it may not be felt intensely.

The Effects of cannabis is captured for each product in order of dominance. Three selections are made as Primary, Secondary and Tertiary to denote the Effects of Cannabis:

  • Sleepy & Sedated

  • Body Sensitive & Aware

  • Calm & Relaxed

  • Clear & Focused

  • Happy & Uplifted

  • Dreamy & Hazy

  • Awake & Cerebral

  • Active & Energetic

Look for these characters to find products that match your Vibe.



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