Sometimes it can seem very arbitrary why an ounce will cost $320 for one strain and $100 for another from the same supplier. Is the “good stuff” really worth it? Well, that’s for you to decide, but here’s a breakdown of the most common classifications.
You mentioned “craft” cannabis, which is a buzzword we’re seeing much more often lately. You can think of craft cannabis the same way you think about craft beer or craft coffee – small-batch, high-quality, and yes: expensive. Craft cannabis is more detail-oriented than commercial weed, so you might be interested if you care about the way your weed is grown, its flavor profile, or the sustainability of the operation.
The next tier of cannabis quality is called “exotic” or “top shelf.” While these are sometimes separated, they are essentially different marketing terms for the same thing: high-THC, super fragrant, and coated in trichomes. Sometimes, “exotic” can also refer to strains that are more difficult to find. Of commercial-grade strains, anything labeled “exotic” or “top shelf” is typically going to be the most expensive. Go for these if you want your bud to pack a punch.
Mid-grade strains are likely what you’re most familiar with in a non-legal market. In many states, you don’t have much of a choice in what you’re getting: your weed comes in a ziploc bag that you exchange in a Taco Bell parking lot. This, likely, is mid-grade weed. You’ll also find mid-grade weed at a dispensary for much less than its top-shelf counterparts. If you’re not concerned with much more than getting high without breaking the bank, this is the tier for you.
Shake is the lowest quality and lowest price option in the weed world. The little extra pieces of weed which fall off of bigger buds over time due to handling and storage, also called “shake,” are often sold cheaply in bulk or used to fill pre-rolls (if you want to avoid this, look for “full-flower” pre-rolls where available). If you’re pinching pennies, you’ll find the best deals in shake.
I hope this clears up some of the confusion around weed price tiers. As usual, send me an email with the subject “ASK A STONER” to email@example.com or DM us on Instagram at @sackville.and.co to see your question featured.