Are you curious about how companies grade their products and the thought behind it? We here at KIND FLOWERS want to help our clients understand the basics when it comes to understanding cannabis products better. You might already be familiar with the legacy A-AAAAA grading system from the times of prohibition but it’s important to note that the grading system is subjective and will vary from various brick and mortar dispensaries to KIND FLOWERS online dispensary. At the end of the day, the ways that the quality of bud can be effectively measured takes into consideration a bunch of different factors. Below we explain and compare our rating system with old and new age grading systems.
How does KIND FLOWERS A-AAAAA system work?
A / Singles – Lowest grade not found on KIND FLOWERS menu and are now often hard to find in dispensaries. A quality bud often contains impurities such improper flushing , stalks and stems and possibly come with a not so good high in the form of a headache or even dizziness.
AA / Select / Dubs– Low density , spongy bud structure, a weak nose and discolouration can be some of the biggest tells for this category. These gradings are where you start to see an increase in THC levels compared to A’s.
AA+ / Select / Dubs+ — Slightly stronger nose , more THC crystals and better bud structure than the AA’s . (Can have the ability to surprise you with AAA high)
AAA / Premium / Trips – triple A grades used to be regarded as the best quality grade. Triples often have many of the same qualities that quad strains have but with less bud density and slightly less crystals . Possibility of machine trim . Proper Flushing is present.
AAA+ / Premium / Trip+ — strong nose , more bud density then the AAA and better trimming techniques.
AAAA / Craft / Quads – Quads rank high in THC/CBD content, colourization, bud size, trichome density and terpenoid content. Aroma and taste profiles really shine through with Quads and they’re also coupled with a smooth burning smoke. Top growing and curing methods are used. Quads are of the ultimate best starting cannabis genetics.
AAAA+ / Craft / Quads+ — These flowers are of artisan quality and are done in even smaller batches then regular quads bringing out the true potential of the strain. Special strain phenotype is present. Only the best growing and curing methods again are used.
AAAAA / 5 Star / Immaculate — Cream of the crop , the best of the best, most companies do not carry , very hard to find , best phenotype possible, high terpene profile , perfect growing conditions matched with a perfectly structure nutrient schedule to obtain the plants optimal end result.
What exactly does KIND FLOWERS experts look for?
Nose: Does the FLOWER smell like the aromatic traits familiar to the strain? Do they match that strain?
Trichomes: This is where the THC is held and while the size of the trichome doesn’t matter, the colour does. If the trichomes are amber coloured they’re potentially old and aged and can possibly give you more of a couch lock experience. If the trichomes are clear, this means the plant isn’t as mature and can possibly result in a high energy HIGH . The KIND FLOWERS preference is milky trichomes, which means the plant is fully developed. Trichomes are super tiny so you would need a proper microscope to see them and when you do, they should be intact which means the bud hasn’t been overly handled.
Feel: Is it sticky? Is it bouncy? Is it fluffy? Is it dense? Indica’s will be denser compared to Sativa’s. It’s also important to look out for moisture. It all has to do with the genetics of the bud and the cure, how the farmers harvest it and dry it out to the optimum moisture level. We test the cure by breaking the bud – is it malleable? Does it have a nice scent? That’s why KIND FLOWERS seals every pack to maintain the perfect level of moisture from package to client.
When you break up the bud, a good cure will shred well and will release a deeper aroma – a different type of nose might also be exposed once broken up. When the bud is broken down, it shouldn’t be dusty – things like cure, storage, grinding technique, grinding tool will affect this.
Flavour: there needs to be long pull with flavour that will last from pull to pull and is relatively smooth.
Smoking experience: does the ash hold together well or is it light and fluffy? Smokers sometimes don’t want black ash as it could be an indicator of a plant that wasn’t flushed properly. What do we mean by flushed? Farmers often add plant food/nutrients to their crops and then they flush the plants with distilled water to get rid of the nutrients.
The exceptions to the dark ash rule are Living Soil Organic strains which add in microorganisms that will create the nutrients that the plant needs. These strains are naturally grown in a biodynamic environment and will often have worms, bugs and other microorganisms that are going to till the soil naturally. LSO strains are not flushed so you won’t get a pure white ash, it will likely be more of a salt and pepper ash.
The edible market has taken off and there are some important factors to consider when buying and ingesting these products. Its is firstly important to understand the methods used and types of THC used to infuse edibles. Edibles are predominantly made from either butter, distillate or shatter. KIND FLOWERS edible grading system is as follows:
Butter THC : weakest, tastiest usually, can be used in artisan recipes.
Distillate THC : Stronger , widely used, does not alter taste as much as shatter.
Shatter THC : Strongest Edibles per mg on the market, Can alter the taste of edible slightly.
For example one 750mg Shatter edible is stronger then a 1000mg distillate edible.