Cannabis quality is what separates a good smoking experience from a bad one. If you are an avid marijuana smoker, there is a high probability that you’ve come across at least one substandard strain. This happens due to the large collection of different kinds of weeds and new strains options available in the market, which makes the process of differentiating between low-quality and high-quality strains arduous.
You may assume that low-quality marijuana, popularly known as schwag weed in the cannabis world, will come with a low price tag. Surprisingly, some unreliable dealers will try to trick marijuana users into buying their schwag weed by selling it at the same price as the standard or even topnotch quality weed. Luckily, this guide will shed light on schwag weed and help you spot substandard marijuana before parting with your hard-earned cash.
What is Schwag Weed?
Schwag also called “Dirty Weed,” “Regs,” “Ditch Weed,” or “Mexican Brick-Packed” is a term that refers to marijuana that has been produced in large capacity in less-than-favorable conditions. Contaminants like pesticides and heavy metals may be available in the finished product. Additionally, the fast harvest and packaging process usually leads to a bag full of stems, seeds, and possibly horrible scent of mildew.
Schwag is usually brown in color but strains of dark green are possible as well. It looks like the dust and leaves from which it originated. Trichomes are rare on schwag and fan leaves are sufficient, meaning more is needed to feel a high. Schwag has unappealing flavor and produces smoke that hits the airways harshly.
Tips for Identifying Schwag Weed
Schwag weed typically has moldy smell. However, you should be careful not to confuse the mold aroma with earthy smells associated with some weed strains. Identifying bad weed through sniffing is a skill akin to a wine taster capability to evaluate the bouquet of fantastic wines. You shouldn’t shy away from asking question if you sniff bizarre smells like rotting fish from the weed you are planning to buy. Without a clear explanation from a certified professional, don’t purchase weed that has weird smell.
Seeds and stems are signs of schwag weed, but it is a minor red flag. You will need a magnifying glass to spot some of the features of schwag weed. For instance, mold and trichomes may resemble one another but the magnifying glass reveals sharp differences. The trichomes are glossy crystal like plant devices that carries many of plant’s medicinal compounds such as terpenes, CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids. On the contrary, mold consists of cotton fibre sprouting out of the trichomes.
- Color of Your Bud
Many cannabis strains show a broad range of leaf colours from neon green to deep purple and pink. If you notice brown coloration on your bud, it is a hint that it is not only old but also it has been exposed to oxygen. Other bud colors to avoid include red, yellowish, and tan. You should also stay away from any buds that contain a “bleached white” color.
For hygiene purposes, most dealers won’t allow you to touch their marijuana, but it is imperative to give the bud a slight press in the bag to gauge moisture content. Dry bud tends to crumble, which is a common indication of schwag weed. If the texture of the bud is akin to a marshmallow, then it is probably too moist. Another ideal test for sufficient moisture content is to twist a big stem while listening to an audible snap. Too moist buds don’t snap while those contaminated with microbes tend to crumble.
After the harvest, cannabis buds are trimmed to remove the leaves attached to the bud. Low-quality cannabis buds are machine trimmed rather than hand-trimmed. Trimming machines crush buds and interrupt the delicate trichomes they harbor. Signs of rushed cultivation practices common with schwag weed include untrimmed buds with unnecessary leaves or machine-trimmed ones.
- Bud Structure
The bud structure varies with the type of strain. Sativa buds tend to be light and fluffy while indica buds are thick and tight. Obvious stems and partial buds are common in poorly cultivated indica, which give them a more sativa-like look.
- Watch out for Microbial Contamination
Powdery mildew and bud rot are the most prevalent and easy to identify contaminants. The white and dusty nature of powdery mildew allows it to mix with trichomes, making it hard for untrained eye to spot it. If a bud seems too white, use your jeweler’s loupe to look at it closely. Powdery mildew is usually found on the leaves surface sandwiched between the trichomes’ stalks. Bud rot mostly hide in big, thick buds that house residual moisture. If you see anything similar to a cobweb structure on your weed, just throw the entire bag away and save your lungs.
Where Does Schwag Originate?
The cannabis industry is projected in the billions of dollars per year with the market expanding at a dramatic rate while dispensaries mushrooming across the nation and North America. With several states legalizing recreational marijuana, business is booming. Many individuals and companies have invested heavily in cultivation of weed to cater to the high demand. Most of these cultivators strive to produce strong and flavorful strains of marijuana all the time. However, some of them due to their huge appetite for profits end up cultivating weed in large-scale and rushing the cultivation process. The outcome is low-quality cannabis like schwag weed.
Schwag is stereotypically linked to the weed that comes from Mexico, constrained into bricks to promote easy transport across the border. It is low-priced and highly unhealthy since large quantity must be smoked to attain a high similar to that of higher potency marijuana. Schwag is packaged with seeds and stems. It has significantly low potency and mostly doesn’t smell like weed. Some varieties of schwag are known as dirt due to their utter similarity to compost. When you smoke schwag, you may experience harshness on your throat and even respiratory system. You may also experience a rough, sore throat after every hit.
Why Do Some Stoners Still Have a Soft Spot for Schwag?
Technology advancements have triggered many revolutions in the ever-growing world of weed. Today, cultivation and production of high quality, powerful weed has become easy. However, there is a movement speaking out in support of old time schwag. Some stoners still have a soft spot for schwag, which they say is nostalgic and gives them a simpler, more soothing high compared to present-day quality marijuana.
The search for weed that can give you a memorable smoking experience and make you love life doesn’t have to be a complex task. With some research and a discerning eye, you will easily differentiate schwag weed from high-quality weed. Before making a buying decision, ensure the weed passes the aroma, color, structure, and trichomes tests coupled with any other standards you have put in place.
In the end, it all depends on what you like. Your preferences might be completely different from those of your friend, delivery driver, or local budtender. With tons of strains cultivated by thousands of cultivators throughout the world available in the market, you should focus on finding a strain that suits your unique needs.