Woman smelling cannabis
That beautiful scent? Those are the cannabis terpenes you're smelling!

Americans live in a visual society. By that I mean that almost everything is geared towards sight versus other human senses.

In most parts of America, and in other parts of the world, there is either internet access, cable TV, billboard advertising, print media, or other things designed to stimulate the brain via the eyes.

As such, a lot of consumers make their decisions largely on how something looks. Cannabis is no exception.

I have a lot of budtender friends that will attest that the number one thing that dispensary goers base their purchasing decisions on appearance.

I have been guilty of this. I have personally purchased flower on a number of occasions that looked amazing, but didn't do much else for me.

The legal cannabis industry is spreading across America, and more and more people are getting safe access for the first time ever.

Below are some things that Green Flower readers should keep in mind when making legal purchases of cannabis flower.

Use your nose

Holding a cannabis bud
The budtender won't let you touch the cannabis but you should be able to give it a good whiff!

Cannabis that has been cultivated and cared for in a proper way will carry its aroma for a long time, but will eventually fade.

It's no coincidence that cannabis that packs a pungent aroma usually also packs a lot of flavor. Cannabis can keep its vibrant colors and frosty sparkles for a very long time, but that's not the case with the smell.

Smell can indicate how fresh a strain is, so always make sure to ask for an aroma test before purchase. You will see just how many sparkly strains actually don't carry a strong smell, and may be less desirable than you first thought.

Ask your local budtender which strains smell the most, or the most like a particular aroma that you find appealing. You will likely come across some that don't look as pretty, but are surprisingly fantastic.

Look at testing information, but keep it in perspective

Looking at testing information is important. It is impossible to know what cannabinoid levels and/or contamination levels a particular flower harvest has just from looking at it.

This is one of the biggest benefits of a state instituting a regulated system. In the past cannabis was purchased and consumed with little to no knowledge of what the flower was comprised of.

Now consumers can look at such things as THC levels, CBD levels, terpene profiles, and other useful information prior to purchase.

Keep in mind that cannabis testing is not always perfect, and that some testing labs are more reputable than others. Testing results can vary widely, so always know what lab did the test in addition to knowing the results.

Know the lineage of the strain

Cannabis bud close-up
Many dispensaries keep a microscope on hand if you want to give that sample an up-close inspection.

Many consumers go to a dispensary and either just eyeball shop, or rely on the person behind the counter to offer up insight.

This can lead to purchases that are based only on visual appeal. An informed consumer should familiarize themselves with not just the current strain name that is on sale, but the lineage behind that strain.

A vast majority of strains that are out there are hybrid strains, but that does not mean that they are uniform. The strains that were mixed to produce the current strain have their own characteristics, and consumers should know what they are.

Not only will it let you know what to expect when you consume it, it may lead you to looking for one of the parental strains since it is where the most desirable characteristics come from.

The grower makes a big difference

Fresh cannabis bud
Some cannabis growers put more love and care into their plants than others – and the difference is striking.

Have you ever consumed a strain from one place, then consumed what is being sold as the same strain at another place, and they are light years apart? Of course you have, we all have.

It is not that the people selling the cannabis are trying to pull a fast one, it's that how the cannabis strain was grown, what inputs were used during cultivation to feed the plants, and what skill level of their grower possessed are all factors that affect the final product.

Just because you enjoy 'fill in the blank' strain from one cannabis proprietor does not mean that you will like it via another cannabis producer. Even if they look the exact same, it doesn't necessarily mean that they are.

Do your homework in regards to the cultivators in your area, and learn about what techniques and methods they incorporate into their strategies.

Ask people with similar ailments what they are consuming

If you are suffering from a condition or ailment, chances are you know someone else that is too. Rather than go visually surfing through the nearest dispensary's showcases, try asking someone you know in a similar situation what they are consuming.

Cannabis affects everyone differently, but there is a good chance that if someone with your condition or ailment is benefiting from a particular cannabis flower variety, you may too.

It is possible that they found a strain that is 'off the beaten path' because it may not be the most visually appealing strain, but it gets the job done. Once you find the strain that is right for you, then you can be the one to pass along the info to someone else!

Another important thing you want to be careful about when selecting cannabis? Pesticides! Join us for Green Flower's latest live class this week: The Cannabis & Pesticide Controversy: What You Need to Know

Click here for details.

How important is the smell of cannabis when it comes to deciding which type of flower to purchase?

How important is the smell of cannabis when it comes to deciding which type of flower to purchase?

very important
93%
not that important
7%
doesn't matter
0%