Weed Grade System from AA to AAAA+
- January 13, 2020
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A cannabis grading system is important in order to be able to judge the quality of your weed. Although there is more than one system for determining quality, the A-AAAA system may end up being the most accurate representation of lab results and accurate evaluation. The legislation of cannabis in Canada has much to do with this system.
The methodology and care in which the particular strain of cannabis is grown have more to do with quality and grade of the weed, than the actual strain itself. The grading system is not based on the strain, but the grower and the growing practices.
Grading systems do vary. Most of the traditional “brick and mortar” and online dispensaries in Canada use AA to AAAA grading system. Others use the “Low Grade, Mid-Grade and High Grade (or Top Shelf) grading system. No doubt you can make the equivalency correlations: AA represents the Low-Grade classification, AAA the Mid-Grade, and AAAA the High Grade (or Top Shelf) level.
Currently, the legalized cannabis stores, supplied by Canada’s licensed growers, do not use either system, preferring instead to grade their cannabis by its THC and CBD potency, which is determined by official lab tests. The test results allow the provider to more accurately and appropriately price their cannabis-based on potency. This is a benefit to both the supply side and the consumer side.
There is of course terminology that has developed from the identification of various levels of quality. You may hear words or terms like “A weed, dubs, Trips, Quads, True Quads, Schwag,” or “Dirt Weed.” But for these appear to be more subjective and may not represent accurate or consistent units of measure.
The AAAA grade level typically represents the very best grade available. It may also be referred to as “high quads” or “true quads”. Proper “curing” is essential to assure that Terps are part of the flavor experience. There are several strains that can be found at this high level. This level of quality reflects several attributes from a pungent and pleasing odor, with no questionable aromas, to visibly plentiful trichomes (hair-like features in the flower). The bud should be dense and in good form. Over-all coloration should show a hint of orange or purple. Taste, as with the aroma, no harsh aftertaste is a good sign of this grade of cannabis.
The AA grade level maybe for the “budget-restricted” group of consumers. Also referred to as “dubs” or budget buds, dispensaries in Canada consider this the baseline of quality and rarely if ever offer anything less. Most of the time you’ll find $99 ounces of this type of weed. The smell might be less desirable than AAA or higher but still offer you a nice and smooth smell. Grade AA may also appeal to you if you are interested in making your own edibles or concentrates. If you want to make your own edibles and concentrates we have a great deal for shake/trim.
The AAA grade level is likely the most commonly available. It actually used to be the best quality available. With growing techniques now improving, weed grades have been elevated significantly. AAA Grade has many of the same characteristics of AAA, but less bud density. Although it is still excellent quality, it is now considered as standard. Many of the same qualities of the higher AAAA level are still present in this grade. There may be slightly less density and a bit more discoloration is likely. The THC content of the various strains is not an important factor affecting the grade. The grade of the strain is more likely affected by its look, smell, and taste. As AAA is still a high grade, the THC potency is also still high.
The A Grade level, as the lowest grade level, is a noticeably less desirable experience. It many times has retained some structure of the bud, but it also has some stems mixed in. It also includes some loose and discolored fragments. It is thus referred to frequently as dirt weed. Many times, the supplier uses the flower for extracts, then they sell the left-over to a client. It may still look OK, and you can make your own extracts and ediles out of it.
This is the most commonly used system in Canada, most likely due to its clarity and universal use, this system will probably be adopted as the standard for identifying the various grades of Cannabis in Canada. These standards can be used to represent specific aspects of quality, from taste to small and over-all appearance.
There may not always be differences that you can single-out and identify unless you are comparing the highest quality to the lowest quality, but you can definitely still tell that there is a difference. As with all consumable products, the choice is up to the individual. Everyone places different conditions on their decisions.
At Cannawholesalers, we pride ourselves on high-quality Cannabis. We represent some of the top growers. They pride themselves on growing high-quality cannabis. So, we want you to know that we suggest that you stick to the higher quality grades to ensure a pleasurable and predictable experience.
All systems have variations and some inconsistencies, but we think that the A-AAAA+ system is a satisfactory and ever-improving way to identify the quality of your experience and may allow the consumer to more accurately experience more predictable results.