The modern cannabis industry has grown to almost unbelievable heights in just a few short years since the waves of legalisation in the western world began. With this fast-tracked progress has come a lot of new weed-based lingo to legitimise the product and take it away from a history of “dope”, “skunk” and “dank”.
Unfortunately, this can leave a lot of new stoners (and even those who were less than legitimate before legalisation) asking themselves “what does top shelf weed mean” and “what even is premium flower?” If you’re one of those, then you’re in luck, as I am about to go fairly in-depth about what really defines the best of the best bud.
A truly premium flower has been expertly cared for from long before it is even a seed all the way to the point of sale. This sort of care and attention is very much represented in the price, but for those who want to get the best possible high and can afford it as a treat or even for regular usage, it is worth every cent extra.
The Strain of a Premium Flower
The starting point for any premium cannabis is in the exact strain or genus of the plant. Marijuana breeders are constantly cross-breeding and testing new strains of the good green to find brilliant and innovative new flowers, and those with the strongest and most unique highs and tastes are being further cross-bred to enhance their particular strengths.
This has led to a huge variety of different grades of weed to the point where experts have started to discount the idea of strains being confined to being labelled sativa, indica or hybrid, and a lot of the time it is the high-quality strains that break this pattern that end up being some of the best highs, as well as those which excel at defining the pattern.
Growing a Premium Flower
The most important and time-consuming part of producing premium flower is the growth of the actual plant. Although cannabis is famous for being a plant that can be very quickly brought from seed to smokeable bud, premium weed has to be carefully and closely attended to for the entire process, with the duration, temperature and feed all closely impacting the end result’s potency and quality.
From germination to seeding, the plant must be kept at very exact levels of humidity, light, water and natural fertiliser to ensure the healthiest possible plant. This is very much a science these day after the considerable amount of research and testing that has gone in to this over the last few decades, but knowledge doesn’t make the legwork any easier when trying to produce the most desirable product.
The good stuff
Soon after seeding, the plant will reach the vegetative stage, where the plant starts to produce vegetative flower buds and the cannabidoids everyone has heard about start to become available in the plant. Historically, street weed is often harvested at this point to lower the risk of being caught and maximise the efficiency of producing product.
A premium grower would never dream of this, as there is a huge amount of potential to be unlocked with a little patience and a lot of work. Water and nutrients must be very carefully monitored and controlled to ensure each plant is at its absolute peak during this stage to ensure that the flowers of the plant are as healthy and potent as possible and to encourage the growth of delicious, wonderful trichomes filled to the brim with THC.
As with all aspects of life, timing is incredibly important when growing premium flower. Once the healthy flowers have bloomed they can be immediately harvested to produce some wonderful cannabis, but experienced growers know that every strain has a sweet-spot for when it is best harvested.
The timing of the harvest will determine the potency of the high as well as the taste and smell of the bud, all extremely important factors to anyone growing or consuming expensive marijuana, and will often make the difference between display in a top shelf dispensary and the middle shelf in a regular consumer dispensary.