The rise of the marijuana dispensary has brought joy to many cannabis users. Marijuana dispensaries have helped diversify the strains of weed and have completely revolutionized the way Americans get high.
The legalization of recreational marijuana in many states has given birth to the trusted budtender, and even an occasional weed snob. In fact, there are a growing number of similarities between wine enthusiasts and weed enthusiasts. But not everyone is after the pricey cream of the crop. Many are simply looking for a cheap quality bud that provides a good high.
But is cheap weed any good, or should you stick with the top shelf to ensure a premium experience?
The price doesn’t matter
The price of weed does not necessarily mean it is going to give you the best high. Nor does the most expensive weed even mean it is the best weed. There are, in fact, many factors that go into the price of weed. ”Everything from grow and extraction methods to crop yields, supply and demand, and natural disasters (like wildfires) can directly affect the strains available, the prices of each strain, and the quality you receive as a discerning cannabis consumer,” explains the Colorado dispensary Karing Kind.
This means there is a chance that a strain of weed can be inexpensive in an area where there is low demand and it grows easily. The same type of weed can be much more expensive, however, somewhere where there is high demand and there were certain environmental difficulties the plants faced during the growing season.
The price tag should not be your number one indicator as to how good the product is. Every plant has a different makeup, and while you hear the terms “Indica” and “Sativa” constantly, there is more to weed than just those two classifications.
“Individual plants produce varying effects, even among the same type of cannabis. It all depends on the plant’s chemical composition and the growing technique used,” according to healthline. Not all types of plants affect people the same. It is important to figure out what “cannabinoid profile,” or the plant’s specific chemical makeup, works best for the type of effects you are after.
You may find that what you seek can be found in a cheap strain of flower rather than an exclusive varietal that costs more than your groceries.
What gets you the highest?
A 2020 study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that while concentrates and flower have very different THC levels, there was actually little to no difference in how high the participants got. The study concluded “differences in short-term subjective and neurobehavioral impairments did not track specifically with strength of the cannabis consumed.” So while you can certainly pay a premium for the highest THC weed, you aren’t guaranteed to get any higher than with a cheaper bud.
Some companies are starting to catch on to the idea that cheap weed is a widely untapped market in the legal sector. Companies like Hexo Corp are seeking to roll out affordable cannabis that can compete with the illegal market that has found continued success by charging lower prices than many dispensaries for flower.
“If it can gain a meaningful share of the low-cost market and even take some market share from illicit providers, it has the basis of a very nice business,” according to the National Institute of Cannabis Investors. “McDonald’s makes more money than probably every high-end steakhouse in the world combined, and it does that through low prices.”
So while it is surely fun to experiment with and discuss elusive strains and try the latest concentrates, keep in mind this is not necessary. Just like a wine connoisseur on a boxed wine budget, if you do your research, you can find a cheap strain of weed that will take you where you want to go.