Weed slang: the difference between dank, mids, and ditch weed
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- Dank weed
- Ditch weed
- What is kind bud?
- Factors that affect weed quality
Consider for a moment the difference between a cheap bottle of wine from the local convenience store and a pricey selection from an upscale Italian restaurant’s reserve list. While both are classified as wine, the grape quality, grow climate, and post-harvest techniques all distinguish the finest varietals from wines of lesser quality.
The same principles can be applied to cannabis plant quality, too. As medical and adult-use cannabis legalization continues to take root across North America, the difference between dank bud and ditch weed has never been clearer than it is today. Over the decades, people have used a variety of slang terms to classify weed. Like all slang terms, they vary by region. What is called reggie by some, may be seen as schwag to others. While one person may be looking for dank, another may be asking for top-shelf. But in the end, they’re usually looking for the same thing: the best marijuana on the market.
Weed quality is relative to what’s currently available on the market and the location of that market. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Overall, the quality and potency of weed have dramatically increased since the 1960s and 1970s. What was once considered dank a decade ago would likely be relegated to mids today. Something that is considered to be mids in California might be coveted as top-shelf in a state where cannabis is illegal.
In this article, we’ll break down the main categories of weed to help you distinguish between schwag or top-shelf herb and learn the most popular slang terms in the process.
(AKA top-shelf, loud, chronic, kind, headies, piff)
Dank, fire, dang good. Whatever you wish to call it, this is the type of weed that you’ll find on the top shelves of dispensaries. In this most premium category, you’ll find a diverse cast of products with strains that vary in effects, flavors, and aromas. In legal states, top-shelf weed usually comes at a top-shelf price. An eighth of dank can cost upwards of $60 in some adult-use markets. Ultimately, the price will vary on a number of factors, such as the dispensary location, cultivator, and product availability. Think of top-shelf bud as craft beer, carefully curated to offer unique aromas and flavors. In most adult-use markets, top-shelf weed tends to have a focus on higher THC levels.
In most adult-use markets, top-shelf weed tends to have a focus on higher THC levels. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Top-shelf, high-quality nugs can range from bright green to a darker green with streaks of purple, often heavily blanketed with sugary trichomes and vibrant hairs that boast a fiery orange or red hue. Most dank buds come in the form of dense, vibrant, frosty nugs. The trichomes should sparkle when the surface is struck with light.
Taste and aroma
Similar to the appearance, the taste and aroma of dank will also depend on the strain’s terpene profile. One quick sniff of top-shelf bud will pry open a world of aroma that is louder and tastier than milder mids could ever evoke. Taste will also be determined by the strain type and the presence of certain terpenes. If the abundance of trichomes doesn’t convince you of the dankness of a particular strain, a complex, well-balanced aroma and flavor can indicate high-quality flowers.
With top-shelf cannabis products, high potency should be expected. THC levels for the particular product you select will depend on the strain and grower. You can find lab analysis results on the packaging of products sold in most adult-use and medical markets. In general, top-shelf flower in recreational markets will have high THC levels — anywhere from 25% to 30%. But psychoactive potency isn’t necessary for consideration as top-shelf as is the case with hemp products. On the medical market, for instance, high-CBD strains derived from hemp plants (such as perennial favorite Charlotte’s Web) are also seen as top-shelf selections.
More closely related to dank than schwag weed, mids are, as the term denotes, middle-of-the-road in quality for marijuana plants. Although legalization has caused an influx of high-quality weed to flood legal markets, prices for top-shelf bud can be prohibitive. This has made mids an enticing option for those living in legal states, as it offers a decent bang for your buck. While some dispensaries classify mids as lower-potency strains, this could end up being a bargain for consumers who prefer something lower in THC and higher in other cannabinoids.
Cannabis labeled as mids will usually have more airy buds compared with the densely packed, trichome-coated flower that is sold at top-shelf prices. But most mids should still have a noticeable amount of frosty trichomes sprinkled throughout the bud. Compared with top-shelf, mids tend to be less vibrantly green in color with fewer orange hairs sprinkled throughout the flower. Mids rarely contain seeds and have been trimmed to remove most or all stems. In certain locations, mids can pass as high-quality nugs.
Taste and aroma
Mids have a smaller concentration of trichomes, which contain the terpenes that make cannabis aromatic and flavorful. As a result, the aroma and flavor of mids will be less intense than those of their top-shelf counterparts.
Depending on the location, mids will boast THC contents ranging anywhere from 10% to 16%, or sometimes higher in legal states. The price of mids will also vary on where they’re being sold.
(AKA regs, reggie, schwag, dirt weed, brick weed)
When someone tells you that you’re smoking ditch weed, they probably didn’t intend that remark as a compliment. Ditch, also known as schwag, is a term for low-grade cannabis that can be rather unpleasant.
Ditch weed will typically take on a brownish appearance with hints of dark green, and is often mixed with byproducts of the plant such as stems and leaves. In some cases, ditch weed is so dried out that it simply crumbles upon contact.
Taste and aroma
One whiff or look should be all it takes to figure out whether you have ditch weed. This grade of marijuana has an earthy, dirt-like smell that translates into a harsh and pungent taste upon combustion. Some might find the flavor bearable, but ditch weed lacks the nuanced flavor that top-shelf strains have to offer.
Ditch weed has an earthy, dirt-like smell that translates into a harsh and pungent taste upon combustion. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Ditch weed is uncommon in legal markets. As a result, the potency and effects produced by it are difficult to quantify. It stands to reason that cannabis grown in sub-optimal conditions is likely to result in lower potency and less desirable effects than mid-grade and top-shelf cannabis.
What is kind bud?
Sandwiched in the gray area between mids and dank is a type of flower known as kind bud. Correctly spelled “kine,” from the Hawaiian word for “excellent,” this type of bud is above average but doesn’t score quite as high as dank. With kine bud, the cannabinoid profile can be either high in CBD or THC depending on the strain, so potency isn’t a distinguishing factor. You can identify kine bud by stacking it up against the factors used to measure mids or dank, with some slight modifications. For example, kine bud might be more potent than mids but less so than dank. You also might observe more trichomes on a kine bud than on a mids, but fewer trichomes than would be on a typical top-shelf flower.
Factors that affect weed quality
High-quality cannabis is typically cultivated in optimized environments where growers have greater control over every aspect of the cultivation and curing process. Strains are carefully selected and the cannabis plants are often grown with the finest cultivation supplies, such as living soil and organic nutrients. In order to maintain a natural shape and keep the trichome-coated bud intact, most top-shelf marijuana is carefully hand-trimmed, but even machine-trimmed marijuana can still classify as dank.
Schwag weed is typically grown in a harsh environment, causing the buds to form early without the glittery trichomes commonly found on the surface of dank or mid flower.
Curing is an important part of the cultivation process that, if done improperly, can turn top-shelf potential into mids. Mids will sometimes have a grassy or harsh taste due to improper curing. Aside from the lack of aromatic enjoyment, additional signs of poorly cured weed include dampness to the bud and stems that don’t easily snap.
In most cases, mids will still contain a passable terpene profile that gives off a pleasant aroma that is more akin to dank than ditch, but the difference in pungency between mids and top-shelf should be discernible.
If bud is harvested too early, it could be relegated to the mids or even schwag category, as a premature harvest can result in reduced potency and a less enjoyable taste.
When we’re talking about top-shelf bud sold on legal adult-use markets, the packaging is oftentimes as enticing as the nug itself. High-quality flower should have THC and other cannabinoids listed on the product label and should come with a certificate of analysis from a third-party testing lab to ensure there are no pesticides, mold, or other contaminants on the bud.
Schwag, on the other hand, is sometimes compressed and transported in a brick that contains a mixture of small, dry nugs, shake, and lots of seeds and stems — hence the well-deserved nickname “brick weed.” When improperly handled and cured, even the best nugs can contain high levels of the cannabinoid, cannabinol (CBN), which may offer sedative qualities.
Although this sleepy cannabinoid might not be preferable to the recreational user seeking a buzz, CBN has been studied for the potential ability to treat insomnia,inflammation, pain, and bacteria, and may even act as an appetite booster. In its molecular form, CBN might sound appealing to some, but keep in mind that low-grade weed could also be contaminated with pesticides, mildew, mold, or insects due to having an adverse growing environment.
Weed slang: the difference between dank, mids, and ditch weed Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents Dank weed Mids Ditch weed What is
What is reggie weed
In a perfect world, we would all be strangers to the concept of “reggie” weed. That’s because “reggie” (slang for regular) is essentially the dregs of cannabis flower — bud from the bottom of the barrel. In some ways a successor to “brick” weed — plastic-wrapped blocks of generic pot more likely to give you a headache than a high — “reggie” is what you call cannabis unworthy of a more specific name. Thus, “reggie” does not represent one single strain or ratio of CBD to THC, but rather the entire spectrum of weed that is, by common opinion, subpar.
Before recreational cannabis was commercially available, most of the pot-smoking population was most likely regularly getting down with “reggie.” That’s because the advent — first of medical, than later recreational — cannabis reform has led to vastly improved growing conditions which, in turn, has elevated the quality of flower available to purchase to an almost incalculable degree. With a superior alternative available, “reggie” became a shorthand way of describing product inferior to what’s found on dispensary shelves.
On a more serious note, “reggie” weed also poses a danger to consumers, given its propensity to be found on the illicit market. Risks of inhaling mold or pesticide residue mean that “reggie” weed isn’t only a bummer for its lacking taste, potency, and appearance — it can also get you sick.
Need help determining if the buds in front of you might be “reggie” weed? Read through the guide below to learn all the telltale signs of unimpressive pot.
Before you’ve engaged your nose (and certainly before your taste buds come into play), one can often spy “reggie” weed by sight. Healthy pot has a number of classic cues, including bright colors. Cannabis that looks yellowed or brown with age is always best avoided. Another thing to look for is trichomes — top-notch weed should be rich with these sticky crystals, while “reggie” is often barren on this front. Reminder: the trichomes are really what make a given bud of flower worth smoking, so anything devoid of this cannabis essential is probably not worth your time.
Another way to analyze the quality of your cannabis is to give it the old smell test. While variances among strains means that there is no one singular “correct” scent when it comes to pot, there are certainly red flag aromas to be aware of. Cannabis that smells musty — like it’s been stored in a basement or somewhere dark and dingy — is not to be consumed. Ditto anything that gives off a chemical stench. On a more subtle level, weed that offers little aroma or simply smells “off” is best discarded, as well. Weed should smell natural and aromatic, so trust your nose!
Gallery — Moldy Marijuana and Signs That Your Bud Is Bad:
Unfortunately, you may sometimes only begin to wonder about the quality of your cannabis once you’ve smoked some. If you’ve advanced to the point where can actually taste the pot in question, are you noticing any terpene flavors? Notes of blueberry, lemon, or pine are signs that your flower is well-stocked on the terpene front, while anything that fails to produce some or any of these common tastes is almost certainly low-quality. Again, that runs the gamut from alarming, improper tastes (chemicals, mold) to the sheer lack of any taste at all. Whichever end of the spectrum your “reggie” may land on, the best option is to toss it (responsibly) and look for something far more delicious.
In some cases, “reggie” weed may be fine, which is to say remarkably average. Pot need not be tainted with toxic substances to qualify as “reggie” weed. For some, the matter comes down to potency. There is a galaxy of valid reasons to consume cannabis, but benefitting from the medicinal effects of the plant is hopefully a common desire among all fans of pot. If the flower you’re consuming is failing to deliver the expected high, that’s a qualifier for “reggie” status, as well.
However, one must be careful not to confuse strains bred to deliver subtler highs with poor-quality weed. But unless you bought your flower from a trusted grower or dispensary, this point is likely irrelevant. Assuming your pot was procured through other means, weak potency — be it feeling no effects at all, feeling a headache instead of a high, or feeling a notably fleeting or frail high — is another hallmark of “reggie” weed.
Without question, the best option to ensure you never spark another bowl of “reggie” again is to only purchase cannabis from reliable sources. For some, this may not be a viable option at the moment. In that case, a discerning eye and nose are a great first line of defense. Trust your instincts, too; if the buds seem off, they probably are. Always try to remember (bummer though it may be) that no pot is better than tainted pot!
You’ll want to keep your expectations low where “reggie” is concerned.