Timing is Everything Part I Long Hair, Don’t Care

buyer cannabis medical marijuana
Written by our Director of Purchasing, Danny Khuu

How do you pick out the best weed?

Looking for the right cannabis flower for your recreation needs can be an exciting and fun experience. It can also be a stressful situation if you don’t know what you are looking for. So many strains, so many different farms, and each one with their own set of different ways of cultivating the plant, makes it tough. This then makes you wonder if the Granddaddy Purple you were thinking of purchasing, was anything like the last bag of Granddaddy Purple from a different farm earlier in the month.

There are many factors to consider: from most importantly the product being labelled correctly, and including (but definitely not limited to) light, air, temperature, soil, nutrients, pesticides, and harvest time. But because every bag does not come with the same set of information, and even if it did, each farm may have their own system of judgment, so we result in different patterns and methods of judging the quality of cannabis we consume, with the knowledge we have.

I always say “trust your eyes”, but I’ve heard a lot of questionable methods. The one I want to focus on is “Look, this weed is awesome; look at the hairs.” This statement has been used for decades, especially in the early 60’s, 70’s, and early 80’s. Which at the time would have been a good way to judge cannabis; but a lot has changed since then, let me explain.

quality of bud distinctions
Long hairs are an indicator of timing in harvest, not always quality of bud.

Back in the day…

The long hairs indicated that the plant, Sativas at this time, didn’t contain a lot of seeds in it. (These long hairs are actually pistils of the flower that would catch pollen to create seeds for the new plant.) And as a smoker, we know, unless we are hunting for genetics, seeds are bad in your bud. Heavy seeds = less smokable bud = more dollars wasted per bag. Also if the plant is putting energy into making seeds, that’s nutrients that aren’t going into the buds itself, for such aspects as trichome or terpene production, resulting in less quality cannabis than what could have been grown otherwise.

The best time to harvest is actually after the long hairs come out, when they start to retract into the bud. This ensures that the flower is at its peak and has had the proper time to create the maximum amount of THC it can. So back then, with the cannabis being the giggly happy Sativa we know and love, the indicator for better bang for your buck were the long hairs. With Sativas, the balance of the awesome uplifting high, is that the buds are much smaller than Indicas nugs, so the presence of seeds is much more detrimental.

Which leads me to the next blog about the Introduction of Indicas to the US in the 1980’s.

 Looking for ways to keep your tolerance down? 

Indica leaf with a joint in Seattle, WA
3 tips for how to keep your tolerance down and your high up!


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