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Single-A graded cannabis flower is generally reserved for the bottom of the barrel in terms of quality. The only benefit is the price, so it can serve a purpose if you are on a budget. However, let this not be an accurate representation of cannabis, its quality or its potential.
If you enjoy smoking from a vaporizer, Single-A graded cannabis can be very cost-effective. Just because the product doesn’t look visually appealing doesn’t mean that the cannabinoids and terpenes aren’t still present. For the same reason, Single-A graded cannabis is also excellent for making extracts or edibles.
In most cases, Single-A ratings are reserved for Shake or for “bottom of the bag” cannabis, or in other words, the remnants of a once full bag of cannabis. In many cases, vendors will sell flower that has been used to make extracts as Single-A rated. At SacredMeds, all of our Single-A-rated cannabis is from fresh cannabis flower that hasn’t been used for any other purposes.
How is Cannabis Graded?
Although there are many different methods for grading cannabis, the generally approved one is the A-AAAA grading system. Each grade also has a “Plus” assigned to it, usually implying that one or more grading categories were deemed higher than the others.
When grading cannabis, “tasters” look at 5 different characteristics to gauge the overall quality of the flower; Appearance, Aroma, Cure, Effects and Flavour.
Sometimes referred to as “bag appeal,” appearance refers to how eye-catching the flowers are. For many users, this is the most important of the 5 characteristics. Flowers are analyzed for the density of the flower, the resin produced, the structure of the buds and the overall trim.
A good cannabis flower captivates all of the senses. In most cases, a strong nose is a great indicator of a complex flavour profile. Flowers are analyzed for the complexity of aroma, the aroma of the flower once removed from packaging, and the aroma of the flower once it has been ground or broken up. For example, a complex aroma is considered to have at least 3 different unique characteristics.
To be considered a truly exceptional strain, the flower must be properly cured. Flowers are analyzed for how well they have been dried and their overall feel. To obtain the highest possible grade, flowers should not be wet from moisture but rather sticky from resin content. A flower’s ability to be broken down into smaller fragments without crumbling into dust is a sign of a well-cured flower.
Because cannabis affects everyone differently, it can be difficult to gauge effects for all users with a small “tasting” team. To remove variables and provide a consistent form of measurement, flowers are analyzed on the quickness of the high’s onset, the duration of the high, and the overall comfort of the consumer during the experience.
A great tasting flower can mean the difference in the entire experience for some consumers. Flowers that may lack in presentation or feel may blow someone away with a complexity of flavour. All flowers are analyzed for their complexity of flavours as well as their allure. When grading cannabis, the flower is both smoked and vaporized.