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 does “dank” mean?
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- What is dank slang for?
- Is dank a good thing?
- Is dank indica or sativa?
As ubiquitous as “dank” may be in cannabis culture, it’s a term with many meanings. Dank can refer to the high quality of a particular product and a specific aroma of cannabis. Recent research has even revealed that dank is in fact a precise combination of terpenes present in particular cultivars of marijuana — like OG Kush and Diesel to name two strains. But what does the word dank mean exactly?
What is dank slang for?
As per the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of dank is “unpleasantly moist.” It was first used in Middle English, and is thought to be of Scandinavian origin. Dank maintained its meaning well into the rise of underground cannabis culture when the term “dank weed” began to describe high-quality marijuana.
Dank first appeared on the website Urban Dictionary in 2003 as a slang word for “sticky, hairy, stinky, and highly potent marijuana.” Dank has since evolved to be the popular descriptor for high-quality, desirable cannabis that most consumers know today. Consumers today ask for dank weed when they want a strain with an unmistakable, pungent, gassy aroma and a high-potency experience.
Consumers today ask for dank weed when they want a strain with an unmistakable, pungent, gassy aroma and a high-potency experience. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Is dank a good thing?
The quality of a particular strain of marijuana is always subject to the consumer’s preference, yet many users share the sentiment that dank weed is indeed desirable. Recent research, too, has isolated the compounds that make up dank weed.
Cannabis is a unique plant in its ability to produce endless varieties of aromas and flavors with remarkable depth and complexity. The thousands of strains on the market today evolved not only in potency but in fragrance, many of which are difficult to describe. Dank is elusive, and yet most consumers can open a bag of weed and unmistakably identify dank by its overwhelming gassy pungency.
The researchers at ABSTRAX recently conducted a study to determine what terpenes, cannabinoids, and other chemicals make up a metric they call “the Gas Factor,” the gassy, diesel-esque smell of dank weed that could be measured. The team used advanced 3D gas chromatography to study traditionally dank strains (such as OG Kush and Diesel) and uncover what properties actually make them dank. During the study, ABSTRAX identified more than 200 compounds that worked together to create the complex, nuanced aroma of the most dank marijuana on the market.
Further, ABSTRAX was able to directly correlate the presence, amount, and intermingling of certain compounds in a cannabis strain with desirable aromas — in other words, what about the flower gives it its dank smell. The more of these specific compounds a strain has, the danker it is.
High gas strains had more of the compounds identified as those that make weed smell dank. Photo by: Courtesy of ABSTRAX
The ABSTRAX study also found that dank cannabis loses its aroma over time. This holds true with other studies observing the lifespan and degradation of cannabinoids and terpenes after exposure to light and heat.
High-gas strains lose the compounds that make up their aroma over time. Photo by: Courtesy of ABSTRAX
Is dank indica or sativa?
In short, dank is neither indica nor sativa. While consumers and dispensaries still find these blanket terms useful, the words “indica” and “sativa” really only describe what the plant looks like as it’s growing — not the effects you can expect to feel.
Research increasingly suggests that the presence and combination of various compounds, including the hundreds discovered by ABSTRAX, contribute both to a strain’s scent and the different psychoactive effects that cannabis provides, a phenomenon otherwise known as the entourage effect.
The terpenes in a cannabis strain work together with THC and other cannabinoids to create a unique cocktail of a cannabis experience with every bud. Consumers sense this instinctively; dispensary-goers are often drawn to a particular strain of weed by its aroma over any other attribute. The nose also knows whether a cultivar is of low quality. Brick weed often smells moldy and unpleasant, repelling the senses.
Let’s return to the question of whether dank is indica or sativa. Dank most often refers to cannabis that exudes a gassy, pungent aroma that’s signature of most OG strains. OG Kush is one of the cannabis’ community’s most beloved varieties. Most OGs share commonly reported effects, including sedating relaxation and a physical “stoned” feeling. These effects align with what many consumers associate with indica, so dank weed could indeed be considered as such.
Dank most often refers to cannabis that exudes a gassy, pungent aroma that’s signature of most OG strains. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
However, the many cannabis hybrids on the market have produced dank strains with the energizing effects characteristic of a classic sativa as well. With so many cultivars on the market, there’s a good chance any strain could contain the compounds that produce dank’s gassy aroma.
When dank is used to describe high-quality bud in general, it’s more challenging to determine what kind of psychoactive experience the strain in question will provide. But that shouldn’t stop you from seeking out the dankest of the dank and discovering what works best for you.
What does “dank” mean? Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents What is dank slang for? Is dank a good thing? Is dank indica or sativa? As