With recreational cannabis legal in many states now, it can feel like there’s a lot of options for consumers. New brands are popping up all the time, and some may be more upscale than others.

The term “top shelf” is widely used among cannabis users to refer to premium products. This is usually the top level of marijuana sold in a dispensary, and it contains higher THC content than lower-tier flower.

In order to qualify as top shelf, a top-shelf dispensary must pass several different quality tests. These include appearance, smell, and potency. In terms of appearance, high-quality buds have a vibrant green color with minimal brown spots and a rich scent. They also have a lot of trichomes and very little stems and seeds.

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When it comes to scent, top-shelf cannabis will have a strong fragrance that matches the strain’s name. This is because high-quality growers use detailed cultivation techniques to produce the most accurate representation of a specific strain.

The smell is one of the most important factors when choosing a strain, and top-shelf flowers will have an intense aroma that’s full of flavor. These flavors are usually derived from the terpenes that make up the cannabis plant. When the right terpenes are combined, they create a synergistic effect that produces stronger and more refined effects than low-tier or mid-tier cannabis.