Big buds aren't always better

Published Jan 25, 2022 12:00 p.m. ET
iStock / zeromickey

It’s exciting to be a consumer cracking open a container of massive sparkling buds, but is that kind of reaction unwarranted? Growers do everything they can to get bigger buds, and customers are willing to pay top dollar for the pleasure of breaking them apart, but is it a myth, or is there any truth to this idea that a large flower is somehow better? Here, we aim to answer all your nagging questions and more.

Do bigger buds mean higher quality products?

Big buds may be an indicator of plants that have been well cared for and allowed to flourish until their peak. Unfortunately, that doesn’t necessarily translate to a better quality product.

More potency?

Cannabis plants with big buds tend to be loved and nourished, but that doesn’t make them any more potent. In fact, the most influential factor when it comes to potency is genetics, so size, though nice, doesn’t tell you whether or not it might get you higher. In fact, it’s often smaller, popcorn-sized buds that boast the most powerful punch, so keep that in mind next time you’re shopping.

What do big buds really mean?

You pay the same amount no matter how big or small your buds might be, and now you know that size isn’t a great indicator of quality or potency, so what do bigger buds really mean, and is it important to consumers?

Good growing skills

Some producers go to great lengths to boost crops in hopes of cultivating the largest buds possible. This is due to both aesthetic and financial reasons, and it’s not as easy as it sounds to pull off. Growers plump up buds using the best nutrients and trimming methods, adding up to a massive additional cost and workload, so in most cases, big buds mean that a cultivator worked their magic to create only the biggest products, and that’s quite a skill.

Great genetics

Just like with potency, colour, and terpene profiles, what you get from any one strain depends mainly on its genetics. Cannabis plants with big buds are often known for producing this unique characteristic, and though it takes skills to push it to the max, these traits are written into each cultivar's DNA, and there isn’t a whole lot you can do to change it.

A larger yield

Growers idolize big buds because, for them, these gems translate directly to higher profits per square foot, which is great for business. They put the same amount of work into producing them as those who cultivate strains with smaller nugs while garnering so much more benefit, which is good news for owners and investors.

In the end, size doesn’t mean much for consumers

Giant colas are a spectacle to see, but now we hope you understand that size doesn’t mean anything for the consumer unless the hope is to snap a great picture. When you’re in it for the buzz, more important qualities are things like THC and CBD content, terpene profiles, and known effects, so try to look past these samples, especially if there are better options on store shelves.

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