Dear Stoner: My neighborhood dispensary offers deals on “popcorn buds.” I’m terrible at saying no once the budtender puts something in front of me, so I ask you: Are popcorn buds a good deal, or just another way to sell bad weed?
Dear Kathy: If nugs from the top of the plant are on the top end of the flower spectrum and shake is on the bottom, then popcorn buds are probably slightly below the middle. The smaller buds get the “popcorn” name from their size and sometimes airy structure, which make them less desirable to users. But popcorn buds are also inferior to top-end nugs in potency and flavor, because they grow at the bottom of the plant, closer to the soil and farther from the sunlight. This essentially stunts their growth, since the lower end of the stalk isn’t getting the same amount of light and nutrients.
Some growers snip popcorn buds before they start, to ensure that bigger nugs receive more nutrients and plant energy. But they never get rid of every single one, and a lot of dispensaries will sell their popcorn at a discount. Provided the budtender lets you look at them to make sure they’re not too larfy or old, popcorn buds can be one helluva deal, especially if your tolerance is low. Just don’t be fooled by the THC test results: Those numbers are generally taken from a sample of the strain harvest batch, and growers never send popcorn buds in for that.
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