After harvesting your new weed strain comes the tricky part of deciding on the potency of your buds. Sure, you know how potent the parent strains are, but what about your new strain? Is it stronger, more powerful? Or it lacks the kick or the buzz you have been looking for?
If you plan to market your buds or use it as a medicinal strain, then all the more you need to carefully check its potency. Only when you know the potency level of your strain will you be able to allow other users to consume it.
So how do you assess the potency level of your strains?
Use home kits
Home kits are DIY testing kits that will let you test the THC levels and the levels of other cannabinoids in your new strain. Home kits are easy to use, compact and efficient. You can take it anywhere and use it on any plant.
Some cannabis growers use home testing kits together with other testing devices or a third-party testing company’s help. This is to make sure that the results are accurate, and the strains are ready to use for recreational or medicinal treatments.
Home kits for cannabis vary in style and design, but the most common is a kit that uses color to indicate the level of THC. The colors stand for different THC levels with the lightest color for very little traces of THC and the highest THC levels with the deepest color.
A test kit is available as a set, and you can use this on buds, edibles, and cannabis beverages. A warning, though, home testing kits don’t provide the exact amount of THC but only an approximate. Also, the test can only provide the highest reading at 20% and the lowest at 1%.
You can buy home testing kits online, but before setting up your testing lab, consider the accuracy of the test kit. And of course, consult testing labs to find out if this is a worthwhile test kit to use.
Use professional testing facilities
In most cities and states where cannabis growing and use are legal, testing laboratories for cannabis are available. These services allow even an ordinary home grower to find the THC and other cannabinoid levels in their homemade weed.
Each testing facility operates differently from each other, but usually, the way they work is very straightforward. Just like any lab, you can come over and provide a sample of your plant. Provide a piece of dried bud and carefully fill in all the details of your growth on a form. It may take a few days to get the results but no doubt that you’ll get an accurate, satisfying result.
Some testing facilities also offer online services too. Customers simply access their online site, fill out a form, and send a sample of their weed through the mail. The testing lab has specific instructions on how to send a sample usually by placing the dried weed inside a waterproof, sterile container. Lab test results can take a few weeks to deliver results.
Testing facilities also offer other tests for cannabis like CBD testing and terpene testing. You can have several strains sent to the lab for testing, too, but to send these over by mail, you must place these inside individual waterproof, sterile containers.
Take a sample and consume it
One way to find out how potent your new strain is is to smoke it. Growers and breeders do this all the time. They take a bit and smoke it to determine if you need to wait longer for buds to dry. They may also take a sample and vape it to check if the buds are dry.
This is a time-tested way to test new strains, but are you up to it? If you are a new user, then it would be impossible to gauge if the strain you just have grown is powerful or not as potent. It would also be hard to learn if the strain has a lasting effect as well because even a weak strain can easily incapacitate a new user.
It would be best to have a professional consume your new strain and gauge the effects for himself. We also recommend taking testing to a new level by asking a group of people to test your buds for you.
Have a testing or “tasting” event. Prepare freshly rolled joints or if your participants prefer, clean and sterile bongs, to smoke the new strain. Hand over a questionnaire for the participants to fill out. Make sure that everyone completes this form.
Just a few reminders to consider for your “tasting” event:
- Don’t reveal any details about the strain. Doing so will affect their opinions and can affect the way they judge the strain.
- Tell them not to drink anything or take any medication at least an hour before the test. This will help you accurately judge the potency of the strain. Take note that some medications and supplements may affect the strain’s effects, so it’s best if the participants can refrain from taking any medication beforehand.
- Properly screen your participants as well. Make sure that they are experienced smokers and have had the chance to sample different strains before.
- Serve freshly-rolled joints to smoke or dried buds to vape. Don’t offer edibles because these can take time to take effect. Also, there are many factors to consider when it comes to taking edibles, and testing can take a lot of time if all these were to be considered.
A taste test is an informal way of testing the potency of weed, but it helps provide subjective things about it like the taste, flavor, aroma, and effects. It would be best to have your strains professionally tested AND conduct a taste test for good measure. This way, you can test the potency of your new weed strain subjectively and objectively. After you have your results, you may now appropriately gauge the use of your new weed strain.