marijuana grading system

There really is no universal or standardized marijuana grading system yet. Each cannabis market around the world measures quality by their own unique names, symbols or words. Whether it’s the “A” grading system used today, or just knowing that one strain name is superior to any other, all grading system terminology is colloquial.

To put it briefly, there’s a shit ton of criteria to take into account. It’s kind of like how Mexican Spanish is different from Spain Spanish which is also different from Colombian Spanish. The keyword here is DIALECT… weed dialect.

In this article, I will outline the old and the new BC Bud grading system made famous by chronics out of British Columbia’s famous growing regions such as Vancouver Island, the Fraser Valley, the Golden Mile, Sunshine Coast, and the Kootenays. Then I will outline Primo’s 9 Point Marijuana Grading System near the end.

The distribution and production from these areas in relation to it are varying in quality that has evolved 10 fold from the ‘90s until today. But back then there were only 3 tiers: singles, dubs, and trips.

1. Singles ($1500-2000 USD a pound)
Examples: Big Bud & Juicy Fruit

2. Dubs ($2000-2500 USD a pound)
Examples: Holland & Hashplant

3. Trips ($2500-3000 USD a pound)
Examples: Biker Hashplant (top strain) & Purple Haze

How BC Grades Weed Today

Let’s fast forward to 2019 and take a super quick look at the silly grading system we have today.

“Dub” weed is low quality

“Trips” are medium quality

“Quads” are top notch quality

There’s no longer a single because what fun are singles in a recreational market where people are trying to get as blasted as possible. Also, strain types are no longer constrained to a quality stamp. Now you have 100 different Pink Kush growers that are spread across all qualities, provinces, and growing experience.

For example, a Pink Kush is no longer just a Pink Kush. A Pink Kush can be a dub, a trip, or a quad and now the growers are smartening up and branding the strain by adding an additional adjective into the strain name… for example, “Stinky Pink Kush”… lol.


So let’s go through some of the criteria that we think should be included in every grading dialect around the globe. Once we have all the quantitative information required to assess the strain, we need to look at qualitative elements, because the BC Bud lingo as mention above with dubs, trips, and quads, is a little deceptive.

1. Cannabinoid profile: which cannabinoids are in the plant, and at what percentage, this should include at least: THC-A, THC, CBD-A, CBD, CBN, THC-V, CBG, and CBC.

2. We need a comprehensive terpene profile. There’s no ongoing standard here yet, but the top 10 would suffice. On top of that profile, we should be considering the total terpene content since a profile can be misleading if there’s only a .01% total terpene content.

3. The moisture content. This will range so much between when the flower was delivered to when it is sold, so it’s important that the jar in which the flower is stored has a hygrometer on the lid.

4. Does it burn white ash or black ash? Sometimes black ash can imply flushing problems. Other times black ash can imply bad rolling papers.

5. When you burn a joint or rip a bowl is the smoke nice and thick yet smooth or does it burn the fuck out of your throat? If it’s the latter then the flower was not rinsed and cured properly. Not premium

6. Are the buds dense and manicured? Does this even matter due to the genetically inherited structure of the plant genome? Being that Indica strains are denser and round versus tall and whispery Sativa strains. Is it fair to call a dense nug more superior than a less dense nug?

7. Are the buds consistent shape/size or are there some that are beautiful and others in the same jar that are ugly? Again, strain genes might play into this as not all strains have giant kolas to rock with.

8. How has the plant been handled? If you look at it are all the trichome stocks fucked up and janky, or are they intact? Hand trimming will protect the trichs, machine trim will fuck them up. Would a Rolls Royce have the same aura and price tag if it was machine made instead of handmade?

9. Is there evidence of bugs or mould or anything else that would give it a full on F out of 10?

As you can see, it is much more complex than just calling it single-A, AA, AAA, or AAAA.

Pretty soon we’ll have our own rating system on site to help you choose, but for now, use the points above to differentiate good vs bad bud. We’re only touching the tip of the iceberg and would love to get feedback on how deep your criteria goes.