Here's our dilemma: as a team of seasoned stoners that's been collectively toking up since we were kids, we've always wanted the dankest flower to blaze. I mean who doesn't want that? That bougie taste in scoring top-notch product everytime we walk into a dispensary, however, means we're burning a literal hole in our wallet.
Even in this day and age where we have our own cannabis brand, Weedsy, and have some semblance of adult money to do, you know, adult thing, we still find ourselves in the predicament of either scoring the best flower and living with the burning hole in our wallet, or scoring slightly less-primo-bud and retaining what little funds we have.
I think it's worth breaking down what strain shelves mean. What is considered mid-shelf, top-shelf, and exotic? There are very particular properties of the bud that would classify a harvest as one of those categories. And while each classification may have markedly better quality properties, it's important to note that one classification is not inherently better than the other. Find out why below.
What are Mids?
As the name suggests, mids are basically your run-of-the-mill, average strain of weed. It's not the worst, but it's certainly not the sticky, danky, and knock-out quality bud that you'd expect from an exotic either.
Coming up in the cannabis industry (when it was still very illegal), we were constantly surrounded by our trapper colleagues and from time-to-time our ultra-connoisseur enthusiast friends who regularly used the term "mids" as a blanket excuse to describe poor-quality cannabis.
Let's be clear for the record:
There's nothing inherently wrong with mids.
Mid-shelf bud has earned itself a progressively worse reputation over the years. What should have been used to describe mid-tier quality bud has degraded to encompass literally anything that's not Top-Shelf or Exotic tiers. We hope this toxic attitude to equally pretty and potent bud changes soon.
Look & Smell Properties of Mid-Shelf Bud
On a physical - not shallow at all aspect, mid-shelf bud looks and smells very much like typical cannabis. There are still trichomes visibly shown on the nugs, with the profile still being of each strain.
Depending on the strain, the smell palate to expect from mids still possess the dominant terpene present. The only difference between mids and higher, therefore, are the quantity of trichomes on any given nug.
To say that mids represent poor-quality products is to accept brownish bud with no distinct shades of green, orange, or purple is acceptable is a disrespect to the harvest. It's important to note that actual poor-quality bud looks, smells, and feels bad.
Taste & Feel Properties of Mid-Shelf Bud
We mentioned above that mid-shelf flower still feels acceptable. It still retains its moisture, giving it its spongey texture upon touching it. When it comes to taste, however, it's basically a coin toss when it comes to flavor. Either the aroma translates directly or it may smell nice but taste flat.
In terms of the overall experience of smoking mids, it's also a hit-or-miss. Sometimes, you can score yourself a nice smelling, nice tasting, and equally-potent strain. Other times, that slap in the face you might have been expecting never comes. You just never know - hence, a mid.
Who Smokes Mids?
Let's be real: EVERYONE smokes mids. We smoke mids from time to time, and if we do it, even those cannabis snobs do too. It's the affordable weed that's at parties being shared with everyone. In this case, it's the type of flower where quantity matters more so than quality because at the end of the day, it's the sheer volume of bud that is to be enjoyed by all. Name me an instance at a party where there are 12 people in your smoking rotation all paying attention to the very particular tasting notes of the strain. We'll wait.
Remember - mids still get you pretty baked. Don't be turned off just because of its classification.
What is Top-Shelf?
Top-Shelf means cannabis flower of the highest quality. It's loud. It's dank. And it is guaranteed to knock you on your butt regardless of what strain it is. This also means, however, that it's significantly more expensive than the average mid.
Top-Shelf bud typically has vibrant colors. For example, a Top-Shelf strain of Forbidden Fruit has bright orange hairs balanced with equally-vibrant purple hues. And upon touching it, the trichomes blanket the nug and give it that oh-so-sweet sticky and spongey feel. The bottom line: it's strong, and delicious!
Top-Shelf flower also comes with a significantly higher THC concentration than its Mid-Shelf counterpart. Upon smoking it, the exhale comes out a little smoother, putting less pressure on the lungs as you ease into the high gracefully.
What are Exotics?
Exotic strains, such as all five Weedsy Infused mini pre-rolls, are known for strong aromas, tastes, and potency. Unlike both Top-Shelf and Mid-Shelf strains that can vary in quality based on the final harvest, Exotic strains are born into its exotic classification.
This is where some super creative strain names and backstories come from. For example, one of the exotic strains you'd typically find in a Weedsy is Ice Cream Cake. Ice Cream Cake is a heavy indica strain made by crossing Wedding Cake and Gelato. And it literally tastes like a vanilla ice cream cake complete with sugary dough.
With the latest batch of Weedsy Infused mini pre-rolls, we're averaging around 50% THC content. FIFTY PERCENT - that's a lot! Granted, it's not just the Ice Cream Cake strain in there, but rather, the infused distillate smothered in kief. But that's still a good amount of THC in there to help you achieve a whole lot of nothing as you come to terms with not being productive for a while!
Which Strain Classification is Better?
Since mids still look and smell decent, and upon smoking it, it still delivers a psychoactive high, it's an attractive option for people that either cannot afford higher shelf classifications or are using it to share. Top-Shelf and Exotic strains are markedly better across all categories. At the end of the day, however, YOU are the consumer. YOU are the one that's ultimately going to smoke your bud and EVERYONE has their adult lives with adult issues. Don't be shamed into thinking that your mids are bad. Chances are, it's not. And if you find yourself splurging on something higher tier, jump for joy because you're about to get incredibly baked off one beautiful and pungent piece of flower. Have fun and happy blazing!