Your favorite dealer or dispensary is temporarily running low on product, but they have a deal to offer: “We’ve got some really good popcorn weed left, and you can have it at half-price.”
Should you say yes or no?
You should probably say yes – as long as you understand what you’ll be getting.
What is Popcorn Weed?
Don’t worry, popcorn nugs are still weed. They’re just miniature buds, the size of – you guessed it – popcorn. You may have heard another name used for them, larf buds. In truth, it might be more accurate to describe them as flowers that haven’t fully developed, although they’re commonly referred to as nugs.
Popcorn nugs are truly the runt of the litter. Colas (from the top of the plant) and mid-sized buds from the middle of the plant are what you’re probably used to buying when you want high-quality weed. The tiny popcorn buds grow toward the bottom of the plant, close to the stem; cultivators try to prevent them from growing because they’re less valuable. Most plants, however, produce at least a small number of popcorn nugs, and growers looking to maximize the return on their investment will harvest them to be sold as popcorn weed for a lower price.
These buds grow on areas of the plant that are stressed because they don’t receive enough light or are exposed to too much heat. Overshading or overcrowding of indoor plants can also cause popcorn nugs to develop.
Growers who take good care of their crop can minimize the growth of popcorn buds by regularly trimming and pruning their plants to encourage growth toward the top, and with proper lighting, shading, and spacing. Some cultivators don’t bother harvesting the popcorn, choosing to simply mix it in with the rest of the trim instead of “wasting” time with the small buds. But since there’s money to be made in popcorn weed, you’ll usually find that it’s available on the market.
Qualities of Popcorn Weed
If you decide to give popcorn weed a try, what will you be getting?
For starters, you’ll be getting real cannabis. The buds may be small and may not look like what you usually smoke, but you’ll definitely get some bang for your buck – speaking of which, popcorn normally costs substantially less than prime bud, a major reason why some people buy it.
The high will be different, though. Popcorn nugs haven’t developed fully due to the lack of proper light or because of excess heat, so they don’t have as many trichomes as the buds that grow at the top of the plant. Fewer trichomes mean less THC, and therefore lower potency and a less-intense high. Expect a lighter, more mellow experience when smoking popcorn; many compare it to what you feel when using decent quality shake.
There are several reasons why opting for popcorn weed might be desirable. We’ll look at those next.
Great Reasons to Buy Popcorn Weed
We’ve already mentioned what may be the best reason to buy a bag of popcorn nugs: their price. And even if you’re not on a tight budget and can afford better flowers, there may be times when it makes sense to go the economy route. For example, if you’re going to be entertaining a large group of not-so-close friends, having popcorn weed available is the equivalent of serving house brands instead of top-shelf liquor at an open bar.
There are reasons to choose popcorn weed other than to palm it off on guests. The less-intense high makes popcorn an excellent alternative for those who must stay somewhat alert during or after smoking, like pain patients who have work or family obligations. It can also be a good choice for those who simply want to take the edge off a stressful day and be able to fall asleep.
Finally, using popcorn bud is a cost-effective way to make your own edibles, tea, creams, rosin or other DIY pot products. The THC content is still strong enough to be satisfying – and you can use the money you’ve saved to buy pricier bud, for when you’ll be entertaining good friends.