by Dan Ketchum
No disrespect to all the Reginalds out there, but you do not want reggie weed. However we got to this point in the vernacular – the most likely explanation is that “reggie” is slang for “regular” – reggie weed is basically just bad weed. Call it reggie, bottom-shelf, or anything else, it pays for cannabis connoisseurs like you to know how to identify reggie weed so that you can ensure you’re sticking to a high-quality, craft cannabis experience. After all, you’ve got to know what sour tastes like to recognize the sweet in life.
What Is Reggie Weed?
So you know that reggie weed is low-quality cannabis, but what is reggie weed, materially speaking? By nature, reggie weed isn’t curated by professional cannabis growers, so it’s often grown illegally on private property or unregulated farms, and virtually always grown outdoors, bereft of temperature, moisture, or light regulation. In many cases, it’s haphazardly shipped across the US-Mexico border in bricks.
The latter is why you might also hear lower quality cannabis called brick weed, though it also goes by names like dirt weed, firewood, ragweed, schwag, shake, or ditch weed. Though often a sativa or a hybrid with a mild THC level hovering around 15-18%, “reggie” can also be used to refer to strains that don’t have a specific name – and that’s usually a sign that their origin is nonspecific (i.e. not curated), or that they aren’t worth naming in the first place
The Smell Test
When you’re identifying top-shelf weed, the golden rule is to trust your nose, and that same rule applies on the opposite end of the spectrum. Right up front – the base note of reggie, if you will – you’ll probably be hit with a musty odor or a blunt, dirt-like scent profile.
Other notes you might pick up on when evaluating reggie weed include a skunky quality, dry hay smell, or slight chemical notes, which may indicate unsavory or unnatural growth practices. What you won’t pick up on are the flavorful bouquets that make up top-shelf weed, such as strong floral, spicy, berry, pinene, or fruity notes. This is because reggie weed is typically low in the terpenes that lend beloved strains their distinct flavors and aromas. Simplistic, off-putting, or weak aromas can all serve as indicators that you’re dealing with reggie weed.
What It Looks Like
While top-shelf weed sports vibrant, healthy hues of green, orange, or even purple, reggie weed is noticeably much duller in color than its peers. Shades like dark green, greenish-brown, gray-green, pea soup, or even just straight-up brown, mustard, and tan define its appearance. Upon closer inspection, you’ll notice that reggie weed is often full of debris such as seeds and stems. Nugs of reggie are typically loosely composed, like clumps of grass clippings
Get even closer, and you’ll notice that reggie lacks in another key area: the healthy, hairlike crystallization that you’ll see on high-quality flower – often an indicator of potency, lending top-shelf weed its desired stickiness – are notably subdued. The fine, sugary fuzz that appears on high-quality weed indicates the presence of plentiful trichomes, which bolster the flower’s terpene and cannabinoid content. Fewer trichomes equals less flavor and a less potent high.
How It Feels
While nugs of high-quality weed are firm to the touch with a satisfying, springy give, sort of like squeezing a tennis ball, reggie weed typically features a much drier composition. You’ll notice that if you try to squeeze or break up low-quality flower like this, it’s likely to crumble into a mixture of leaf chunks and fine dust. Nugs of low-quality flower are more liable to leave behind dust than they are to leave a sticky resin residue on your fingertips.
In terms of usability, reggie weed smokes as dry as it feels. Compared to top-shelf or even mid-grade weed, reggie can only offer a harsh, dry smoke that goes tough on your lungs and may leave your mouth feeling sticky or parched. In terms of flavor profile, reggie is often bland or difficult to distinguish, though you may pick up on grassy or herbal notes (unless you accidentally smoke some of the seeds, which results in a harsh, unpleasant, and often overpowering burnt flavor and aroma).
What’s Not Reggie Weed
To give credit where it’s due, smoking reggie weed was where a lot of us started back in the day – but we started there because that’s what we could get. Now, with cannabis hitting the mainstream, accessibility and grower innovation are at an all-time high, which makes low-tier weed a lot more difficult to excuse. Simply put, you’ve got so many better options at your fingertips, there’s little reason to settle for anything less than a high-quality cannabis experience.
Just as knowing what to look for can help you avoid reggie weed, knowing what makes top-shelf weed go good is essential, too – we can help you with that right here. And when you’re ready to experience top-shelf craft cannabis, we can help you with that, too.
Dan Ketchum splits his time between Dallas and LA as a freelance lifestyle, fashion, health, and food writer with more than a decade of experience. In cannabis, been fortunate enough to collaborate with Cannabis & Tech Today, FOCL, Vitagenne, Reign Together, Tough Mama, and more.