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What Is ‘Larf’ Cannabis and What Is It Good For?

July 19, 2017
What Is 'Larf' Cannabis and What Is It Good For?(PicturePartners/iStock)

What Is Larf Cannabis?

“Larf,” while a fun word to say, is a term some cannabis consumers may not have heard before. It’s a slang word that refers to smaller, immature buds that didn’t quite reach their full potential. Usually these buds are wispy or fluffy little flowers found on the lower branches of cannabis plants. Generally, their immaturity is attributed to lack of light penetration due to living in the shadows of the bigger, topmost flowers (called “colas”), but other environmental factors can cause similar results.


Stages of the marijuana plant growth cycle

What Is “Delarfing”?

Many growers use practices to minimize larf and allow plants to focus their energy towards producing exceptional flower within the canopy. Delarfing is just that! By pruning, training, and removing any additional vegetation that is not receiving adequate light, you can “delarf” a plant.

Think of it like a busser at a restaurant. If you pre-bus, or remove the dishes as they become unnecessary, it makes the final cleanup of the table that much more efficient. In the case of cannabis, the final cleanup is the harvest and trimming of the plant. Preemptively removing these small buds early in the plant’s flowering cycle will make processing the plant that much more productive.


How to prune cannabis plants for maximum yields

What Can You Do With Larf Cannabis?

Not everyone delarfs their plants, which is why you will find items like budlets or popcorn nugs/buds (named for their round miniature stature that’s about the size of a popped kernel of popcorn) on dispensary menus. Even though these petite buds can have lower concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes, they can be used in several ways and make for a great discount buy:

  • Produce cannabis oil used for preparing infused edibles
  • Roll larf into joints or blunts
  • Load a popcorn bud into a bowl whole as a “snap,” a bowl that is just big enough for one person to finish on their own.

How to pack and smoke a bowl of cannabis

Though less desirable than top-shelf flower, these smaller discount buds have plenty of uses. They might be worth giving a try, especially if you’re looking to stretch your dollar a little further at your next dispensary visit.

Will Hyde's Bio Image

Will Hyde

Will is a cannabis expert and former co-host of Leafly's "What Are you Smoking" podcast. He's a cultivator and former budtender who loves complex hybrids with piney and gassy terpene profiles. Follow him on Instagram at @the.avid.dabber

View Will Hyde's articles

  • Cntrlaltbackspace

    This article is written very poorly. It’s content could be summarised into one sentence. “You can still use it”.

    • Danny Hickey

      You can put it in a bag. You can put it in a jar. You can make it rain weed. Bam, there’s my article. Check please.

  • BDH

    Not big on purchasing larf.

  • Thomy

    I use it to make hash and it works wonderfully. I disagree with labeling it with anything other than “lower bud”. Some of my little tiny lower buds are every bit as potent as the top buds. This is where I judge if my plant is fully mature and ready for harvest and once those lower buds’ hairs have naturally dried and the trichomes have turned light tan I’m ready too harvest. In Spokane we can often find lower bud at a much lower cost. They just had some Death Star available at Green Leaf in Spokane for $30.00 an ounce and I did see and smoke some of that and was pretty impressed. It looked a lot like what we used to gladly pay $30.00 for an eighth ounce. Look it over good. If you see lots of trichomes go for it…

    • AlternativeFool STATUS: CAPTUR

      That’s funny. In AZ, there is no such thing as larf or smalls or bottoms. Because its all they sell! You can’t tell top shelf from bottom at most AZ dispos. Some, the difference comes down to the smell of pesticides or the use of “sweetener” contaminated product that fool the novice population.

      In Cali growers would practically give smalls away, like a dollar a gram. Twice the price of trim. In Arizona, I’ve paid 15 dollars a gram for TWELVE tiny chunks in a bag! Twelve pieces! They wont let you see it. That’s not even larf, its shake. I got 18 pieces from a 12 dollar gram before.

      Thats like 2-3 calyxes connected. Top shelf from Nature’s Wonder dispensary. They all do it to some degree though.. All of them I’ve been to. They show you tops and send you home larf in a pre packaged gold box!

      Heck, some dispensaries will even show you soil grown organic tops in jars, then give you premature hydroponic buds! It blows my mind that people put up with this. I let my card expire, 250 a year for this crap. And the DHS has been paid off. No regulations, no inspections, not even for edibles. Coincidentally the AZDHS had 15k in edible expenditures last year. What does that even mean!

      The monopolized dispensaries of AZ can grow whatever they want, wherever they want, however they want. Its all moldy, premature, covered in sprays and soaked in grow chemicals, smells nothing like pot. Maybe reggie at best.. And that’stop shelf. No sours, skunks, etc. And remember it’s illegal to grow your own in 98% of the state!

    • Shoreline1

      I agree, those little lower buds work just fine, especially when from one of the more potent strains. I’m not really into legalization because that puts the government in control rather than someone I trust. When was the last time the government did something well? They don’t really give a shit about us, they just want the money, it’s another tax they can impose upon us. No, instead of legalization for the dollars, how about because it is our right to use the substance as a citizen of America, the land of the free? What our government is saying is that we must do it their way, the way they direct, they way they allow, and no other way, or suffer severe penalty. How is this different from tyranny? We have the largest military budget by far in the world. It goes without saying that we also have the largest LE budget in the world, the largest incarceration rate, the highest penalty to citizens rate, the highest rate of being hassled by authority. How can anyone believe this is the land of the free? Are Americans that stupid?

      • not bitter

        Wow. Have you ever traveled anywhere? Smoked pot in Singapore lately? Or any country in the Middle East, or China (the country with most of the world’s inhabitants)? Fought for freedoms in Argentina or Columbia, have you? Spent time working with the justice system in Mexico? Russia? Mongolia? Vietnam? Korea? To borrow a phrase, ‘are you that stupid?’

        You’re clearly imagining…. the Netherlands, or maybe France– which would be under Nazi rule for the past 70 years if not for the US military.

        Here’s a thought, genius- borrow some money from mom and dad for a one-way plane ticket to the free land you’re dreaming about. Oops– you can’t do that. The US is one of the only countries that allows people in without parking them in ‘refuge’ camps. I guess there’s always Canada…

        • Shoreline1

          Well, at least you’re “not bitter”. You touch on many good points, most of which have nothing to do with my life. If the security of my life or those close to me were in danger, like if the Taliban jumped in their boat and rowed over here and attacked our country, I would defend it well. Or if the plight of the Afghan people were such that it convinced me to go over there and join them in their fight against evil, well, that would be my decision. However, it probably wouldn’t inspire me to prey upon your children, convincing them that it was patriotic to go over there and get their arms and legs blown off, in the name of national security, because they have wmd’s, or some other reason the government has made up. And if we are going to be the world’s police force, shouldn’t we get paid for it? As it is, the spending habits of our government will be the ruin of our nation. You’re suggesting that I support the ruin of our country? I do respect your opinion and your views, but there may be other views necessary to consider.

        • Shoreline1

          And no, I’ve never smoked pot in Singapore. I have enough trouble doing it in Iowa. And yes, I’m pretty stupid.

  • Danny Hickey

    Wow, you can use this weed like you use other weed? Amazing! Pulitzer committee, look no further!

  • Thomy

    People who are new growers should also know that picking the yellowing leaves is quite beneficial to the plant and I make a point of picking those leaves that just begin to even slightly yellow. Not only does it allow more light to penetrate, by picking the leaves right after they show the first sign of yellowing, it also stimulates the plant to increase resin production which encourages trichome production. When a leaf starts to turn yellow, the plant or upper growth above the leaf, is clearly finished drawing nutrients from the leaf. Don’t wait until the leaf turns entirely yellow or you’ll miss out on the benefits derived from picking it early.

  • AlternativeFool STATUS: CAPTUR

    Larf is what dispensaries in AZ sell as top shelf. You might get one mature bud in a bag, but mostly larf.. People in that state are getting completely ripped off! Its a fraud of a monopolized program. Cancer patients can’t grow their own but they can buy LOW grade chlorophyll smelling larf for 2-300 an ounce!

  • snerpripoosel

    The larf in my possession currently is exceptional, rivaling the prim dispensary buds in potency. Cloud 9, on it, I am. Have to remove lots of stems before grinding and vaping. Word.