Craft Cannabis: High-Quality Buds and Sustainable Practices

Published on August 2, 2018 · Last updated November 17, 2020

Right before the spread of American cannabis legalization, the finest cannabis was described as “kind bud,” meaning it’s the sweetest and most potent flower. As state policy changed the cannabis marketplace, the label “craft cannabis” emerged to explain traditional artisan cultivation processes to the general public.

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Marketing tools and promotions may get a little more heavy-handed with this display, but—historically—it’s important to know that organic kind bud has always been top shelf, craft, and always will be.

High-Quality Craft Cannabis and a Healthy Environment

(Courtesy of Humboldt’s Finest)

The craft cannabis market expanded throughout 2017 and still continues to grow. High-quality, hand-picked, hand-cured, hand-trimmed, limited batch, organic cannabis grown by old school and newer conscious growers alike turns its focus on the cleanest experience using cannabis.

Growers who recognize this importance use organic and sustainable farming practices, ensuring their products are free of toxins or chemicals for both the consumer and the ecosystem. Outdoor, sun-grown methods create the highest quality cannabis, but there are incredible indoor grows that are certainly craft worthy.

Using sustainable methods, the plants spend less energy pulling nutrients out of the soil and usually produce healthier plants.

In California, the nation’s leading craft cannabis producer, the Emerald Triangle will probably always corner the market on American craft cannabis solely because the outdoor growing conditions are perfect for incredible strains like OCD, GSC, and OMG. Brands will continue to develop that profit from their growing region and specific microclimates, and with well-thought out educational campaigns and brand-building, their reputations will expand.

The Mendocino Appellations Project uses the region’s geographical legacy similar to the way Napa or Bordeaux have for their wine, celebrating its unique growing conditions to carve out areas and brand specific local cannabis crops. Emerald Triangle area growers, Humboldt’s Finest, create exceptional craft flower like Sunset Sherbet and Scout Master, while leading a sustainable cannabis cultivation mission. Their grows use advanced sun-grown and rain-grown farming techniques, with no pesticides and fertilizers. Their craft message is not just high-quality product but also recognition of smart and ethical methods by reducing water use and their carbon footprint in all of its farming operations.

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For the new home grower, know that it’s not more expensive to grow high-quality craft herb yourself. In fact, you may spend a lot less on growing products because the more sustainable your grow, the less chances your plants have of getting diseases or attracting pests. Using sustainable methods, the plants spend less energy pulling nutrients out of the soil and usually produce healthier plants.

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The Difference Between Craft Cannabis and Mega Grows

Many dispensaries are mostly selling production cannabis, grown indoors, and cultivated quickly for higher yields. These type of grows often utilize products to make flower smell or look appealing, and while it might test for good levels of THC and other cannabis compounds, it is not high-quality and may have traces of heavy metals. There is still not enough regulation to believe that everything sold in a dispensary is safe, and buying a cheap non-organic gram is potentially not good for your health.

Craft cannabis will give you the healthiest effects of all. Alison Friendshuh, Budtender at The Farm in Boulder, Colorado, shared, “With anything that we put in our bodies, whether it be food or beer or cannabis, it’s important to know everything that you’re putting in your body when you consume that product. The same reason that I won’t go and buy a bag of Cheetos and eat them is the same reason why I wouldn’t buy some production type of cannabis that’s been sprayed with pesticides. It’s going into our bodies, it’s affecting our brains.”

The Farm specializes in small-batch craft cannabis, and with strains like Alpha Dream and Golden Goat, they are known and respected for having approachable and efficient goods.

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Craft cannabis also benefits from advances in genetics. As more growers communicate and share information and education, it will improve the scientific community’s understanding of the molecular basis for the physiological functions of CBD. This will aid the concepts of next-generation CBD-targeting pharmaceuticals.

Product purity through craft cannabis is vital to making good medicine. The many health, nutritional, and cosmetic applications (in a billion-dollar health and beauty industry) make cannabis quality extremely important when needed and used for CBD. Though not every cannabis company is this socially responsible, the ones that are will push the envelope in the craft community more than anyone else.

Genetics, Branding, and Price Points

While strain lineage and genetics play a relevant role in pricing, the higher price point will also pull from marketing and packaging efforts. Elements like aroma, overall appearance, quality, and the remarkable cure will add to certain brands’ reputation and sales. More branding initiatives connected to individuals who have reputations, like Julian Marley or Willie Nelson, will also push the popularity of craft cannabis.

In the black-market days, it was common to talk quality over quantity.

Higher profile herb aficionados want to fasten their name onto great products and be part of the artisan cannabis culture, to help their celebrity and support positive products.

In the black-market days, it was common to talk quality over quantity. For some, prices back then dictated whether you wanted a lot of weed or kind bud. Craft cannabis will probably always demand a higher price, but legalization has already dropped the prices significantly enough that you can find great craft cannabis and still afford a stack of rolling papers.

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Trina Calderón
Trina Calderón
Trina Calderón’s books include Wall Writers, Pump Me Up: DC Subcultures of the 1980’s, Risk: Old Habits Die Hard, and 9:30 Club - A Time and a Place. She co-executive produced BBC America's The Nerdist TV show and co-wrote the feature film Down for Life. Calderón lives in Los Angeles and specializes in writing about art, music, and food subculture, aiming to add a voice where mainstream media does not. She can be reached on Twitter and Instagram under @trinaluz.
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