Types of Weed: The Difference Between Dank, Mids, and Reggie Weed

Consider for a moment the difference between a cheap bottle of wine from the local convenience store and a pricey selection from an upscale Italian restaurant’s reserve list. While both can be classified as wine, the grape quality, grow climate, and post-harvest techniques distinguish the finest varietals from wines of lesser quality.    

The same principles can be applied to cannabis quality, too. As medical and adult-use cannabis legalization continues to take root across North America, the difference between dank bud and ditch weed has never been more clear than it is today. Over the decades, people have used a variety of slang terms to classify weed. Like all slang terms, they vary by region. What is called reggie by some, may be seen as schawg to others. While one person may be looking for dank, another may be asking for top-shelf. But in the end, they’re usually looking for the same thing — the best on the market. 

Weed quality classifications have changed over the years due to sweeping cannabis legalization, as the quality and potency of weed has increased compared with what was grown in the ’60s and ’70s. In other words, the type of weed quality is relative to what’s currently available on the market and the location of that market. What was once considered dank a decade ago would likely be relegated to mids today. Something that is considered to be mids in California could be coveted as top-shelf in a state where cannabis is illegal.  

To help you distinguish whether you’re smoking schwag or good weed, here’s a breakdown on how to identify the different types of weed and the factors that contribute to their classification. 

Dank Weed

(AKA Top Shelf weed, Loud weed, Chronic, Kind, Headies, Piff)

Dank, fire, that good good. Whatever you wish to call it, this is the type of weed that you’ll find on the top shelves of dispensaries, a diverse cast of strains that vary in effects, flavors, and aromas. In legal states, top-shelf weed usually comes at a top-shelf price, as an eighth of dank can cost upwards of $60 on some adult-use markets. Ultimately, the price will vary on a number of factors, such as the dispensary location, cultivator, and product availability. Think of top-shelf bud as craft beer, carefully curated to offer unique aromas and flavors. In most adult-use markets, top-shelf weed tends to have a focus on higher THC levels.

Appearance

Top-shelf, high-quality nugs can range from bright green to a darker green with streaks of purple, often heavily blanketed with sugary trichomes and vibrant hairs that boast a fiery orange or red hue. Most kind bud comes in the form of dense, vibrant, frosty nugs. The trichomes should sparkle when the surface is struck with light.  

Taste and Aroma

Similar to the appearance, the taste and aroma of dank will also depend on the strain’s terpene profile. One quick sniff of top-shelf bud will pry open a world of aroma that is louder and tastier than milder mids could ever evoke. Taste will also be determined by the strain type and the presence of certain terpenes. If the abundance of trichomes doesn’t convince you of the dankness of a particular strain, a complex, well-balanced aroma and flavor can indicate a high-quality nug. 

Effects 

With top-shelf weed, potency should be expected. THC levels for the particular product you select will depend on the strain and grower. You can find lab analysis results on the packaging of products sold in most adult-use and medical markets. In general, top-shelf flower in recreational markets will have high THC levels — anywhere from 25% to 35%. But THC potency isn’t necessary for consideration as top-shelf. On the medical market, for instance, high-CBD strains such as Charlotte’s Web are also seen as top-shelf selections.  

Mids

(AKA Beasters)

More closely related to dank than schwag weed, mids weed is, as the term denotes, middle-of-the-road in quality. Although legalization has caused an influx of high-quality weed to flood legal markets, prices for top-shelf bud can be prohibitive. This has made mids an enticing option for those living in legal states, as it offers a decent bang for your buck. While some dispensaries classify mids as lower-potency strains, this could end up being a bargain for consumers who prefer something lower in THC and higher in other cannabinoids.   

Appearance

Cannabis labeled as mids will usually have more airy buds compared with the densely packed, trichome-coated flower that is sold at top-shelf prices. But most mids should still have a noticeable amount of frosty trichomes sprinkled throughout the bud. Compared with top-shelf, mids tend to be less vibrantly green in color with fewer orange hairs sprinkled throughout the flower. Mids rarely contain seeds and have been trimmed to remove most or all stems. In certain locations, mids can pass as high-quality nugs.

Taste/Aroma

Mids have a smaller concentration of trichomes, which contain the terpenes that make cannabis aromatic and flavorful. As a result, the aroma and flavor of mids will be less intense than those of their top-shelf counterparts.   

Effects 

Depending on the location, mids will boast THC contents ranging anywhere from 10% to 16%, or sometimes higher in legal states. The price of mids will also vary on the where they’re being sold.     

Reggie Weed 

(AKA Regs, Schwag, Ditch weed, Dirt weed, Brick weed)

When someone tells you that you’re smoking reggies, regs, or schwag, they probably didn’t intend that remark as a compliment. Regs, also known as schwag weed, is a term for low-grade weed that can be rather unpleasant. 

Appearance

Low-grade weed will typically take on a brownish appearance with hints of dark green, and is often mixed with seeds and stems. In some cases, regs are so dried out that they simply crumble upon contact.

Taste/Aroma

One whiff or look should be all it takes to figure out whether you have schwag or mids. Reggie weed has an earthy, dirtlike smell that translates into a rather harsh and pungent taste upon combustion. Some might find the flavor bearable, but regs lack the nuanced flavor that top-shelf strains have to offer.  

Effects

Low-grade weed is uncommon in legal markets. As a result, the potency and effects produced by it are difficult to quantify. It stands to reason that weed grown in sub-optimal conditions is likely to result in lower potency and less desirable effects than mid-grade and top-shelf cannabis.  

Factors That Affect Weed Quality

Cultivation Environment

High-quality cannabis is typically cultivated in optimized environments where growers have greater control over every aspect of the cultivation and curing process. Strains are carefully selected and the cannabis plants are often grown with the finest cultivation supplies, such as living soil and organic nutrients. In order to maintain a natural shape and keep the trichome-coated bud intact, most top-shelf weed is carefully hand-trimmed, but even machine-trimmed weed can still classify as dank.     

Schwag weed is typically grown in a harsh environment, causing the buds to form early without the glittery trichomes commonly found on the surface of flower designated as dank or mids.   

Harvesting

Curing is an important part of the cultivation process that, if done improperly, can turn top-shelf potential into mids. Mids will sometimes have a grassy or harsh taste due to improper curing. Aside from the lack of aromatic enjoyment, additional signs of poorly cured weed include dampness to the bud and stems that don’t easily snap. 

In most cases, mids will still contain a passable terpene profile that gives off a pleasant aroma that is more akin to dank than regs, but the difference in pungency between mids and top-shelf should be discernable. 

If bud is harvested too early, it could be relegated to the mids or even schwag category, as a premature harvest can result in reduced potency and a less enjoyable taste.   

Storage

When we’re talking about top-shelf bud sold on legal adult-use markets, the packaging is oftentimes as enticing as the nug itself. High-quality flower should have levels of THC and other cannabinoids listed on the product label – and should come with a certificate of analysis from a third-party testing lab to ensure there are no pesticides, mold, or other contaminants on the bud. 

Schwag weed, on the other hand, is sometimes compressed and transported in a brick that contains a mixture of small, dry nugs, shake, and lots of seeds and stems – hence the well-deserved nickname “brick weed.” When improperly handled and cured, even the best nugs can contain high levels of cannabinol (CBN), a cannabinoid that is produced as THC undergoes decarboxylation and said to have sedative qualities. This process is sped up when dried plant matter is exposed to heat and oxygen. 

Although this sleepy cannabinoid might not be preferable to the recreational user seeking a buzz, CBN has demonstrated the ability to treat insomnia, inflammation, pain, bacteria, and even acts as an appetite booster. In its molecular form, CBN might sound appealing to some, but keep in mind that low-grade weed could also be contaminated with pesticides, mildew, mold, or insects due to having an adverse growing environment.

How to Judge for Yourself

Now that we’ve differentiated between dank, mids, and regs, here’s a quick recap on how to distinguish the types of weed you might come across in the near future. In most cases, a simple eye and sniff test should be sufficient in figuring out the quality of weed.

 

  • Appearance: Top-shelf flower will usually be carefully hand-trimmed, coated with trichomes and hairs, and sticky to the touch. Decent mids will also have trichomes and hairs, but to a lesser extent than top-shelf, or dank, while schwag should be identifiable by its brownish color and crumbly nature — especially if it’s accompanied by seeds and stems.  
  • Flavor and Aroma: Top-shelf cannabis strains tend to offer a complex and well-balanced aroma, as cultivators are heavily focused on maximizing terpene profiles to achieve a certain smell or flavor. A quick whiff or hit should be all it takes to figure out whether the weed is dank or mids. If you’re shopping in a legal market, look for cannabis products that provide lab analysis and list terpene profiles along with levels of THC and other cannabinoids. 
  • Trichomes: Look at the surface of the bud to see if there are trichomes coated on the surface, a clear indicator that you’re puffing on some piff. A frosty, dank nug will be covered in these sparkly crystals, while mids will have them more spread out. In terms of trichomes, think of dank as the blizzard and mids as a flurry. Regs will typically not have much by way of trichomes and should be easy to separate from more exquisite nugs.