Weed Grade Chart: Know the Cannabis Grading System By Heart!

Do you know how to read and interpret a weed grade chart? Are you aware of how you can define and identify quality cannabis from those that are bad? Don’t worry; I got you! Coming right up would be all the essential information to know about the weed grading system and how you can check and assess weed quality from it!

I, myself, was naive about how marijuana or cannabis is graded or classified. I even thought it had something to do with the color of the cannabis plants themselves! So, in this guide, I’ll be covering the following:

  • The Cannabis Grading System and Its History.
  • Where You Can Use This Weed Grading System.
  • Knowing the Best Quality Cannabis From Those That Are Standard (Even Low-Grade Ones).

What is a Weed Grading System?

A weed or cannabis grading system is a type of system that identifies the quality, dankness, potency, and overall legitimacy of weed. The system utilizes a bunch of factors to identify weed quality; these include, but are not limited to:

  • Whether the product is pungent or not.
  • THC and CBD potency.
  • Terpene content.
  • Physical looks or visual appeal.
  • Growth conditions.

Weed Grading System History and Background

You might be wondering, when did this weed grading system start? To tell you honestly, different parts of the world had their fair share of weed assessments. In Canada, it all started in the mid-1980s.

The 1980s to 1990s Canadian Weed Grading System

During the early to mid-1980s, the terms SinglesDubs, and Trips started circulating in the market. Singles were A-grade marijuana, dubs were AA-grade, and trips were AAA.

Back then, A-grade cannabis was the low-quality cannabis that people used for their daily needs. AA or dubs were a higher and better version of it, while the Trips or AAA grade were the best quality cannabis.

A decade later, the grading system evolved. With newer strains and experiments entering the market, experts and enthusiasts started using new terms and ratings, such as Low Dubs (AA- or -AA) to High Triples (AAA+).

It was also during this time when “the looks” of the buds had a significant effect on its overall rating.

Current Weed Grading System

As the cannabis industry progressed, so did the terms and ratings used by the people involved. Quads or AAAA-grade cannabis overtook trips or AAA-grade ones eventually. Due to this, people found it hard to find A-grade and considered AA-grade cannabis as the worst and lowest but the most convenient to access cannabis product in the market.

Weed Grade Chart: A Grade Cannabis to AAAA Grade Cannabis And Everything You Need To Know!

Before you shop at your favorite legalized cannabis stores, you need to know the different grades of cannabis. I don’t know about you, but I would like high-quality weed all the time as they taste and smell better, have more substantial effects, and is grown with finesse.

So, without further ado, let’s head right on and discuss the different grades of cannabis!

A-Grade Cannabis or Singles

In today’s grading system, A-grade marijuana is considered the worst and the least-potent type of cannabis in the category. You’ll see them at the bottom of the pit to the extent that you will find it difficult to buy one in today’s dispensaries.

Usually, these are the remains or debris of crushed, trimmed, and ground cannabis. You’ll find dispensaries that also refer to them as shake and trim because of how poorly they’ve been cut (having a few stems in them), discolored buds, etc.

Some people like to call it singles because they are actually simple marijuana that has nothing special within it.

Any cannabis strain that is graded A is either cheap or free!

NOTE: Others call it dirt weed or ditch weed in today’s grading system. But lower-cannabis-grade options can also be classified and identified as dirt or ditch weed.

AA-Grade Cannabis or Dubs

The next on the ladder would be none other than AA-grade cannabis, often referred to as dubs or budget buds because of how cheap, affordable, and highly easy to find they are.

They are next to A-grade weed in terms of low quality and can never ever compare to trips or quads.

If you ever see an online dispensary selling dubs, it could either be that the strain is not popular or the stock already needs replenishment.

AA-grade strains would typically be light brown to greenish in color, and in order to get stoned and high, you’ll need to consume a reasonably high amount of it.

You can check out West Coast Cannabis’ AA-grade strains and buds to better understand what it looks like and its effects.

They were extremely cheap. In fact, I’ve encountered a licensed dispensary offering dubs that are medium in bud size as a freebie or a free gift for my order.

AAA-Grade Cannabis or Trips

More than two decades ago, trips were considered and known as the best and highest quality of weed in the market. There came a time when they were dubbed as premium weed simply because of how great, potent, and pungent they were.

Today, it’s considered a mid-grade cannabis that usually has excess moisture building up on its exterior compared to quads.

A lot of growers and cultivators wanted more, so both the supplier and the customer would get big wins from it.

Even today, AAA-grade cannabis almost has the same qualities as AAAA-grade cannabis, but they are not parallel in terms of overall quality.

The deficits involved are room for a better curing process, trimming, shaping, and even treatment. From A and AA cannabis, trips cost significantly more than the two (2).

AAAA-Grade Cannabis or Quads

Last but most definitely not least would be the quads or the AAAA-grade cannabis strains and units. If you’ve been following the industry for years, you should know these by their nicknames, including primo, top-shelf strains, and dank.

Comparing quads to low-quality grades would be easy as you would already notice the differences from the buds alone.

You’ll find some quads that have the same characteristics and factors as trips or AAA-grade cannabis, and the differential would merely be with how they’re cut.

I understood it when I found that everything about quads is better and of much higher quality than the ones below it. So from having the perfect color, the whitest ash color, and extra thick trichomes to having undergone the perfect curing process, they’re definitely better.

This national cannabis grading scale in Canada is what many dispensaries consider and know as the grading system. What it does is help both the supply side and demand side to meet at a certain level in terms of price and quality.

High-grade cannabis or AAAA weed Canada will be recognized in the entire country; the same thing goes for A-grade cannabis or weed.

Is This Rating Cannabis-Quality Based?

I was as confused as you, and I can’t blame you if you’re not getting the idea of grade quality just yet. So, is this national cannabis grading scale based on quality? Do cannabis growers consider and use this scale, too?

Yes and no —let me explain.

As I mentioned above, the system merely translates the amount of care put into the particular cannabis plant and cannabis flower. The more care it has, the better the quality, and vice versa. However, just because AAAA weed Canada has a higher rating doesn’t mean it is more potent.

The rating of these cannabis flowers actually has too few factors involved. They include:

Ash Color

In a cannabis plant, colors are significant determiners of quality. And when I mean colors, it’s not the “color” of the plant, but instead, the ash’s color when burned.

In fact, Kate A. Miner, a correspondent of EVERCANNABIS, said that the color of the plant has nothing to do with quality or potency.

There is a widely held belief that marijuana strains with vivid colors are more robust. However, this is a misconception because the color of cannabis has no correlation with its potency. The reality is that buds that are grown and harvested to their fullest potential can be completely blanketed with trichomes, to the point where they may appear white in color.”

When it comes to ash color, the better and higher quality weed would have whiter and lighter ash colors, while those that have worse or poorer quality would be dark brown to black.

That puts the gray ash color somewhere in the middle.

Flower Structure

Have you ever encountered cannabis buds that have poorer bud density and are slimy? Well, those are two (2) indicators that you have bad-quality weed. The best weed would be sticky and are evenly shaped.

Moreover, high-quality marijuana would also feel soft, spongy, and bouncy to the touch. It’s almost like the structure of the entire plant is planned and engineered to go in a particular direction.

On the flip side, low-grade weed would have random flower structures without any form of arrangement.

Appearance-wise, they will be fuller, more symmetrical, and a lot neater to look at than low-quality weed.


The hair fibers covering the bud are called trichomes. Often, these trichomes are disregarded by people simply because they have no idea of how important it is. When, in fact, they play a crucial and critical role in the health and quality of cannabis.

Like many people, I did not expect trichomes to be where the majority of THC in the plant will be held. So, the more trichomes on a cannabis plant, the higher the THC level will be, and therefore, the stronger and more potent it becomes.


Not all cannabis strains and grades are created equally. That is true in the sense that all different types and kinds of cannabis have different flavors and effects. For example, quality cannabis has the ability to retain its natural flavors and scents. In contrast, poor-quality ones would turn earthy and mushy and would have a bit of a wooden undertone.

Scent and Aroma

Hunters Coffeeshop states that good-quality weed would have a pungent, almost sour-like aroma. This signifies that premium weed would always equate to more defined and specific scents.

What about bad weed? Well, to keep it short and easy for you to understand, bad-quality cannabis would smell like grass, hay, or uprooted plants.

Does THC and CBD Potency Play a Role in This?

It’s important to note that in the cannabis world, people have different thoughts and opinions on what’s better. For example, some could like strains in the AA-grade scale better than AAA because of smoothness; others could like AAA weed more than AAAA —you get the point.

I have had experiences where I’ve purchased trips, and they’re stronger than quads or those other top-shelf strains.

What this implies is that the rating of this particular cannabis grading system is not 100% accurate. Even low-potency cannabis can climb up to trips if they’ve been cared for consistently.

NOTE: Both THC and CBD potency are measured through official lab tests. This, however, does not mean that the stronger the strain, the better it is. Some have the same qualities but give out different experiences to their consumers.

Is This Grading System Officialized?

No, it’s not. This rating is independent and is not official. As a matter of fact, there has been no standard in rating or qualifying weed, as it’s impossible to get highly accurate ratings if the quality would only be based on it alone.

So, think of it as something other than a standard. Although it has been a legally-approved system of identifying good-quality weed from those that are low-grade, you can’t rely on it 100%.

Nevertheless, this grading system is here to help people understand the type of care, maintenance, and methodology that growers performed for the plant. It’s not really a reflection of a strain because strains just came from the same genetics, not necessarily the same exact plant.

If you want to find out the truth behind the quality of your weed, it’ll be best to check official lab tests and take it from there.

Is There AAAA+ Grade Weed?

AAAA+ weed, AAAAA weed, sometimes even referred to as A5 weed, is a cannabis-grade marijuana that is considered the penultimate category in the cannabis grading system. Although not official, A5 weed often points out marijuana that is exotic, rare, and those that have incredibly potent and precise effects.

Compared to quads or AAAA cannabis, trips or AAA cannabis, and those AA-grade strains, A5-grade weed would be dominant in terms of quality, flavor, and overall effects.

Here’s a selection of some of the best AAAA+ or A5 weed in the market:


Still, have some questions about cannabis grades? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions concerning the different grades of marijuana!

What is the Lowest Grade Weed?

The lowest-grade weed would be none other than singles or D-grade weed. Sometimes, they are also referred to as dirt weed or ditch weed because of how ineffective and low quality they are.

B-Grade Weed Meaning?

Cannabis quality is an abstract form of ranking. There are; however, a couple of terms that can point towards the true quality of weed, and B-grade marijuana are those that are lower in quality than A-grade. They’re typically referred to as mid-grade weed or boof.

What is AAAA-Weed Rating?

Also known as quads, AAAA-grade cannabis are these high-quality weed that is exceptionally potent, has consistent bag appeal, and are grown in the best and most natural ways possible. The aroma, effects, and flavors are intense and definitely noticeable.

Best Mid-Grade Weed Strains

This depends on the high and effects you are looking for. When it comes to mid-grade cannabis, the best ones, according to accurate or consistent units and reports from active and prominent cannabis institutions, are:

  • Krypto Chronic
  • Beaver Tail
  • Dawg Breath
  • The Judge
  • Red Pop

Final Verdict

Weed grades are imperative as they segregate the best-quality weed from those that are just standard, even those that are bad. That is what makes a weed grade chart important and useful.

Always opt for higher-grade cannabis and premium weed so you can easily stray and avoid a ditch or dirt weed. Have the best and most pleasant experience with AAA-grade cannabis or higher!

I mean, who wants to smoke low-quality weed and get nothing out of that particular experience?

Leave a Comment