What is Top Shelf Weed? Characteristics, Strains

Have you ever heard of a top-shelf weed before and you’re wondering what it is? Well, even if you haven’t today I’ll explain it to you and I’ll show you how to identify these top-shelf weeds so next time you can buy it with confidence.

Key Takeaways

  • The highest quality cannabis is called “top-shelf cannabis”.
  • Top-shelf cannabis is usually displayed on the highest shelf or top shelf of the cannabis dispensary for more visibility.
  • Best quality weed should have vibrant colors, dense buds coated in trichomes, and should feel sticky and spongy.
  • The smell of top-shelf weed should be pungent along with other terpene profiles.
  • Some popular top-shelf weeds at Siam Green include Dante’s Inferno, Mimosa, and Permanent Marker.

What is top shelf weed and why is it called “top shelf”?

“Top shelf” cannabis usually refers to the highest quality cannabis, which is often stored on the highest shelf or top shelf of the store for more visibility. These cannabis are produced by quality growers that create high potency with great aromas and flavors and they cost more than lower quality weed with less THC levels. Typically, top-shelf cannabis is grown indoors allowing the grower to have more control over the cultivation process such as temperature.

Top Shelf Weed Characteristics

Let’s see how to spot the top-shelf weed. A variety of characteristics defines high-quality cannabis:

Color and Bud Structure (Density)

The buds’ texture and color can determine the strain’s phenotype and how it’s grown. You can say that the visual signals tell a lot about its quality. High-quality buds should have vibrant colors and not be dull, while low-quality buds may take a brown or gray color in appearance. They often display deep green leaves with vivid orange, crimson, deep purple, or blue. 

Quality buds are dense and tightly packed which offers a springy structure and should resist crumbling. Grooming and taking care of the buds play an important role in the cultivation stage to achieve well-manicured and tight-trimmed buds, which should be akin to the precision of a chisel. 


The flower buds also should be coated in trichomes which resemble sparkling crown diamonds that almost look shimmery in the sunlight. A dense and sugary coating of trichomes is a sign of a promise in potent experience. The more density of trichomes, the higher the concentration of the compounds that the plants produce meaning it will offer stronger potency and top-shelf quality.


The texture of high-quality cannabis should feel sticky, dry, spongy, and firm. If the bud feels other ways than mentioned previously, such as crumbling to the touch or feeling damp, are the signs of poor conditions during the cultivation or curing process.

Terpene Profiles and Aroma

There’s no one particular scent that defines top-shelf cannabis, but high-quality cannabis should reflect its robust scent. Pungency should be the first scent hitting your nose when sniffing, and then the complex aromas come after to indicate the quality of the strain. If your nose picks up on smells with a hint of hay or mold, then that’s not top-shelf cannabis.

Another thing that should be paid attention to in top-shelf weed is their unique terpene profiles. Terpenes are aromatic compounds produced by plants including cannabis that give the plant its distinctive smell and flavor. They will indicate particular terpenoids that create different smells and flavors with various experiences. These are some of the most common cannabis terpenes:

  • Caryophyllene: A spicy peppery, and earthy aroma and flavor that can be found in black pepper, cinnamon, and rosemary.
  • Myrcene: An earthy and musky scent is often found in mangoes, hops, and lemongrass.
  • Limonene: Just like its name, it gives a citrusy lemon-like flavor which can be found in lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits.
  • Pinene: The smell of fresh woody and herbal scent reminiscent of pine trees and conifer trees.
  • Humulene: This terpene offers a woody and earthy profile which can be found in hops, ginsengs, and sage.
  • Linalool: The floral smell is reminiscent of lavender with a sweet, spicy, and citrusy scent found in jasmine and rosewood.
  • Terpinolene: It gives a fresh floral and pine-like scent found in cumin, lilac, and nutmeg.

THC Levels in Top Shelf Strains

Top-shelf cannabis should be potent and the effects should hit immediately, you’ll feel the powerful effect even when you consume a small amount. When compared to low-quality weed, you may need to consume it in a greater amount as it produces lower levels of potency and cannabinoids to interact with the entourage effects.

Exploring Siam Green’s Top Shelf Weed

Taking a look at our cannabis cultivars, Siam Green ensures the best-curated weed strains in Thailand to provide only top-shelf cannabis with high potency and its therapeutic benefits along with other cannabis products including CBD products, food and beverage, cannabis-related paraphernalia as well as cannabis education. These are some of the potent strains we have on the shelf:

  1. Watermelon Cream Soda

We are starting off strong with the Watermelon Cream Soda strain that produces THC content ranging from 28% to 32%. This strain is a perfect half-and-half indica and sativa (50/50 hybrid) by genetic crossing of Watermelon Zkittlez, Grape Pie, and Guava Gelato strains. Myrcene is the dominant terpene along with caryophyllene and limonene which offer sugary watermelon and pineapple flavors.

  1. Royal Purple

Royal Purple is another strong cannabis strain with 26% to 30% THC content, a creation of Barkuna Cannabis made by crossbreeding between OG Kush Breath, Blue Sherbert, and Purple Thai. The strain offers an earthy scent with a hint of grape and an earthy fruity flavor that also produces energizing effects.

  1. Permanent Marker

An Indica dominant strain well-known for its potency with 28% to 34% THC. Permanent Marker was bred and nurtured by Seed Junky Genetics from the genetic cross between Biscotti, Jealousy, and Sherbet BX. The strain produces a spicy diesel and sour citrus smell with sweet and sour fruity flavors.

  1. Mimosa

The Mimosa weed strain is a 70/30 sativa-dominant hybrid resulting from a genetic cross of Purple Punch and Clementine. The strain holds its terpene profiles with a note of citrus and fruity berry providing a strong THC content of 27%. It also creates euphoric and energizing effects.

  1. Dante’s Inferno

A creation from the crossbreeding between Oreoz and Devil Driver strains is Dante’s Inferno, an Indica-dominant hybrid strain. It gives THC content ranging from 27% to 29% and offers a sweet and creamy flavor complimented by nutty and fruity aromas.

Wrap Up

Top-shelf cannabis is used to describe cannabis with high quality which is usually put on the top shelf of the dispensary so customers can notice it easily. These cannabis are usually offering potent THC levels and are more expensive than lower cannabis grades that give lower THC levels. Top-shelf weed should have vibrant colors and dense buds coated beautifully with trichomes. The buds should have sticky, dry, spongy, and firm textures. To identify top-shelf weed, the cannabis bud should greet you with a rich pungent odor along with other terpene profiles.

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