More about Nug
While there’s no definitive answer as to where the term “nug” derived from — or how it became ingrained in cannabis culture — the most likely explanation is as a shortened version of the term “nugget.” Originally, the word “nugget” was defined as a small lump of gold or other precious metal, but the term was eventually expanded to include small lumps or chunks of other substances, including cannabis.
In addition to describing the size and shape of cannabis flowers, nug can also refer to the quality of cannabis. Nug is a term cannabis consumers typically use to describe buds of high-quality cannabis. The opposite of nug is “schwag,” or low-quality cannabis.
Nugs make up the larger colas on the cannabis plant and have a relative density of trichomes far greater than leaves and stems or stalks. After the cola is harvested, the nugs are removed and manicured to clear away any leaves or stems that might be attached. Dried, cured nugs are sold for consumption.
Nug in pop culture
The term nug is used frequently in the cannabis industry and by cannabis consumers. As cannabis has become more mainstream, so have pop culture references to nugs.
Some places you might have heard the term nug in recent years include:
- The namesake song “Haiku d’Etat,” released in 19992004 by the group of the same name (“… after partaking from breaking nugs down out of fat bud stash … ”)
- The song “Blaze,” released in 2000 by The Pharcyde (“ … there’s no need for hatin,’ I got nugs you can hug … ”)
- The song “Boulevard Star,” released in 2000 by Delinquent Habits (“ … I’ll be remembered in the hearts of riders, West and East siders, known to take nug, pack bowl, and light …”)
- The song “Remember,” released in 2003 by Presence (“ … better yet one more hug, one more nug to smoke … ”)
- The song “Where’s The Weed At?,” released in 2006 by Kottonmouth Kings (“ … I got a nug on my desk and in my dresser drawer …”)
- The song “Higher Learning,” released in 2011 by Young Jeezy, with guests Snoop Dogg, Devin the Dude, and Mitchelle’l (“ … I smoke dro, good Reggie, smoke shake to nugs …”)
- The song “Get Hi,” released in 2016 By Danny Brown with guest B-Real (“ … you swear you could make dreams come true, sticky icky nugs, real furry buzz … ”)
A term adapted by the cannabis industry to refer to manicured buds from the cannabis plant. Nugs are the smokable part of the colas that are commonly referred to as flower.
What is a nug of weed
If you’re ever bored, doing a deep dive into the etymology behind many of the words we regularly use today can lead to some truly fascinating discoveries — whether in the cannabis canon or otherwise.
For example: Did you know “berserk” combines the Old Norse words for “bjorn” (bear) and “sekr” (coat)? How about the fact that the word “clue” is indebted to Greek mythology? It’s actually a derivation of “clew,” which is a ball of yarn. According to myth, yarn is what Ariadne gave to Theseus to help him find his way out of the Minotaur’s labyrinth, and thus, a new word was born.
Even in cannabis, we can see this in action. Today, we commonly refer to glass water pipes used for smoking weed as bongs. That’s thanks to Vietnam War veterans, who returned from service using the Thai term baung, which literally translates to “cylindrical wooden tube.” The anglicization to “bong” shortly followed suit.
In other cases, the names we ascribe to things are basically just derived from common sense. Such is the case for “popcorn nugs,” the term used to describe cannabis buds that are roughly the size of a popped kernel of corn. Sure, we could have gone with “grape nugs” or “macadamia nut nugs,” but popcorn is where the consensus has landed.
Given cannabis nugs come in many shapes and sizes, you may be wondering what distinguishes popcorn buds from their nugget siblings. Read on to find out — no butter or salt necessary.
Are Popcorn Nugs Considered “High-Quality” Weed?
From a commercial standpoint, popcorn nugs are considered “B-grade” buds in comparison to the larger, “A-grade” buds that serve as the centerpiece for many jars and packages of flower in dispensaries. If “A-grade” buds are the Brad Pitts and Meryl Streeps of the cannabis nugget world, then “B-grade” buds might be represented by character actors like Philip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine O’Hara: The point is, either way, you’re probably in for a great movie. It’s really just a matter of whether or not you care how famous the cast is.
Though popcorn nugs may be slightly less potent due to their reduced mass, the difference is largely negligible. Thus, if you have a grower or farm you prefer, seeking out their “B-grade” buds is a way to save a few bucks while sacrificing virtually no quality. While other forms of cannabis — including shake and reggie — are definitely “rip-off” territory, a jar of popcorn nugs can really only be considered disappointing on an aesthetic level.
Basically, you may not want to post your latest stash on Instagram, but it’s not going to lead to an inferior high.
What Can I Use Popcorn Nugs For?
Given popcorn nugs are simply a phrasing to highlight a certain size of cannabis flower, you can do anything with them that you can do with cannabis!
That said, the size of popcorn nugs does make them ideally suited for a few specific canna-purposes, as well:
If you want to save your prettiest nugs for joints or glassware, we understand. Instead, take your popcorn nugs and press them into rosin for use in a myriad of products
Along the same lines, if popcorn nugs offend your eye, use them as the basis for an edibles recipe. Bon appetit!
The tiniest popcorn nugs are perfect for rolling blunts, with little to no breaking up of the buds necessary. If you really want to impress your friends, twist them up with a Backwoods wrap.
You won’t need butter or salt to enjoy these popcorn-sized buds of cannabis. But what’s the best way to consume this type of weed?