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Sorting cannabis product is crucial to maximizing profits

Sorting cannabis product is crucial to maximizing profits

By Allison Cohn

Okay, so you’re cannabis has matured to an ideal size and has been cured to perfection. The moisture content is just right and the trichomes are a gorgeous frosty white. Your crop is all set to either sell or store.

But there’s another important post harvest task that will help your crop maximize its profits — sorting. Sorting the flower allows the supplier to get the highest price for their crop while the buyer gets exactly what they are looking for.


Cannabis flower is classified in several ways. There’s your A-flower, which typically measures over ¾ inch, has a higher terpene and THC content, has received the most sunlight and tends to test better and is therefore considered to be higher quality. Then there’s your B-flower, which measures under ¾ inch. B-flower represents those underneath buds that end up being little nuggets — the ones that fit just perfectly into your pipe. A-flower, the bigger buds, tend to grow towards the top of the plant. B-flower grows near the bottom of the plant and are often less developed because they literally grow in the shadow of the A-flower. While there are some specific strains that grow smaller flower, generally, this is the rule of thumb.

Both A-flower and B-flower can be good quality cannabis, they just represent different variations of the same plant — and different price points of that plant.

In order to maximize your profit and best capitalize on your yield, the A-flower and the B-flower ought to be separated and sorted. Sorting the buds by size allows growers to deliver the most consistent and best quality product to their customers. Sorting also provides hard data that most accurately describes and represents the description of the overall yield, which ultimately helps during the grading process.


Typically, growers will have a third party appraiser come in and assess their cannabis yield. They’ll give a price for the A-flower versus the B-flower. If growers don’t sort their bud, the appraiser will estimate the percentage split and offer a price based on that estimate. Mixed material often receives a lower price, and an A/B mix isn’t going to receive the same profits as A-flower that has been separated and sold independently of the B-flower.

If growers sort their bud, they will receive a profits for the A-flower and the B-flower based on the actual calculated percentages of each type of bud, therefore receiving more net cost. Sorted bud will receive the fairest prices. Growers gain the most profit when they sort their cannabis, as the highest price is received per flower type in each category.


Yes, sorting cannabis takes time and manual labor. If a grower doesn’t have the time to sort their product, it’s certainly easier to just accept the lower price for the mixed material. But if they opt to sort the buds by size, it generally pays off — and pays off well.

There are various ways of sorting cannabis, from automated conveyor belt machines to more analogue or DIY sorting tables, with specific sized holes for the cannabis to sift through. Most large scale grow operations will invest in sorting technology that will do so quickly and efficiently. Sorting the bud will also help to streamline the trimming process, especially if that is also automated.

Sorting cannabis ensures that each sized bud receives the optimal and appropriate price, and while the prized A-flower buds will sell for the most money, even the shake and trim holds value and can be turned into pre-rolled joints or utilized to make extracts. Nothing gets wasted, and no cannabis is left behind. By accurately assessing the breakdown of flower-type ratios that make up their crop, growers are ensured to receive the proper price per unit for their entire yield.

Allison Cohn
Allison Cohn

Allison Cohn loves gold spray paint and nonsense. She also has a very difficult time sitting still and keeping quiet. She can often be found dancing like a fool when she isn’t hiding out in her mountain lair or gallivanting around the globe.