Exotic Weed Vs Regular Weed - How To Know the Difference

Most cannabis sold in U.S. dispensaries is locally grown or cultivated in a neighboring state. However, some dispensaries offer high-quality exotic strains and products using rare exotic kush. Exotic weed is potent non-local cannabis that delivers a unique and coveted high. Cannabis strains with origins in the Middle East or the tropics are labeled as exotic. However,  uncommon strains mainly accessible on the West Coast can also be considered exotic to cannabis consumers on the East Coast and vice versa. 

Some companies in the cannabis industry use the word “exotic” to broadly describe usable cannabis with unknown origins and a blurred lineage. When the word “exotic” gets used so loosely, it can be challenging to know exactly which strains are genuinely exotic. There are a few critical steps to differentiating regular cannabis from premium exotic weed. Continue reading to learn what distinctive characteristics to look for when shopping for exotic weed. 

  • What Makes Weed Exotic?
  • Trending Exotic Weed and Rare Marijuana Strains in The U.S.
  • How To Know if Cannabis is Exotic
  • Best Ways to Smoke Exotic Cannabis

  • What Makes Weed Exotic?

    Many exotic indica and sativa strains are rare and highly sought out in the cannabis community. Due to its high potency, foreign effects, distant origins, and specific growing conditions, exotic cannabis strains are coveted amongst weed consumers, cannabis companies, U.S. growers, and dispensaries. There are many exotic weed strain characteristics to become familiar with, but it can be difficult to know where to start. Read on to learn what qualifies cannabis as exotic and all it takes to achieve this golden status. 

    Where Does Exotic Weed Come From?

    Where does Exotic Weed Come From?

    The definition of the word “exotic” changes depending on where in the world you live. Cannabis from Oregon would qualify as exotic to residents in Washington DC. Folks living in California might even consider some New Mexico stains exotic, depending on how rare the strain is in their area. Here in the U.S., most cannabis strains originate on the west coast or in other parts of the world. Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Africa birthed unique exotic marijuana that continues to excite cannabis consumers worldwide. 

    But how do you know which strains are local and which strains are “exotic?” Is there an easy way to tell the difference between regular cannabis and exotic bud? Read on to clarify which strains of exotic marijuana to look for in your area and how to pick out exotic weed in a lengthy line-up of dispensary products. 

    Trending Exotic Weed and Rare Marijuana Strains in The U.S. 

    No matter which cannabis-friendly state you reside in, there are new revolving exotic strains to try, seemingly, every day. Read up on strain origins and ask your dispensary staff questions about the bud they offer. Learn about the substances you choose to consume to better understand the lineage and effects to expect following consumption. As you expand your weed wisdom, you’ll find it much easier to select strains that cater to your unique preferences. 

    If you want access to this wisdom but feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of strain options, don’t worry you are far from alone. Discovering popular exotic cannabis and its characteristics is an excellent place to start on your quest for proper cannabis knowledge. Stick with us and we will show your the ins and outs of each exotic strain. Below is a list of ultra exotic fan favorites and their native origins.

    Ultra Exotic Cannabis Strains 

    The strains listed below are truly exotic, having originated outside of the U.S. Many of the pure exotic strains are difficult to come by which makes finding them somewhat rare. Due to their rarity, the ultra exotic strains are highly coveted amongst the cannabis community. Read on to learn the names, origins, and effects of the top exotic strains available in the U.S. 

    • Skywalker OG- Amsterdam

    Skywalker OG is a potent indica-dominant hybrid marijuana that has a pungent earthy scent. The effects of this strain include relaxation and a physical tingling numbness. Some consumers report experiencing substantial pain relief after smoking Skywalker OG. If you want a strong indica strain that delivers heavily therapeutic effects. 

    • Amnesia Haze- Netherlands

    This citrusy sativa encourages social connections and enlightens the consumer’s mood. With euphoric, energetic, and friendly effects, Amnesia Haze is an exotic fan favorite. This strain is great when smoked before a social event or a day full of busy chores. I personally like smoking Amnesia Haze before a big spring cleaning. 

    • Durban Poison- Africa  

    Durban Poison is a peppy, fiery, and potent sativa strain native to Africa. Durban Poison’s consumption effects include increased energy, euphoria, and productivity. 

    This sativa is sharp and successfully adds a bit of pep to your step. Take a quick hit of Durban Poison for an efficient pre-workout or wake and bake session.

    • Hindu Kush- Afghanistan

    Hindu Kush is a pure indica strain native to the mountain ranges of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The strain was brought to the U.S. during the 1960s, but due to its sensitive and dry growing conditions, Hindu Kush grown in the U.S. is often rare and relatively pricey. 

    Consumers of this strain report a heavy, relaxing body high and experiencing dream-like euphoria. The effects of this strain are often heavily sedative and promote relaxation and healthy sleep habits. This is a great strain for experienced cannabis consumers and those experiencing symptoms of insomnia and restlessness. 

    The Exotic Experience 

    Allow us to explain the typical consumer’s initial experience with exotic cannabis. They walk into a dispensary and lock eyes with shockingly unusual but beautifully cultivated buds. It's vibrant in color, potent with THC, and unlike anything they’ve ever seen! Their eyes travel from the frosty nugs to the cleverly labeled exotic strain name and then down to its price. At this point, the consumer usually loses interest due to the unexpectedly high cost of most exotic cannabis. Truly exotic cannabis is ultra-rare and often higher in price. There are a few different reasons for these occurrences. 

    Why is Exotic Cannabis Expensive? 

    Exotic weed vs regular weed

    Exotic Strains Have a Higher Potency 

    E xotic strains are often more potent than regular weed and contain unique and colorful cannabinoid and terpene profiles. The consumption effects of exotic weed are highly desirable due to the rarity of their presence in locally grown cannabis. Have you ever smoked an exotic strain or smoked local cannabis in an exotic location and experienced a radically unfamiliar but delightfully peculiar high? This experience is commonly shared between exotic cannabis consumers.

    There Are Specific Cultivation Conditions for Exotic Weed 

    T he efforts spent to maintain the specific growing conditions of cultivars in a simulated indoor environment are often expensive and complex compared to the cultivation process of regular cannabis. Variables such as soil type, temperature, water regimen, light, humidity, and added nutrients are all closely regulated by growers for the precise replication of exotic environments. 

    And now that we’ve discovered the reasoning behind exotic cannabis cost, I bet you’re wondering whether or not the bang is really worth your buck. If you are looking to mix up your routine with beautiful buds grown to perfection that deliver rare and potent effects, consider purchasing exotic cannabis.  Down below is our expert opinion on a popular inquiry in the cannabis community. Continue reading to learn whether or not the price of exotic weed is worth it. 

    Exotic Cannabis: Is It Worth It?

    To put it shortly, yes! Even if you only purchase exotic flower on special occasions, the high delivered after each exotic smoke is worth every penny. There’s nothing wrong with smoking regular local weed, but sometimes it feels as though local strains lack substantial variation in taste, smell, color, and consumption effects. The next time you are in the mood to treat yourself to a dispensary delicacy, spend a little extra to mix things up with a fresh exotic strain. 

    Exotic cannabis can cost up to twice as much as regular weed, depending on its rarity, potency, and cultivation process. You’ll most likely find cannabis strains living on the dispensary’s top shelf. Aside from their differences, there is a multitude of contrasts between regular marijuana and exotic cannabis. Learn these differences to properly differentiate between genuinely exotic weed and regular local cannabis. 

    Knowing the Difference Between Exotic Weed and Regular Weed is Important

    Cannabis consumers should familiarize themselves with exotic strains and the distinctive characteristics used to identify exotic flower instead of regular fower. There are two main reasons for this quest for knowledge. Sometimes strains lineages are not closely documented or communicated to dispensary buyers, which leads to excitingly rare strains that go overlooked and unlabeled as “exotic.” 

    On the other hand, some dispensaries intentionally label local bud, unknown strains, and weed with a blurred lineage as “exotic.” This sales practice can often trick new cannabis consumers into paying premium prices for mediocre marijuana. There are distinctive characteristics of exotic weed that, when learned and looked for, can help you spot imposter exotics and truly premium, exotic cannabis. Let's dive deeper into the identifiable characteristics of exotic strains and the difference between regular weed and exotic bud. 

    Regular Weed Vs Exotic Flower

    Now to the meat and potatoes of learning the difference between regular and exotic cannabis. As we discussed earlier, the location of origin is key to determining whether strains are exotic or not. If this information is inaccessible or unknown, there are a few additional distinctions. With your natural senses, a bit of research, and plenty of questions, almost anyone can tell the difference between exotic and regular cannabis.


    Premium exotic bud quickly catches the eye with its bright purple or lime green color, thick density, and dusty crystal-like coating. Due to the precision practiced during exotic cultivation, the cannabis buds grow to their absolute peak potential. Locally grown outdoor cannabis will look less dense, lack visual vibrancy, and may appear to obtain fewer trichomes than exotic bud. Keep your eyes peeled for full, frosty, and fiercely colored flower during your next dispensary visit.   


    Some exotic cannabis connoisseurs like to literally sniff out the exotic strains by smelling the weed for distinctive foreign aromas. If you develop the habit of wafting your weed, you will discover that your local strains contain a similar smell or only slightly varying terpene profiles. Additionally, a trained nose can easily identify unlabeled exotic strains. Notice the bud’s familiar and unfamiliar scents. Does the terpene profile follow local trends or does it have an unusual odor? The less familiar a strain smells to you, the more likely it is a true exotic. 


    Exotic cannabis can be up to twice as potent as regular cannabis or mislabeled exotics. Accurate cannabinoid profiles will reveal the THC and CBD content of marijuana strains. Some exotic strains have relatively normal THC levels. However, without access to further lineage context, measuring a stain’s potency is a good method of exotic identification. 

    Best Ways to Smoke Exotic Cannabis 

    Just like regular weed, exotic marijuana can be smoked or consumed using a wide array of techniques. Pack it in a bowl, roll it in a joint, or eat it in an edible. No matter which consumption method you choose, the delivered effects will be highly desirable. However, there are a few tips and tricks to obtaining the very best exotic high.

    Pair Exotics with Regular Cannabis

    Okay, buying ONLY exotic weed ALL the time might empty your wallet after some time. But what if you are a lover of exotic flower and spot a strain that you can’t resist taking home? To keep your monthly bud budget from completely bursting, consider combining both exotic weed and less expensive regular weed. The exotic cannabis will enhance the flavor, smell, and effects of regular stains. Knock it up a notch, and add some excitement to your mundane marijuana regimen with a bit of exotic weed.

    Filter Your Smoke

    Cannabis smoke contains levels of harmful tar and resin. These toxins can cause permanent damage to those who smoke weed regularly. When using a Moose Labs Weed Filter while smoking exotic cannabis, you receive its unique and potent effects while protecting your lungs and overall health. You’ll also notice a brighter flavor from your cannabis, as you are not ingesting as much resin and tar. 

    Now That You Know

    Hopefully, with our guidance, you feel more capable of identifying exotic marijuana as opposed to regular local cannabis. For unique potent effects, shop exotic on your next dispensary visit. Smoke exotic weed in a bowl, joint, blunt, or as a concentrate, but always use a Mooselabs Smoke Filter to get the very best exotic smoking experience. 

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