What are Hemp Smalls and What Are They Used For?

If you’ve been exploring hemp products online, you must have come across the term “Smalls”, but even if you haven’t yet, you’re likely wondering what it is. Smalls are nothing but smaller-sized buds of the same plant. But what causes small buds and what’s the difference between small buds vs. big buds? Are hemp smalls less potent? Moreover, what are popcorn buds? Are they the same or different? So many questions, but you're not alone in your curiosity!

Whether you’re thinking of grabbing yourself a pound of smalls from our store and doing your due diligence or simply want to understand what smalls are and what they’re used for, you’ve come to the right place to achieve some clarity. We’re addressing all your questions in this blog so let’s get to it!

What Are Hemp Smalls?

As the name suggests, “smalls” are just small buds of the hemp flower. They’re generally picked up from below the larger buds or the bottom part of the plant as opposed to “tops” which are from the top part of the plant. Sometimes larger buds that break up into smaller parts during processing are also sold as smalls to avoid wastage. 

Most people consider smalls to be less visually appealing and believe they’re of inferior quality because they’re smaller but the truth is that although hemp smalls may not look as great as tops, they’re still a high-quality product. The only real difference is the size of the bud.

What Are Popcorn Buds?

A popcorn bud or hemp smalls on a person’s hand

Popcorn buds are exactly the same as smalls. They’re also referred to as mini buds, nugs, and budget buds. “Trim” and “shake” are also two cannabis terms used to refer to smaller pieces of cannabis but they refer to a lower-quality product and are NOT the same as hemp smalls. 

What Causes Small Buds?

As with everything in nature, there is a variance between things. Just as the leaves on a tree can be of different sizes, so can the buds of cannabis. There's only so much space on a branch, so where there's a larger bud, smaller buds will pop up to fill in the space they can. That, or they will grow on smaller branches where there's less space to begin with. 

Just like every other plant, hemp flower also needs sunlight to grow, but because the buds at the top absorb most of it, the smaller buds under the big buds or on the lower branches simply never get the chance to transform fully.

Small Buds vs. Big Buds: Is One Less Potent Than the Other?

No! Hemp smalls are identical to the top flower in their terpene and cannabinoid content when they’re trimmed and cured carefully. Despite their appearance and size, you’ll still see the same powerful results as you would with a top flower. 

Why the lower price then? Not because of what causes small buds but simply because of their “bag appeal”! Smalls are considered less desirable compared to the 'pretty’ top flower given their size and appearance and hence valued lower. But those who are “in the know” will buy the small flower because it's the same great bud at a discounted price!

What Are the Benefits of Hemp Smalls?

Besides the lower price, which makes it a great option for those on a budget, smalls have a few other benefits:

  • They’re available in higher volumes and are more accessible as a result.
  • They’re less sticky on the inside and tend to have a lower moisture content than large buds. This also reduces the chances of mold forming once they’re opened.
  • They may contain fewer stems, making them easier to grind and pack.

What Are the Uses of Hemp Smalls?

A person rolling hemp smalls joint

Small buds can be used for the same purposes as top flower but because of their smaller size and fewer stems, they’re just much easier to use for portioning off the amount that you're using in one sitting. Small nugs are great for smoking, incorporating into edibles, extracting CBD oil and tinctures—whatever you'd like.

Where Can I Buy High-Quality Smalls?

While buying smalls, it’s really important that you purchase from a credible and well-established seller with a track record of quality products. Rogue Origin has been in the business for over a decade with countless happy customers testifying to our quality. Our cultivars are available as hemp smalls and they go through the same curing, hand-trimming, and meticulous caring process as our top flower and come at an incredibly good price to boot.

Now you know what popcorn buds are and hopefully, we’ve answered all your other questions about what causes small buds and the difference between small buds vs. big buds as well. But if you have any other queries, feel free to get in touch!

Koa Simon

Koa Simon is a 25-year-old from the Big Island of Hawaii. He grew up on a small organic farm where he learned to love and appreciate nature. He moved to Oregon to pursue his passion for working with plants. Koa is the one who starts all of our seeds and cares for our plants in the greenhouse. You could call him our Nursery Manager. He's been with Rogue Origin for 8 years and in that time he's become a jack-of-all-trades on our farm, capable of jumping from each job in the field and also helping to manage the office. Koa spends most of his free time outdoors exploring trails around Oregon's beautiful landscape.