Does Nug Size Matter For Joints?

A lot of factors influence the quality of your joint—and the quality of your high. Everything from the type of paper you use to your rolling technique can affect the taste, smell, and smoothness of your smoke.

But what about nug size? Does bigger really mean better? Is there an ideal size for cannabis nugs that makes rolling joints easier and toking more enjoyable?

As it turns out, the answer isn’t as straightforward as you'd think.

Popcorn: Pros & Cons

Let's set the record straight: nug size does not influence potency. And neither does THC content.

While cannabis consumers believed for decades that the high depended entirely on a flower's delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, a 2020 University of Colorado study found that both low and high THC content produced varying inebriation results. Other elements like cannabidiol (CBD) and terpenes (the molecules that induce relaxation)play into the quality and intensity of your high just as much as THC.

So, what does nug size contribute to the experience? And why might it be important when you're rolling up a joint? Let's dive into the pros and cons of small buds.

Small Nugs

Also known as mini buds, smalls, or popcorn, small nugs are dried, matured buds that didn't reach their full size due to not getting as much sun as other parts of the plant. They’re the smaller pieces left behind after large nugs have been harvested and can usually be found near the cannabis' base (i.e., where it's hardest for the sun to reach).

Typically small nugs are around the size of a marble or a dime. But despite their tiny stature, they hold all the same potency, smell, flavor, and THC content as larger buds. Whatever you're getting from the rest of the plant is exactly what you're getting in your small nugs.

Think of them like the miniaturized version of your favorite flower—all the same features you love, but in a bite-sized package.


There's a lot to love about smalls. Starting with the fact that they're a heck of a lot cheaper than their larger counterparts. Most small buds are sold at a discount even though they're pretty much the same as the bigger, pricier nugs. So if you're looking to score some cheap yet primo weed, mini buds are where it's at.

And if you hate finding stems in your joint, you'll soon find yourself a fan of small nugs. These little guys hardly ever have stems, and if they do, they're few and far between—which is way different than what you get with a full flower. So not only are mini buds priced lower, but they're also a better bang for your buck as you're getting more cannabis and less stem per gram.

The final point for small nugs? Grind-ability. Nothing is more annoying than having to tediously grind up a huge bud for (what feels like) hours on end. Mini buds virtually eliminate the hassle of grinding and packing due to their small size. There's no getting around it—prepping for a nice joint is so much easier when you're working with smalls.


There are definitely some drawbacks to small nugs. The most obvious one being the potential hit you take on potency. While many strains do not differ in potency between small buds and large, some cannabis connoisseurs still believe that bigger buds contain more than their smaller brethren.

Only you can decide if this is true for the specific strain you're toking on. Luckily, most dispensaries will list the THC and CBD content of their buds so you can see if you're getting the same potency regardless of size.

The other downside is that they don't look as impressive. If you like rolling up joints that look nice and well-packed, mini buds may not be your cup of tea. As they're (by definition) smaller than full flowers, it may be hard to get that perfect, dense-looking joint. So if presentation is a big deal for you, large nugs may be the way to go.

And if you are on the hunt for smaller buds, you may find yourself frustrated by the fact that they're not always as available. You might find mini buds in some dispensaries, but it's usually hit or miss depending on what harvest is currently on the market.

To Sum It Up

So at the end of the day, does nug size matter? Not really, but different people like different things. Some swear by large nugs, while others prefer the convenience and cost-efficiency that come with smaller buds.

If you want some potent bud that's easy to grind and won't break your wallet, smalls are where it's at—especially if you love smoking jays. But if you're in search of a more picturesque joint with no hit to potency, then you may want to go for the bigger buds.

Whichever route you choose, remember that a joint still gets the job done no matter what size nugs are packed in there. Experimenting with different sizes and strains is the best way to find your ideal high.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Big Nugs More Potent?

Not necessarily—it depends on the strain. Despite the popular belief that bigger is better, THC content tends to be the same between large and small buds. If you're skeptical, you can always check your dispensary’s packaging for potency information.

Do Small Nugs Get You Less High?

No—the size of your nug does not determine the potency of your high. THC content, which is measured in milligrams, will be the same regardless if you're rolling a jay with small or large flower. Check the packaging for the specific THC and CBD content of your mini buds and compare it to the larger buds if you want to be 100% sure.

Why Are Small Nugs Cheaper?

Mini buds are cheaper partly because of their size and partly due to the fact that people mistakenly believe that bigger buds are more potent. This is not necessarily true, as potency tends to be the same between small and large buds. So if you're looking for an affordable option, mini buds are definitely the way to go.

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