Cannabis is an extremely unique plant with many different flavors, smells, physical effects, and visual attributes. Cannabis tasting, much like wine or beer tasting, is all about noticing the subtleties between different cannabis strains. Cannabis tasting is a multi-step process that takes concentration, knowledge and understanding. It is also a great way to get more familiar with the types of varieties you may enjoy, both because of their taste and the effect they have on you.
When tasting cannabis strains you should choose one consistent consumption method across all tastings. Each administration method, be it smoking a joint, smoking through a water pipe, or vaporizing, can bring out different qualities in the cannabis plant, due the different temperatures and conditions that are created during the smoking process.
Also, try to resist eating or drinking while tasting cannabis. Though one of the newest trends in the world of marijuana is cannabis and wine or cannabis and food tastings, when you are tasting on your own it is better to start with cannabis only. Usually cannabis that is paired with wine or food is being paired in a way to bring out certain flavors or nuances that come from the complimenting food or beverage. When tasting cannabis on its own, it is better to get to know strains in a simple way, and then venture into pairing and complimenting flavors of your favorite strains with foods or beverages.
If you’ve never walked through a cannabis dispensary and admired the amazing variety of cannabis buds, you’re missing out. Each strain of cannabis contains different colors, like vibrant purples and yellows, as well as unique physical attributes, like crystallization or a soft moss-like texture. Before diving in to tasting your cannabis, look at the bud or nuggets and take notes, either mental or physical, on what you see. Visual aspects, like trichomes, which are the small crystal or fuzz-like substance that you see on cannabis plants, can change the flavor of a cannabis strain.
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After visually inspecting your cannabis, feel it. You can learn a lot from feeling a cannabis plant. Some strains are spongy and soft, while others are dry and more brittle. Certain strains are also sticky to the touch, which usually means they have many resin-rich trichomes coating their leaves, while other strains are completely dry to the touch. Cannabis varieties are as different to the touch as they are to the eye. Each of these different aspects of a cannabis plant is part of its genetics. You may tend to like strains that are more sticky and coarse because you like the high concentration of trichomes, so these are important aspects to inspect in order to better recognize patterns between different strains of cannabis.
Smell is a large part of our taste. As we have all experienced before, food tastes much more dull when we have a cold compare to when our sense of smell is at full capacity. It is important to smell the cannabis you are tasting even before you begin to consume it so you can understand the difference between the bud when it is just cured, compared to when it is being ignited.
When you are smelling cannabis, look for aromas like sweet, spicy, woody, floral, fuel-like, and citrus, because these are some of the most common aromas. Each strain of cannabis has different terpenes and their taste can range from bright and citrusy to musky and floral. Each terpene provides a unique smell, taste, and effect to different strains of cannabis.
When you are smoking or vaporizing cannabis it is important to consider a few different qualities. First, what does the strain taste like? Try to focus on the nuances of the flavor of the cannabis and see if there have been any changes in the smell of the cannabis now that it is being burned while you are consuming it. Much like when tasting wine, try to taste it slowly and embrace all of the different subtleties. It is important to remember that each cannabis strain is different and some may be very potent. Taste cannabis very slowly while you are still learning your tolerance level with that specific strain.
Secondly, how does the strain make you feel? Does consuming the strain you are tasting make you feel awake or tired? Alert or calm? Anxious or relaxed? It is also important to recognize the psychoactive level of the strain and determine if it is a level that you feel comfortable with or not. Different strains also produce effects in different ways. Some strains produce effects quickly that come on all at once, while others slowly come over your body in a more controlled manner.
Lastly, it is important to recognize how the strain changes or effects your activities. Does a strain lead you to enjoy your favorite activities more, like cooking, listening to music, or doing yoga? Or does the strain cause you to dislike the activities that you normally enjoy? It is also important to see what strains help you with various medical issues. Did a certain strain make your headache go away or did it cause a stimulation of your appetite? All of these qualities are important to take note of while tasting cannabis.
Cannabis tasting is a growing industry that has expanded beyond the home, including both social clubs and tourism based activities. Cannabis tasting, much like wine tasting, can be a social event where you can learn more about cannabis. The Herba Buena Social Club is a collective and apothecary that specializes in biodynamic cannabis that is grown in the great outdoors. Herba Buena was founded in the beautiful Napa Valley wine country and has brought much of the wine tasting experience into their social clubs.
Herba Buena specializes in medical cannabis products that are made with sustainability and practicality in mind. Their social club tastings, which are offered for their collective members, help educate people on cannabis while allowing them to try a variety of interesting and unique strains and products.
Colorado Cannabis Tours, on the other hand, focuses on the recreational cannabis market that has gained traction in Colorado. Colorado Cannabis Tours functions much like a cannabis-specific travel agency. They offer a variety of tours, like a grow house or dispensary tours in Denver, as well as recommendations for cannabis friendly hotels around Colorado.
They also connect people with unique classes, like a cannabis cooking and cannabis yoga, as well as events like “Puff Pass Paint” classes that allow people to light up while getting creative. Herba Buena and Colorado Cannabis Tours are just two of the companies breaking into the world of cannabis tasting, a field that is only expected to grow in the coming years.