Marijuana 101: A Simple Guide to Marijuana Tasting

Marijuana has been made legal in a growing number of states for recreational use. This means the days of buying weed in the shadows is on borrowed time. With the newfound freedom of legal cannabis, the industry has managed to cultivate a wide variety of interesting strains. Some are designed to help the user stay focused throughout the day, while others do everything from calm anxiety to keep the user dry when its raining outside. Okay, maybe the concept of ganja galoshes is a bit of a stretch. But you get the picture.


Since marijuana is being treated more like alcohol these days, it stands to reason that the scene could soon see an uprising in cannabis tastings. Similar to the swish and spit rituals taking place at wineries and other liquor-slinging establishments, the reach of marijuana will one day be given center stage for customers to hit samples before making a purchase.

When this happens, it will be crucial for the average pot smoker to elevate his or her palate, as to not come off like a complete imbecile when blowing smoke in front of that class of people who refuses to call cannabis “pot” anymore. You know the ones. It is for this reason we have assembled a marijuana-testing guide to help the seemingly one-dimensional stoner cheat his or her way into the kingdom of connoisseurs.

Appearance

The first thing a true cannabis snob looks for is the overall appearance of the bud. These folks get excited when they see the herb is covered in crystals. That excitement spirals into a spastic fit the second they realize the color of the crystals is more yellow than white. Typically, the more yellow, the more THC. But no matter how yellow the crystals, always ask the weed steward when they plan to roll out the really strong stuff.

Aroma

Now that you’ve identified a good-looking bud, the next step is to examine its aroma. Don’t worry. You do not have to be well versed in the art of cannabis selection to represent like a marijuana master. Similar to how it is done in beer and wine tastings, just wave the herb under the nose and take shallow sniffs. The goal is to try and get a feel for its components. You might catch a whiff of citrus, pine or even the business end of a skunk. But, as a rule, if the aroma is pleasing, chances are you will be happy with the next step.

Flavor

In order to truly taste a cannabis selection, pot snobs swear by a variety of methods in which to capture a rush of optimal flavor. Some say a French inhale is the best method for tasting bud. But the most important aspect of this process to remember is the first hit is when the magic happens. Unless a person has been assigned to pen an elaborate tasting profile on a particular strain, the best advice here is to just take in the smoke, hold it in, and search for the flavors that turned you while testing the aroma. Chances are you will stumble onto something new to tickle the senses. Just make sure the device you are using to sample the bud is clean.

Effect

This is the fun part – the test drive. Just kick back and see how the herb hits you. Does it make you chatty, sleepy, or does it turn you into a cartoon character? It is important to understand how a strain works on you personally. But remember, there are more strains to sample. A good weed testing will consist of around 5-6 strains. You’ll need to try all of them. But be sure to cleanse your palate after every sample. Fruit juice or plain crackers are good for this.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.