How to Identify Cannabis Aroma
Just like wine, cannabis has a wide range of varieties, all of which have varying smells, tastes, effects and looks. Cannabis can also be aged to produce more potency and distinct aromas over time. What you smell and taste is highly subjective and can be affected by a variety of environmental and psychological factors. There are easy ways to help you better discern your cannabis’ distinct flavor profile. Just follow these easy tips and you’ll be on your way to enjoying cannabis much more once you know how to differentiate between the different flavors and aromas.
How Does Sense of Smell Work?
Your senses can be overwhelmed if exposed to too much stimuli. Think of being in an extremely smelly place for a long period of time. After a while, your sense of smell gets used to the putrid odor (to some extent). This happens because our olfactory receptors only need a few odor molecules (the exact amount varies from person to person) to stimulate our sensory neurons. Similarly, if you smoke an extremely aromatic strain of cannabis, you won’t be able to differentiate the scent of any strain you smoke right after. In order to really appreciate your cannabis flower’s individual aroma, consider the following tips.
How to Identify Aromas In Cannabis Flower
First, you should consider how you’re consuming marijuana. You won’t be able to fully appreciate the aromatic terpene oils of your specific strain if you take them in edible, topical, or tincture form. Flower is much easier to smell and taste. If you plan on lighting up, ensure you’re using a clean glass piece or pipe. Resin on a pipe can drastically affect the taste of your weed. The best way to refine your cannabis palate is to use a vaporizer when consuming marijuana. Vaporizers heat your flower just enough to activate the cannabinoids and terpenes without burning and wasting valuable trichomes.
When inhaling, let the smoke wash over your taste buds for a few seconds. Don’t rush this process. If you can, exhale a bit of smoke and inhale it back through your nose. Our sense of smell is roughly 75% responsible for how we perceive taste. When you inhale the vapor deep in your lungs, try exhaling through both your nose and mouth and notice any aftertaste or flavors. The entire consumption experience should be centered on identifying as many aromas as you can.
Cannabis typically features notes of pine, citrus, fruit, and spice scents. If you’re attempting to discern the aromas of different strains, you should always start with the strain that has the lowest amount of THC, so you won’t overwhelm your senses. If you can, consume high-CBD flower in between strains to neutralize the effects of THC, so you can experience the physiological effects of each strain along with their flavor, color and aroma.
Train Yourself By Identifying Individual Terpene Smells
Inhaling isolated terpenes (the aromatic molecules found in cannabis) can help you identify how each one smells. For example, myrcene, a terpene commonly found in cannabis, smells like cloves. Limonene, another terpene, typically has a strong scent of citrus. Knowing what each terpene smells like through practice can train your nose to detect these scents whenever you come across them.
If you want to retain as much of those aromatic terpene molecules, however, you must properly store your cannabis in an airtight container in a dark and cool place. Heat and light can cause these chemicals to degrade leaving you with harsh tasting weed with a weak potency. Essentially, what you smell from your cannabis flower depends on how you store it, your personal preferences, your sense of smell, and your mood. Just keep training your nose and you’ll be on your way to having a much more enjoyable cannabis experience.