by Nick Maleki
So you’ve become a regular cannabis consumer and now you’d like to graduate to the next level? You’ve come to the right place. At Mistifi, we believe that consuming cannabis can — and should — be an experience as deeply rich and sophisticated as enjoying a glass of fine wine or whiskey. So how can you level up your cannabis knowledge? Here’s an intensely vetted list of traits to look for in your cannabis, should you wish to become a cannabis connoisseur.
1. Trichome Content
Trichome might sound like a scary anatomical word, but it actually is one of the most important traits to look for in identifying the overall quality of the flower you’re about to smoke. When you break apart the flower, you’ll notice these tiny crystalline-looking particles, which are the trichomes of the cannabis plant, and which are where all the THC goodness lies. Flowers with more full, intense clusters of trichomes are typically more potent and of a higher quality in production, whereas lighter groupings suggest a lighter, less intense high.
Believe it or not, green is more dynamic than just, well, green! The color of the flower itself not only clues you in about the quality the grower put into the product, but also about the actual strain itself. Purple colors tend to indicate more indica dominant strains, while orange fuzzies tend to mean that there is sativa present. Either way, if you see colors like that you know you’ve got something good on your hands.
When you first start your cannabis journey, chances are you only really taste the heavily earthy notes of whatever it is you’re smoking. As you become more of a cannabis connoisseur, your palate begins to expand and the added flavors start to blossom on your taste buds. Think of it like a whiskey. Once you get used to that taste, you can tell when it’s a blend or single malt, with notes of mango or cinnamon. Same thing goes for cannabis, and once you start to notice, it becomes an incredibly fulfilling experience.
Pro tip: One great way to refine your cannabis palate is to pair your cannabis with other foods and beverages that draw out it’s flavors. Get started by checking out our guide to pairing whiskey with weed and the best munchies to pair with sativa strains.
When you can begin to differentiate various smells between lit strains of cannabis, you know you’re on your way to becoming a full-fledged cannabis connoisseur. Some strains smell sweet, citrusy, or even like mint, while others smell downright sour. You can smell the flower before it’s lit as well to get a more accurate aromatic flavor profile. High quality aromatics include notes derived from citrus, and floral to even something like cheese or skunk. Avoid smells of wet grass, hay, and musty old socks.
The texture and consistency of your cannabis is a key indicator of determining how fresh and potent a particular product is. If the flower is soft like a pillow or very crystalized like a frosted flake, that’s a telltale sign of cured cannabis that is still fresh. Avoid anything overly brittle or squidgy, as that is usually older weed that has been kept in poor conditions. Cannabis that is too dry will burn and degrade quickly, and cannabis that’s too moist can potentially develop mold, which is harmful to smoke.
6. Don’t Call it Weed
This one is pretty straightforward. While weed is likely the most commonly used colloquial term for cannabis, it has a bit of a reductive connotation associated with it. Calling it weed makes it seem cheap and unwanted, like weeds in your front lawn. It also carries pejorative energy, in the way that calling someone a weed smoker objectively sounds more negative than does calling them a cannabis consumer. If you are a true cannabis connoisseur, do justice by the plant we love so much and start catching yourself when you call it weed. Flower is a much more suitable and appropriate name.
7. Know the Difference between Highs
You can’t possibly consider yourself a serious cannabis connoisseur if all you take away from a high is “Wow, I’m really high.” At a certain point, you’ll be able to discern how one high might make you hungrier, sleepier or more relaxed in your body versus how another high might make you more focused, introspective and energized.
Pro Tip: Looking for a place to start? Check out our guide to head highs vs body highs.
8. Know Quality from Reggie
The first time you smoke cannabis, the lowest quality strain is still more or less going to take you somewhere you’ve never been before, so to speak. After a while, though, it should be abundantly clear to a true cannabis connoisseur if what they’reabout to smoke is going to be good or not. Based on everything listed previously — touch, color, aroma and trichomes — the cannabis consumer should be able to know what he’s getting himself into before he even sparks a lighter or takes a hit of a pen.
9. Diversify Consumption Methods
Lastly, the ultimate cannabis connoisseur has a variety of tools at their disposal, ready for any kind of situation that might be thrown their way. They might prefer to roll up wax paper and smoke a single, or perhaps they have their favorite piece that gets the job done in a discrete fashion better than anything they know. Maybe they’re a foodie who finds ways to incorporate THC infused ingredients into their recipes, or prefer to sip a cannabis-spiked beverage in place of a cocktail at the end of the day. If they’re on the go, for a more discreet and portable option they will have a vape pen. Pens, like the premiumium selection from Mistifi, can offer some of the most elevated and enhanced experiences, all while remaining discreet and respectful of your surroundings.
Nick Maleki is a freelance writer and cannabis connoisseur based out of Los Angeles, California.