At A Pot for Pot, we know how important it is for you to take control of your own growing process. Part of that process includes observing your work and finding out how to improve. Let’s take a look at what cannabis terpenes are, and how to properly conduct a cannabis quality test.
Appreciating Cannabis Through the Various Senses
What are Cannabis Terpenes?
Cannabis contains numerous compounds, and of those compounds, cannabis is particularly rich in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), and possesses unique oils that are known as terpenes.
When we hold up a cannabis bud, we can see bright and sparkling hairs on its surface. Those particles are called trichomes. In addition to other functions, trichomes help in the production of terpenes. Cannabis terpenes exist in over 200 different forms, and they all vary from one another on the basis of strain.
The healing effects of terpenes work when they interact with THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids. Boasting multiple medical advantages, terpenes bind to the receptors of the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The various cannabis strains get their scent from terpenes, and it’s this aroma that aids in keeping the plant safe from predators by attracting pollinators. Terpenes bring in the pollinators with the help of alluring scents such as that of berry, mint, citrus, and pine.
Human beings can derive a plethora of benefits from the aroma of cannabis. Thanks to the terpenes, cannabis may help in reducing pain, fighting anxiety, keeping fungal infections at bay, boosting the immune system, fighting seizures, and also helping you develop healthy skin cells.
Judging Cannabis Quality and Appreciating It
When it comes to judging the quality of cannabis, here are the different sense tests that you can use:
The aroma of your marijuana is probably one of the first things you will notice about it. Just like smelling a fine wine, taking a whiff of your cannabis plant will give you a basic profile. The smell of cannabis can be divided into top chords, middle chords, and bottom chords. The top notes are known to evaporate and disperse much more quickly. The common top notes to cannabis are:
- Limonene: This is the primary terpene that brings in the citrus aroma, and is the most volatile one. It can also appear as hints of lemon, orange, lime, or grapefruit, and is used in several products used for cleaning.
- Linalool: If you’re wondering what gives lavender its smell and unique properties, linalool is the answer to that. It’s also what gives the floral-like first impression of the cannabis smell.
- Geraniol: This top note is a component of the aroma of roses. It evaporates quickly and mingles to give us the first impression of the cannabis smell. This category of terpene is used in making perfumes.
The middle notes evaporate slowly and are not as quick to boil off as the top notes. When it comes to the middle chords, the ones you should know about are:
- α-Terpineol: This smell remains for a long time and gives scent to the main body. The smell of pine oil comes from this.
- β-Caryophyllene: The funny sensations you experience in your nose when smelling cannabis comes from this terpene. It's responsible for the unique and spicy smell of pepper, and also the smell of basil, oregano, and rosemary.
- α-Terpinene: Containing an earthy and herb-like fragrance, it can mix with other terpenes to create aromas that are extremely long-lasting. Marjoram gets most of its smell from this terpene.
The bottom chords are usually the scents that last the most in cannabis. They’re the cannabis smell that stay on your hands and fingers the longest. The bottom notes are as follows:
- Gingerol: Long-lasting and slow to evaporate, the spicy and sweet smell of ginger comes from this.
- Eugenol: Yet another long-lasting type, it gives cloves their distinct aroma.
- Trans-nerolidol: This terpene has slight notes of apple, rose, and fruity citrus, and gives jasmine its beautiful smell.
The color of cannabis ranges from mint green to a purple hue that almost looks black. The cannabis color depends on both how the plant was grown as well as genetics. The purple color often crops up if it’s subjected to low temperatures.
The flower’s dried pistils lends the cannabis plant its bright shades of orange and red. Good quality cannabis will have a color that’s vibrant and bright. Remember to stay away from grey patches.
The taste of cannabis is usually dependent on the delivery method. If an unclean pipe is involved, it will mask the particular notes of the cannabis.
Curing will have an impact on its taste as well, but the final flavor will be determined by the treatment the flower was subjected to in its final weeks. If you get a chemical or an almost metallic taste, this may be a sign that the plant wasn’t completely flushed with water prior to the last harvest.
Akin to raisins, the cannabis texture should be a little sticky. When marijuana is neither too wet nor too dry, that’s when you know that the cannabis is of good quality. The cannabis should also give you a sponge-like feel when it’s squeezed between your fingers.
Related: How to make a weed cake!
As you can see, there are many factors to consider when determining the quality of your cannabis. Whether you’re a long-time marijuana enthusiast or a new marijuana lover, we hope this article gives you some helpful tips to appreciate great weed.
If you’re interested in growing your own marijuana plant at home, check out A Pot for Pot.