Before we knew anything about cannabis, my friends and I had a very scientific way of deciding whether the flower we had purchased was good. If you can smell it through the plastic bag…it was good. We knew nothing about the chemistry of cannabis; however, for some reason, we associated good cannabis with smell. We didn’t have THC numbers to chase – all we had were our senses. After getting educated on the cannabis plant, it is amazing to see just how right we were to use our nose to find great cannabis.
When you smell cannabis, you are picking up on the essential oils of the plant – terpenes. These compounds are volatile – as in they evaporate at room temperature; therefore, given enough time, they will completely disappear from the flower, and you will end up with something that smells like hay. But terpenes aren’t just about smell or flavor. They drastically affect the experience of cannabis as well. Yes, cannabis with no terpenes will still get you high; however, if the terpenes have all evaporated, the high is going to be short-lived and anxiety provoking. This is why smoking old/dried-out cannabis is never as good of an experience as buds that come directly from the curing jars.
The state of Washington puts the consumer at a disadvantage. All products are required to be sealed upon purchase, i.e., you can’t smell the product unless you can smell it through the packaging. Thankfully, I have lots of practice smelling cannabis through plastic 😊, but I also have access to one of the best groups of budtenders in the cannabis industry. So next time you come in to CBC, ask one of our knowledgeable budtenders for guidance on finding the products with the best terpene profile. See you soon!