Evaluating cannabis is an art as much as a science. We are judging cannabis every time we consume, whether we realize it or not. Evaluation is something that can be learned, with practice and a little knowledge of the descriptors and terminology.
Today, more than ever before, cultivators and consumers alike are interested in terpenes, trichomes, and even the origins of the strains they make and consume.
How the Cannabis Judges Certification Program Teaches You to Evaluate Cannabis
You may want to become a cannabis competition judge and work your way up the ranks to the Grand Master level. The Cannabis Judge Certificate Program hopes to remove as much of the subjectivity as possible involved in evaluating cannabis during competitions by giving all certified judges the tools needed to objectively evaluate the strains they judge.
We need to be able to characterize a strain in just a few words, which will immediately identify its major characteristics. We need to be able to communicate the common characteristics of a group of similar strains.
The CJCP has broken down a strains’s qualities into a cannabis score-sheet used during competitions.
How Your Sense of Sight and Smell Are Used When Evaluating Cannabis Strains During Competition:
APPEARANCE – The first evaluation point on a cannabis competition judges’ scorecard will be the strains’ appearance.
The strains’ appearance includes how well it’s trimmed, but more importantly, it’s an examination of trichome coverage and development, calyx-to-leaf ratio, and resin density.
Try to evaluate the strains’ appearance in good light sources. Also, try to use a white sheet of paper, such as printer paper, as a background when evaluating a strains’ appearance. This will help you when you are studying the trichome color.
AROMA – The next evaluation point on a cannabis competition judges’ scorecard is aroma or smell.
The CJCP separates cannabis smells into four main categories: Chemical, Sweet, Spicy, and Musky. Each category has subcategories to further equip the judges with better descriptions.
- CHEMICAL – this category includes the subcategories Turpentine, Metallic, Ammonia, and Bleach.
- SWEET – this category includes the subcategories Berry, Citrus, Floral, Minty, Sweet, and Other.
- SPICY – this category includes the subcategories Woody and Seasonings.
- MUSKY – this category includes the subcategories Botanical, Earthy, Animal
In addition, there are many more descriptors under each subcategory which provide judges and competitors a more common language to talk and interchange ideas about cannabis smells.
Because you are actually sensing chemicals in the air, it’s important to maximize your ability to sense them.
The best way to release the strains aroma is to grind it up in a Mama P’s Wholesome grinder. To get the strains aroma to the olfactory sensors in the nasal cavity, it’s important to take several short sniffs or a long deep sniff (whichever works best for you) to get the aromatic vapors into your nasal passage where all the “detectors” are located.
Contemplate the aroma for a moment. Notice the natural smell of the terpenes and the aromas derived from them. Try to locate and identify each odor present. And record your evaluation.
INTERESTED IN BECOMING A CERTIFIED CANNABIS JUDGE? CLICK HERE TO APPLY FOR THE CLASSIC CERTIFICATION PROGRAM
The next part in this educational series will discuss evaluating cannabis based on taste and effect. Stay tuned for more!