What is a cannabis sommelier?

You may have heard of a wine sommelier.  You find them in house at the fanciest restaurants, sniffing wine corks and speaking gibberish- using terms that sound completely foreign. The fancy wine sommelier club, while unfamiliar to most, is something that we are all aware of.  This is not necessarily the case with a cannabis sommelier.  That’s partly because there really aren’t that many of them.

Here in Canada there are a few acclaimed “cannabis sommeliers”. These are part of a larger community around the world which is estimated to be 10,000  or so. But what exactly does a cannabis sommelier do?  We recently had the opportunity to sit down and smoke a joint with one (actually she smoked one and showed each of us how to smoke).  We’ll let you in on one of her tips.

So if you are reading this with a joint in your hand- follow along!  But wait!  Don’t light that yet!

Before sparking up  she says, you want to get a sense of the taste of the bud. So put that lighter down for a minute, and put the joint to your lips without lighting it .  Suck it in as though you were smoking it.  Then smack your lips together several times.  Taste that?  That’s the real flavor of the flower!  Now that you have a sense of the aroma, you can go ahead and really enjoy it. Go ahead, and spark up.

You will hear cannabis sommeliers and other experts talk about things like terpenes and flavour profiles but what does it all mean?  “Terps” are something that sommeliers are well acquainted with. They can distinguish a strain from the flavour and aroma profile alone. For instance, “skunk” strains are full of a “skunk like” flavor. Whereas “Diesel” will have an intense gassy aroma.

If you are still trying to get your head around the idea of the hundreds of different cannabis strains available and yet you want to know more about the flavors and smells and pairings of cannabis training as a cannabis sommelier might just be for you.  And because especially with legalization in Canada, many people are leaving the world of wine and alcohol behind in favour of cannabis and cannabis recreational products. It certainly seems that era of the cannabis sommelier has certainly arrived.

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