I’ve learned two, game changing things about cannabis since moving out to the Pacific Northwest. Recreational cannabis is legal here, and since growers no longer need to hide, they’ve been able to produce the safest and highest quality product the industry has ever seen.
The age old distinctions of sativa and indica, while controversial, have become a reality to me. To be clear, it wasn’t that certain strains were proved as either, more so I became aware of the varieties of cannabis. For example, my first tokes of “Durbert” (a cross between Sherbet and Durban Poison) left me raring to go, stoned, yet mentally aware. This flies in the face of “Blackberry Kush” (a cross of Afghani and Blackberry) that never fails to induce sleep in me.
Would you think I was a connoisseur if, after unknowingly smoking either one, I could then tell you which strain it was? What if I didn’t need to even to feel the effects to tell the difference, but I could do it from aroma alone?
You don’t need to be a connoisseur because each strain smells completely different. “Durbert” has black pepper notes in its aroma; “Blackberry Kush” is very sweet smelling.
The difference in aroma is owed to the different terpenes found in each strain. Compounds like caryophyllene give “Durbert” its peppery smell, and I expect pinene and terpineol to give “Blackberry Kush” its sweet scent. Terpenes also work together with THC to alter its effects.
Personally, growing up in a state where marijuana is illegal, I’ve found nothing but marijuana with gas and skunk-like terpenes. After learning about the variety found in cannabis, I was lucky enough to find the peppery “Durbert” and the sweet smelling “Blackberry Kush”, as well as the minty “Zkittlemints” and citrus “Lemon Slushee.”
The varieties and effects of marijuana are wide, and phenotypes of a strain allow for deep connoisseurship. Cannabis can be the market’s new luxury good such as wine, yet it leads back to a plant that has been used by humans for over 2,500 years.