What Does Weed Taste Like?

Weed, or marijuana, is a plant that has been used for centuries as medicine and food. The most commonly grown variety of this plant in North America is Cannabis sativa.

It is also known by many other names, including pot, grass, Mary Jane, reefer, herb, bud, dope, ganja, and cannabis.

What Does Weed Taste Like?

When smoked, it produces effects similar to those produced by tobacco (i.e., relaxation, euphoria, increased appetite).

However, unlike tobacco, marijuana contains higher levels of THC, which is the main psychoactive compound in the drug.

In fact, people who smoke marijuana usually report feeling more relaxed than if they had consumed alcohol or taken prescription drugs such as Valium.

Marijuana can also cause hallucinations when smoked at high doses.

Unless it’s in the form of an edible, most people wouldn’t think about the taste of weed. Unless you get that odd taste when you’re smoking a joint.

Generally, the flavor of this drug isn’t at the forefront of people’s minds. However, if you’ve wondered what it does actually taste like, stick around. We’re going to be going through it all down below. 

What Does Weed Taste Like?

The first thing to know is that there are countless varieties of weed out there, each with their own unique flavors. Some people love them; others hate them.

A lot of the time, the reason why someone loves one strain over another may have something to do with how much they enjoy the way that particular type tastes.

This is especially true when we’re talking about concentrates, edibles, or waxes.

These products tend to have very strong flavors, which may make some people really dislike them.

On the flip side, there are plenty of people who absolutely love the smell of weed, and will always choose to smoke rather than eat it.

Different Weed Profiles 

Now, let’s talk about exactly what makes up different strains of weed. There are three basic types: Sativas, Indicas, and Ruderalis.

Within these general categories, there are hundreds of individual strains, so a single weed could fall into all of these categories.

For example, you’ll often hear people say that “this strain is indica-dominant.” That means that its dominant effect is sedative, and not stimulant. 

Sativas – These are generally short plants, meaning that they grow less than 2 meters tall. They also have thick stems and dense buds.

Sativa plants produce flowers that look like blueberry blossoms, while Indica plants produce flowers that resemble daisy petals.

Both types of plants tend to flower once every two weeks, but their flowering cycles vary by strain.

Sativas tend to be slightly shorter than Indicas, but both types can reach heights of between 50cm and 1 meter.

Indicas – These are generally longer than Sativas, growing anywhere from 3m to 5m in height. Their leaves are thinner, and their branches are spindly.

Indicas are usually bushy plants with lots of stalks and large leaves. They tend to have long flowering periods, sometimes lasting months.

Most Indica strains contain a range of cannabinoids, terpenoids, and other compounds found in cannabis. 

The most common cannabinoid is THC, which gives the plant its mind-altering properties. Other cannabinoids include CBD, CBN, CBC, CBG, THCA, and CBDA.

Terpenoids are aromatic chemicals that give many strains of weed their distinct smells. Examples include limonene, myrcene, pinene, linalool, and beta-caryophyllene.

Ruderalis – These are typically shorter than either the Sativa or Indica plants, growing only up to half a meter in height. They have thin branches and small leaves.

Ruderalis are mostly grown outdoors, as indoor cultivation requires too many resources for recreational growers. In addition, they don’t require any special lighting conditions.

They flower quickly, and tend to have more potent effects on the body. Many strains of weed are categorized as ruderali. 

Weed’s Volatile Aromatic Compounds 

Weed's Volatile Aromatic Compounds 

There are volatile aromatic compounds found in all weed. Volatile aromatic compounds are simply chemicals that give off aromas and smells.

They aren’t actually part of the plant itself, but instead come from the soil surrounding the plant roots.

The exact chemical composition of these compounds varies depending on the strain of weed being used. They also change based on the amount of light the plant receives.

As such, there’s no universal list of what kinds of volatiles exist within weed. It’s possible that some compounds listed below may already be familiar to you. If not, keep reading!

Some common volatile aromatic compounds found in marijuana include:

  • Linalool
  • Limonene
  • Pinene
  • Myrcene
  • Alpha-pinene
  • Beta-myrcene
  • Terpineol
  • Humulene
  • Aldehyde
  • Esters
  • Farnesene
  • Camphor
  • Phenols
  • Sulfides

The Top Notes

Top notes are the smells that you will first notice. This comes from the molecules that create the terpenes, and they are the initial, overpowering smells you may come across. These top notes will disperse very quickly.

Some popular top notes in weed include:

  • Geraniol – geraniol is the terpene that gives geraniums their beautiful scent. It’s a sweet, floral tone that can be found in many weed strains, as well as perfumes.
  • Limonene – limonene is the terpene that gives citrus its delicious smell. This is also a very common terpene top note in weed strains. It has an earthy aroma, making it one of the most recognizable scents among those who enjoy smoking pot. 
  • Linalool – linalool is the terpene that is distinctive to lavender. It has sedative properties that make it ideal for relaxing your muscles after a stressful day at work. Linalool is also often mixed with other terpenes to create new flavors.

The Middle Notes

The middle notes in weed are the smells that linger around you for a while. There’s a reason why this is called the “middle” notes — because they’re less intense than the top notes, and last longer.

Many people find the middle notes to be the least appealing part of weed. However, they do provide a unique experience when combined with the top notes.

Some popular middle notes in weed include:

  • Terpineol – terpineol is another terpene that creates the smell of pine trees. It has a fresh, green smell similar to peppermint oil. This is also a popular scent that is often found in candles and essential oils. 
  • Terpinene – terpinene is another terpene that is commonly associated with marjoram. It is very earthy and herbaceous, and it often lingers around for a long time.
  • Terpene – terpine is responsible for giving pepper the distinctive and spicy smell it has. It is also strongly associated with rosemary, basil, and oregano. This is the thing that is frequently responsible for causing all the nose-tingling when you sample strains.

The Bottom Notes

Bottom notes are the scents that stick around for a long time for you to enjoy. Because they’re so strong, they can easily overwhelm the rest of the smell profile.

These are the smells you can still get a whiff of on your fingers even hours after handing the bud. The bottom notes are the smells that you will never forget.

A couple of popular bottom notes in weed include:

  • Trans-nerolidol – trans-nerolidol is the terpene that is associated with jasmine. It is a beautiful floral scent that has a hint of citrus, apple, and rose. This long-lasting smell is even used to add a subtle fragrance to clothes, so you know it’s good!
  • Gingerol – you’ll recognize this one from ginger. Gingerol has a somewhat spicy and sweet aroma, and lingers for a long while. This smell can actually last for days before fading, so it wins for longevity!
  • Eugenol – eugenol is the terpene that is responsible for the smell of cloves. This is another scent that will linger for days, so let’s hope you like it.

Using Your Nose To Detect Weed Notes

Using Your Nose to Detect Weed Notes

You may have noticed that we didn’t mention any particular method for detecting these different smells.

That’s because there isn’t really any way to tell what kind of smell is coming off of a plant until you try it out yourself. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use your senses to detect them.

Here’s how to identify the different smells:

Top Note Scent Detection

Try sniffing the air as soon as you light up a joint or bowl. You should immediately notice the top note. If it’s not too pungent, it might help if you take a deep breath first.

Remember that the top notes will fade fast, and you won’t want to hold onto them for too long.

By using your sense of smell, you can determine whether the strain is going to be worth smoking or not!

Middle Note Scent Detection

When you first start puffing on a bowl, you should definitely pick up on some middle notes. They’re much more subtle than the top notes, but they’re just as important.

Middle notes tend to have an earthy taste due to their heavy presence of terpenes. To best experience these flavors, you should inhale slowly and deeply.

This allows your lungs to fully absorb the smoke and gives you maximum enjoyment.

Bottom Note Scent Detection

Finally, once you’ve gotten past the middle notes, you’ll notice the bottom notes. These are the strongest of all. They can sometimes overpower everything else, so you’ll need to be careful about holding on to them for long periods of time.

It’s better to enjoy these at the beginning and end of a session, rather than trying to keep them throughout.

Now that you know which smells you can expect, you can avoid those that aren’t enjoyable for you. Of course, you could always ask other people who have smoked the same strain what they thought of it.

But, why wait? There’s no reason to ever feel bad about not being able to guess what a strain tastes like. All you need to do is give it a shot.

The world of cannabis is constantly growing, and we’re excited to see what comes next! 

Three Things To Take Note Of – The Physical Appearance

When it comes to weed, a lot can be given away just by looking at the bud. When you first look at a bud, you can consider three things:

  • How it looks – take a moment to consider whether the bud is matte or glossy, old or new, and loose or compact. This could tell you a lot!
  • How it feels – is the weed dry or sticky, light or heavy, soft or hard? Give yourself a moment to notice the feeling of the bud in your hand.
  • How it smells – you can’t avoid the smell, so see if you can pick out the top, middle, and bottom notes of it.

Weed Tasting – How To Do It

To do a weed tasting, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Set up the weed tasting session however you prefer to do it. You could go with a group of like-minded friends if you want to!
  2. Have a designated budtender. This person will be the one who knows what every strain is, and they will hand them out.
  3. Get the first strain you want to taste test and either roll or pack it.
  4. Take a hit and hold it in for 3-4 seconds, then exhale. 
  5. Take in a deeper hit, and hold it again. Then, quickly exhale through your nose and mouth.
  6. Take a third hit (medium intensity for this one), then slowly exhale it through your mouth. Allow the smoke to go over your tongue.
  7. Pass it off to the next person in line, and take notes. Do this while the flavors still feel fresh.
  8. You should write down the top, middle, and bottom notes you noticed. You can also take a note of all the effects you notice within the first couple of minutes. 
  9. When everyone has had their turn, compare your notes with theirs. See how different everyone’s opinions and experiences were, and discuss it.
  10. After discussing it, do the same thing with the same strain. 
  11. Once everyone has had a hit of the strain again, discuss it all again. You might come across different arguments this time round. 
  12. Do this with every sample you have.
  13. At the end, everyone should vote for their favorite strain. After the vote has happened, the budtender will reveal each strain to the group.

Final Thoughts

Weed tasting is an interesting concept, but there are many factors that affect how well you can do it. However, as long as you’re willing to put in some effort, you should be fine. 

The best part about weed tasting is that it doesn’t require any special equipment. You don’t even really need to use your own senses, as you can easily get someone else to help you.

If you would like to try it out for yourself, you can easily do so! 

Just remember that marijuana isn’t legal everywhere, so only do this if it is legal in your state. Also, please bear in mind that this article is not medical in any way, and is purely for educational purposes.

Please use this substance responsibly, as it can have a detrimental effect when abused.

David Lumis
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