As humans, we not only pursue our consumables, we seek the very best examples our favorites. Without formal training, humans can do an excellent job at learning to evaluate for a standard. We are endowed with biological sensors that are some of the most sophisticated instruments in existence when it comes to determining human preference.

So, what do we humans prefer when it comes to Cannabis?

Sensory Characteristics

Without getting too far into the weeds (pun intended) of the science, humans have a range of sensory receptors that can detect the presence of a wide range of compounds. These receptors are found in our eyes, nose, mouth, and skin. These receptors are the basis for our senses of sight, smell, taste, and touch, and are the basis for our ability to detect the presence of compounds in Cannabis.

Psychoactive Effects

Pretty obvious, really. Cannabis contains psychoactive intoxicants and is a primary feature of the product. Cannabis can alter a range of senses, and this can be an enjoyable experience for many. It can also serve therapeutic benefit(s).

In selection, we seek a sensory experience that tells us that the product is of high quality. In consumption, we seek a sensory experience that alters our own senses in a way that we find enjoyable. In both cases, we are seeking a sensory experience. It stands to reason then, that sensory evaluation is a powerful tool for discerning the quality of Cannabis products, and for determining our own personal preferences.

Organoleptics: Applying what we already know in Sensory Evaluation

We use organoleptics in our lives every day. At the grocery, we inspect our bananas for bruises, squeeze our avocados (whether this is a good practice or not), and smell our milk to make sure it's not spoiled. We use our senses to make decisions about the quality of the products we consume. From our produce to our pharmaceuticals, our senses are powerful tools for discerning the qualities we most appreciate. Appreciating Cannabis is no different. With just a bit of training and practice, anyone can learn to make the most of their sensory capabilities. We can use our senses to determine the quality of the product, and to pursue our own quality and experiential goals. All that is needed is a bit of guidance and structure to your practice; something Sinsemillist training can provide.

No smoke?

Parsing out psychoactive analysis

Very much in the same way that wines and distilled liquors can be tasted and sampled without evaluating their intoxicating characteristics, the Sinsemillist evaluates cannabis. In fact, I'll bet you'd find it odd if your Sommelier were to suggest drinking a few glasses of wine and evaluating how the "buzz" felt.

Why is that? Evaluation comes with many pitfalls already. Cognitive research has shown that our responses to intoxicants can be influenced by many factors, many which are contextual factors even beyond our varying body chemistry. The setting in which we consume, the presentation wares (e.g. glassware, silverware, etc.), and even the background music can have profound impacts on our assessments.(1)

When it comes to △9-THC and CBD, the frequency of consumption can determine whether the same quantities impacts an experience positively or negatively.(2)

With so much to account for, psychoactive analysis is more easily suited to subjective inquiry, determining personal preferences, and personal quality goals.

  1. Spence, C. Wine psychology: basic & applied. Cogn. Research 5, 22 (2020).
  2. Solowij, N., Broyd, S., Greenwood, Lm. et al. A randomised controlled trial of vaporised Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol alone and in combination in frequent and infrequent cannabis users: acute intoxication effects. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 269, 17–35 (2019).