The first ever cannabis sommelier certification



[in-terp-en-ing], verb.
The Art and Science of the Cannabis Sommelier: evaluating flower for total quality control, psychotropic effects, and variety type designation.

Interpening is important for industry professionals and consumers due to the fact that speciation, strain names, and lab testing do not provide information about the quality or the effects of cannabis.


Depending on individual state regulations, a lab’s Certificate of Analysis for cannabis flower may test for some or all of the following: cannabinoids, terpenes, pesticides, heavy metals, mycotoxins, and microbials. However, labs do not test for specific molds and insects that infest cannabis, nor do they test for the overall quality from flower to flower.


Considering the two most important things to know before purchasing and consuming cannabis are the quality of the product and how it will make you feel, you need to have the ability to determine this on your own since lab tests don’t include this information. The Professional Interpening course will provide you with the knowledge and skillset so that you are able to determine the quality and effects of cannabis flower, based on physical and aromatic evaluation, regardless of the strain name, speciation category, or brand.

Professional Interpening Course Overview

Interpener: The Cannabis Sommelier

Many elements of Interpening were inspired by the world of wine and sommeliers.  As the cannabis industry further develops and legalizes, many elements of wine classification, from appellations, terroir, typicity, horticulture, and authority will carry over into cannabis.

Cannabis Speciation and Strain Names

How the industry categorizes cannabis and names individual strains is incredibly misleading and inconsistent. In this section we explain the true history of “Indica” and “Sativa” while unraveling the strain name dilemma. Is your Blue Dream really Blue Dream?

The History of the Word Marijuana

Marijuana is an incredibly misrepresented word with a 400–500-year history. In this section we are thrilled to have Professor Santiago Guerra, expert in Southwest Studies, unravel the origin, evolution, and fascinating history of mariguana!


Is it the cola, bud, flower, nug, inflorescence, or is a combination of these terms acceptable when describing cannabis anatomy? Are seeds formed in the bract or calyx? Does the capitate stalked, sessile, or bulbous trichome contain the most chemistry? In this chapter we highlight the ins and outs of the cannabis plant.


The chemistry of cannabis is what makes this plant so incredibly amazing! Given there are over 150 cannabinoids, 200 terpenes, and 20 flavonoids, there is an infinite number of combinations and ratios from flower to flower, that all fall on a spectrum of effects from sedative to stimulating.

Unacceptable Physical Characteristics

If you’ve ever smoked cannabis, you’ve smoked botrytis, powdery mildew, jar rot, spider mites, fungus gnats, excess synthetic nutrients, and probably a handful of hair as well. And sometimes flower without any of those issues is still really bad. This is the section you’ll wish you never knew about!

Evaluating Aromatics

Cannabis has one of the most diverse and unique aroma profiles in the world. What’s really important to understand about Interpening aromatics is that what you’re smelling isn’t as important as where you’re smelling it! Here we dive into how your olfactory system and trigeminal nerve work together in determining cannabis quality and effects.

Predicting Psychotropic Effects

Interpening cannabis flower is based in a methodology that combines evaluating the physical and aromatic characteristics of flower to determine where the flower falls on the spectrum of effects from sedative to stimulating.

The Professional Interpening Course consists of 9 video sections that are approximately 5.5 hours long, and is followed by an 80-question multiple choice final exam on the following information:



    • Interpening Origins
    • Interpeners and Sommeliers: Similarities and Differences
    • Cannabis Appellations, Terroir, and Typicity
    • Cannabis Origins, Evolution, Speciation, and Taxonomy
    • The Strain Name Dilemma:  Do strain names matter?
    • The Indica / Sativa Controversy
    • Cannabis Anatomy, Chemotype, Genotype, and Phenotype
    • Cannabis Chemistry:  Cannabinoids, Terpenes, the Entourage Effect
    • The Broad to Narrow Leaf Spectrum of Effects
    • Quality: Evaluating the physical and aromatic characteristics of cannabis for unacceptable, acceptable, and perfect quality
    • Identifying Cannabis Flaws:  insects, mold, mildew, color, structure, ripeness, and many other factors to ensure safe consumption
    • Interpening Methodology:  Predicting the psychotropic effects of cannabis with three cranial nerves

Interpening Book

The new Interpening book mirrors the live Interpening course that was developed and taught around the world over the past decade by author and activist Max Montrose. The book teaches you how to determine cannabis quality to ensure it’s safe to consume, breaks down every aspect of Interpening methodology, and provides you with the knowledge to predict the psychotropic effects of cannabis flower. The Interpening book is loaded with high-quality photography to help you as you learn about evaluating cannabis quality. 


The Interpening book is sold separately from the course.


Unique, timely, and indispensable, Montrose’s book shines light on interpening. This art and science of characterizing marijuana varietals through olfactory training adds the crucial next dimension in deciding on your next purchase in this increasingly complex contemporary marketplace.

Rick Strassman, MD

Author, DMT: The Spirit Molecule

Interpening Tools

Interpening is a combination of the words “interpreting” and “terpenes.”

Interpening was developed by Max Montrose in 2008. Since its inception, Trichome Institute has hosted dozens of workshops teaching individuals from all around the world, including celebrities, industry veterans, and novices who are simply interested in learning more about cannabis.

Sommeliers, cicerones, cheesemongers, and coffee cuppers have perfected their palates to evaluate, grade, and certify products and relay their expertise to the world. Trichome Institute is the first to bring this level of professionalism and expertise to the world of cannabis.


Benefits of Interpening

Interpening has helped many students throughout the cannabis industry jump-start their careers and businesses. An Interpening certification will separate you from others with an enhanced understanding of cannabis history, quality, and effects. Whether you are a new budtender, special events host, cannabis chef, or medical professional, quality knowledge should be the foundation of your expertise. These highlighted professionals are prime examples of sharpened skillsets impacting the cannabis industry through Interpening.
Simon Espinosa Advanced Interpener, CEO of En Volá, a cannabis creative agency in Chile
Ron Gibson scored two new jobs with his Professional Interpening certification  in OR
Chef Brandon Allen Advanced Interpener and cannabis chef, has been featured on TV,  consults for multiple cannabis brands, has lectured on cannabis globally, and eventually found himself partnered with Trichome Institute due to his enthusiasm for Interpening
Andrew Mieure  Advanced Interpener, is the founder and CEO of Top Shelf Budtending, hosts special cannabis tasting, pairing, and educational events in Colorado, California, and Nevada

Learn Interpening.