Determine Cannabis Quality and Effects with



The Art and Science of the Cannabis Sommelier

​Do you really know what’s in your weed or how it will make you feel?

Don’t roll the dice…

  • Strain names are misleading and inconsistent
  • Tolerance and effects vary from person to person
  • Indica and Sativa aren’t what you think
  • Lab tests don’t determine quality or effects
  • Fungus and insects aren’t safe to smoke
  • Paranoia and anxiety aren’t a healthy side effect
  • Consistent experiences can be a challenge
  • THC doesn’t determine potency

We’re here to help you identify the safest, highest quality marijuana and achieve the effect that’s best for you.

Misleading strain names and online reviews may tell you what’s popular and trending, but they don’t help you find safe, quality cannabis. And the primary speciation choices—indica, sativa, or hybrid—tell you next to nothing about how marijuana will make you feel.

Why play guessing games with your health and have unpredictable bad experiences? If you’re going to invest in cannabis, it ought to be healthy, high quality, and provide a positive experience. That’s why we created Interpening in 2014.  Interpening is the art and science of the cannabis sommelier. You can determine the quality and effects of cannabis with your eyes, nose, and knowledge. As an Interpener, you will Weed Better™.

Professional Interpening Online

Course Topics


  • Cannabis Origins & History

  • Speciation Controversy

  • The Strain Name Dilemma

  • The History of the Word Marijuana

  • Cannabis Anatomy

  • Chemistry: Cannabinoids & Terpenes

  • Parallels of Cannabis & Wine

  • Unacceptable Physical Characteristics

  • Unacceptable Aroma Characteristics

  • Aroma Perception Technique

  • How to Predict Psychotropic Effects

  • The Professional Interpener

[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.

Course Specs

Video Time: ~4 hours
Completion Time: 12 hours
Testing: Final Exam / 3 attempts
Languages: English and Spanish
Difficulty: Advanced
Prerequisite: None
Achievement: Certification
Meet Your Guides: Brandon Allen,  Max Montrose



Connoisseurs, sommeliers, cicerones, experienced dispensary staff, chefs, medical experts, medical patients


Section Details


Interpener: The Cannabis Sommelier

Interpening was inspired by the world of wine classification. As the cannabis industry develops, many elements of wine classification, like appellations, terroir, and typicity will carry over into cannabis—because flower from an outdoor farm in California is completely different from flower produced in a massive indoor operation in Colorado.


Cannabis Speciation and Strain Names

The categorization and naming of cannabis varieties and strains is misleading and inconsistent, due mainly to the gradual transition from black to legal markets. We explain why “Indica” and “Sativa” are inaccurate designations, and we unravel the strain name dilemma: is your Blue Dream really Blue Dream? 


The History of the Word Marijuana

Professor of Southwest Studies, Santiago Guerra, joins us to uncover the history of this loaded word, from its origins in indigenous resistance to colonial oppression, through its use in mid twentieth-century racist government propaganda, to its restoration as a word full of rich history and culture.



Cola, bud, flower, nug, inflorescence… what’s the difference? We’ll give you a close-up look at the cannabis plant’s parts and help you identify mature trichomes—which is where the chemistry we care about happens.



It’s the chemistry that makes this plant so amazing and its effects and benefits so diverse! Over 100 cannabinoids, 150 terpenes, and 20 flavonoids have been identified in cannabis, and there are huge variations across strains. We’ll give you a grasp of the most common compounds that create the spectrum of effects from sedative to stimulating as well as a taste of the medicinal possibilities ahead as more research opens up.


Unacceptable Physical Characteristics

If you’ve ever smoked cannabis, you’ve also smoked botrytis, powdery mildew, jar rot, spider mites, fungus gnats, excess synthetic nutrients, and probably a handful of hair too! 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

Sure, everyone knows the cannabis aroma—it’s dank! But in the art and science of interpening, we analyze the nuances of aroma and use the data the nose knows to evaluate flower quality and determine its likely effects. Here we dive into how your olfactory system and trigeminal nerve work together in interpreting terpenes.


Predicting Psychotropic Effects

Interpening is a methodology for assessing flower quality and predicting how it will affect you. We’ll teach you how to identify all of the physical and aromatic characteristics that determine where the flower falls on the spectrum of effects from sedative to stimulating.


Your Plan to Weed Better


Enroll and start learning how to identify cannabis quality and effects with interpening methodology


Utilize your new knowledge to evaluate as many flowers as possible to hone your skills 

Weed Better

Never consume bad quality cannabis again, share your knowledge, and be a part of our Interpening community

The value I have derived from Trichome Institute has SHIFTED MY ENTIRE PARADIGM in relation to cannabis. In making the transition from the non-profit and education sector to cannabis, the only logical course of action was to become a sponge; absorbing, analyzing and actualizing any and all information available.  Trichome Institute’s empirical approach to cannabis and wellness was the hook.  Living in Kansas, surrounded at all corners by adult use and medical states has only been an inconvenience.  Fortunately, Trichome courses are 100% online, engaging and easily digestible. Keep Learning!


MORGAN SEAMAN, Certified Interpener

In an opinionated field of Cannabis, I wanted to find a course that had its own developed and researched beliefs. Max and Chef Brandon have an organic, symbiotic chemistry that makes the courses so fluid and interactive. After the Interpening course mixed with Trichome’s Cannabis Consultant Training, I was able to start my dream career. Now, I’m exploring the nation’s cannabis industry and seeing the instant validity of the courses. Trichome has gotten me closer to finding the truth, and for that I will always highly recommend their education.


Mack Dawson, Certified Interpener

As an RN, I was skeptical to buy training on the plant or the extraction process. However, I gain so much knowledge and understanding as a person and have been able to pass that education on to my patients as I help them navigate medical marijuana in their health journey!  Trichome Institute breaks all the complexities down to value pieces like no one else has ever been able to do. THANKS!


DEDEE CULLEY, Certified Interpener

Choose Your Course Package

We may be high, but our prices aren’t.

Included in Bundled Packages

There is a lot of conflicting information when it comes to cannabis education.  Our courses at Trichome Institute help students learn the facts, be knowledgeable advocates, and Weed Better™


Investing in Your Health and Education Matters

At Trichome Institute we know you want to be a confident and knowledgeable cannabis consumer. To do that, you need to be able to identify the signs of cannabis quality and effects. The problem is, strain names, vague speciation categories, and lab tests don’t provide this information, which limits your ability to make educated choices.  This creates unnecessary confusion and frustration.

We believe learning about cannabis quality and effects should be thoughtful, methodical, and engaging. We understand you’re tired of depending on others to know what’s considered good and bad cannabis, which is why we created Interpening.  Now you can be in control of the quality of your cannabis and the effects you experience.

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