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.  Weed Better™

Interpening—from interpreting terpenes—is an important skill for industry professionals and consumers because strain names and lab tests provide incomplete information about the quality and effects of cannabis. This course takes you deep into the history of cannabis cultivation and naming, dispels common myths about the plant’s speciation and chemistry, and provides the tools you need to make informed decisions as a consumer, consultant, chef, retailer, or connoisseur. The heart of the course is the instruction in interpening, which enables you to determine the quality and effects of cannabis flower, based on your examination of its anatomy and aroma profile, regardless of the strain name, speciation category, or brand.



Professional Interpening Course Overview

Interpener: The Cannabis Sommelier

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.

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 exam on the following topics:



    • 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.