News & Media


skunk magazine

Skunk Magazine Winter 2021

Winter issues of Skunk Magazine, 2021. Visit page 80 to read the feature on Freakshow Cannabis.

culture magazine

Culture Magazine Fall 2018

Fall issue of Culture Magazine, 2018. Visit page 31 to read about Trichome's involvement in the culinary and cannabis world.

'Interpening': Interpreting terpenes to know how cannabis will make you feel

A Denver school teaches people to analyze cannabis samples like a sommelier.

What’s in Your Stash? Max Montrose: Founder of the Trichome Institute

You might say that Max Montrose has a nose for weed. That his lineage, handed down from beneath his very DNA, in cahoots with spirits of cannabis past, placed him in Denver, Colorado, then waited as the state and the man literally grew into their own. “The cannabis industry and I grew up together,” Montrose said from his home in Denver, Colorado. “I first started using cannabis from the black market in high school – there was no industry; it was about as mature as I was...

The tasty chemicals flavoring the edible cannabis boom

The institute has certified roughly 4,500 “interpeners”—that is, interpreters of terpenes—to evaluate whether a cannabis sample is likely to result in an afternoon sunk into the couch or a frenzied cleaning session. With an utter lack of consistency across the industry, which is regulated by a state-by-state legal patchwork and has no oversight when it comes to naming strains, this sort of expertise can be a powerful tool for consumers who don’t want to be surprised when a product takes effect. One grower’s Blue Dream, after all, might be very different from another’s.

A trade school in Colorado is training foodies and weed enthusiasts to become pot 'sommeliers'

The Trichome Institute, a marijuana trade school, offers training to become a pot sommelier. Just as a wine sommelier pairs gourmet meals with the perfect whites and reds, a weed steward studies the plant's smell and taste and makes expert food choices to go along with it.

Higher education: Learn to be a pot grower, vendor or ‘cannabis sommelier’

“We probably have eight cannabis education companies in the state of Colorado alone, some in large-scale brick-and-mortar settings with live plants growing,” explains Max Montrose of the Trichome Institute, which trains people to be responsible vendors for pot, in a version of the course used for people who serve alcohol.

herb somm

Chef Spotlight: Brandon Allen

The first-ever High Times Top Chef shares the ins and outs of cooking with cannabis

Higher Profile: Cannabis Chef Brandon Allen

“I loved food too much to deprive myself of so much pleasure,” he said of eventually giving up the plant-based diet he had started. “I was watching Anthony Bourdain’s show, Kitchen Confidential, and he really turned me around. I brought a pizza home one day and devoured it, loved it – then ate a bacon cheeseburger the next day and never went back.”...

Gold Leaf Chef Highlight

That’s exactly what first-ever High Times Top Cannabis Chef Brandon Allen has set out to prove. The professional chef, certified interpener and cannabis educator has made it his personal mission to marry the art of healthy cooking with the benefits of cannabis. The proof is in his recipes like the cannabis-infused Limonene Chimichurri Sauce that can be found within the Goldleaf Recipe Card deck.

How to Become a Weed Sommelier

Just as the coffee, cheese, and wine industries have masterful professionals qualified to distinguish nuances in each product, the marijuana market is developing its own class of people schooled in the specifics of the plant’s flavor profiles. These weed sommeliers — or “budtenders,” if you will — understand the complexities of that sticky icky icky and can educate the masses on which foods and beverages to pair with which strain.

California’s Next Buzzy Varietal May Not Come From Grapes

“Cannabis itself has a bad stigma because our culture makes it that way—every TV show or movie shows cannabis users as stoners,” said Max Montrose, 28, Trichome’s president. “Cannabis is also ancient, and it’s way more sophisticated in how many types there are and how it affects people in so many ways.”

Learning To Interpret Terpenes Can Make You A Cannabis Connoisseur

You know you’ve made it into the mainstream when a 29-year-old pot enthusiast lectures ABC News about the importance of learning how to interpret terpenes. “My passion has led me down a road of daily research, growing, caregiving, activism, jobs, businesses, and now I am an expert witness in high-level cases and lecturing around the world,” Max Montrose told ABC News. “I have researched this plant incessantly from credible sources, and worked with it daily for 15 years.”...

The Rise of the Cannabis Sommelier

As marijuana’s popularity grows, quality has become increasingly inconsistent. This according to Max Montrose, president and co-founder of the Trichome Institute in Denver, CO. His school is looking to change that by planting seeds for a new generation of cannabis connoisseurs who appraise marijuana the same way top sommelier’s evaluate wine. “Imagine going to a bar and ordering a stout and being served a Pilsner. That’s what’s happening in cannabis right now,” Montrose recently told CTV NEWS.

The Real Difference Between Low, Mid, and Top Shelf Weed

As a general rule, when you enter a marijuana dispensary, flower products fall under one of three categories: low-, mid-, and top-shelf. These classifications are designed to reflect quality, and they’re priced accordingly. But what do these cannabis types really mean? If you’re new to the world of legal cannabis, a word of advice: don’t always trust labels. Not every dispensary operates in good faith or possesses the information needed to make these qualitative distinctions...

Podcast & Interviews

Evaluating Cannabis Qualities

Everybody knows cannabis they like when it is presented to them, but few have the experience to delineate in detail its many attributes. On this week's episode of Shaping Fire, podcast host Shango Los speaks with Max Montrose, founder of The Trichome Institute about judging cannabis quality for oneself, for cannabis cup competitions and the sommelier-like Interpening certification for cannabis.

Say Goodbye to Cannabis Misinformation

In this interview with Max Montrose, founder of the Trichome Institute, we explore how his education materials are helping budtenders and students of cannabis get valid and useful information. We also discuss how to use your sense of smell to identify good cannabis.

Wake and Bake with Captain Hooter: Cooking Week

It's COOKING WEEK at the Wake and Bake show and today I am THRILLED to have the Chef, educator, and creator of the new "Cooking with Cannabis" course at the Trichome Institute, Chef Brandon Allen. Today we have a great conversation about his new course "Cooking with Cannabis", which I am in the middle of learning right now... You will get your first taste of his wide range of cannabis knowledge, all wrapped up in a puff pastry of fun! We barely get going and 2 hours went by...

montel lets be blunt

Let's Be Blunt with Motel Williams

On this episode of Let’s Be Blunt, Montel talks with cannabis sommelier, Max Montrose. Max is the Co-founder and President of the Trichome Institute, a cannabis education company that among other things, teaches the method of “interpening”, which he defines as the art and science of the cannabis sommelier; evaluating flower for total quality control, psychotropic effects, and a variety type designation. Max is also an expert on psychoactive cacti types from around the world and a lover of all things Mother Nature has to offer.

Food, Cannabis, and the Trichome Institute

Join the Professor and Chef Brandon Allen - 2017 High Times Top Chef  and Director of Research and Development for the Trichome institute - as they discuss cannabis education and the Trichome Institute,  the pursuit of health and success, and how food can reveal more about cannabis while cannabis can also reveal more about food.  

Are there Sommeliers for Cannabis?

Just as a sommelier helps wine enthusiasts understand the most optimal way to experience wine, a master of interpening has studied the art and science of cannabis to helps their clients make the best choices for their needs.

Buzz 17: Brandon Allen on Cooking with Weed

In this interview chef and cannabis educator Brandon Allen opens up about his fascination with cannabis and its effects on the endocannabinoid system, and shares his extensive knowledge of cooking with weed. Years of experimentation with different methods give him unparalleled insight into infusing things with cannabis.

brave new weed

Can That Gets You High

Hemp gets no respect -- until now! Trichome Institute's Max Montrose and Project Hemp Flower's Chris Fontes will change your mind about this humble and much maligned flower. This episode is sponsored by Trojan Horse Cannabis, makers of edibles and tinctures with 100mgs CBD and 10mgs of Delta-9 THC per serving. These are are legal hemp products that can be mailed to you and will get you gently high.

The Magic & Science of Plants

Max Montrose takes us way beyond the common cannabis misconceptions and helps us understand its complex chemistry and magic. Max created Interpening, the art and science of the cannabis sommelier- a method he claims can identify more about what’s in a sample than many lab tests can provide, offering new ways of appreciating, classifying, and benefiting from the plant.

My First Time Episode #29 featuring Chef Brandon Allen

Chef Brandon Allen shares his experience getting high for the first time on DRO TV.

brave new weed

Interpening: The art and science of becoming a ganga sommelier

Max Montrose, founder of The Trichome Institute, trains students to become ganja sommeliers. His “interpening” course guides you how “read” and predict a flower’s effects by smell and taste. This is Next Level Cannabis.


ACF ChefsForum: Exploring Culinary Cannabis & Edibles 2021

See how to utilize cannabis in food and beverages, as well as information about the cannabis plant, extractions, dosing, THC vs CBD, food safety, myths, and tips related to working in the fast-growing Culinary Cannabis industry. *As cannabis is not federally legal in the USA, no legal or medical advice will be implied or offered during this session.

Core Knowledge Every Cannabis Budtender Should Know

Outlining the essential information all budtenders should possess when interfacing with a wide spectrum of clientele - from medical patients to adult-use consumers - Trichome Institute's Max Montrose makes the case for more comprehensive cannabis education and training in the retail sector. As an example, he breaks down the process of how cannabis edibles work and are processed in the body - information that is often unclear or unknown to many budtenders and consumers, and as a consequence, results in unpleasant cannabis experiences.

How to Tell If A Cactus Is Psychedelic

This video is intended to present education about legal, medicinal psychedelics for a variety of therapeutic and wellness effects. Psychedelics remain illegal under federal law. We do not advocate for, endorse, or intend for this video to be used to violate federal law.

ACF Virtual Convention: Cooking with Cannabis

Join Chef Brandon Allen behind the scenes filming what will be an edited video that will be featured during the American Culinary Federation Virtual Convention!

Cooking with Cannabis | Chef Brandon Allen | Texas Cannabis Policy Conference

Join Chef Brandon Allen as he demonstrates how to prepare infused recipes that highlight cannabinoids, terpenes, and various infusion methods. Throughout the presentation, Chef will dive into the art and science of cooking with cannabis and explain the elements required to be a cannabis chef. Chef will discuss the cannabis plant, extractions, dosing, THC vs CBD, myths and tips related to working in the fast-growing culinary cannabis industry.

Interpening: Cannabis Like Wine, The New Frontier of Cannabis-Forward Thinking and Commerce

The ideas that THC equates to effect, testing certificates of analysis provide quality patient data, or all cannabis plants are either Indica or Sativa are thankfully diminishing rapidly. The complexity of cannabis types, their health, and vast chemical differences deserves sincere exploration and not necessarily in the lab. “Interpening” - the art and science of the cannabis sommelier - helps patients select cannabis based on its specific quality and unique effect type without a need for lab testing.

Cannabis Sommeliers and Science

Cannabis Sommeliers and Science, from the Appellations Symposium presented by the International Cannabis Bar Association (April 2, 2020) ( Max Montrose, Founder, Trichome Institute Swami Chaitanya, Founder, Swami Select Eleanor Kuntz, Co-founder, LeafWorks Alec Dixon, Co-founder, SC Labs Anne Kelson, Kelson Law Group

ACF Webinar Series: Demystifying Culinary Cannabis & Edibles for Chefs

April 20th's Panel of Chefs and Cannabis Experts will discuss what interested chefs should know about Cannabis. We will discuss the cannabis plant, extractions, dosing, THC vs CBD, to food safety, myths and tips related to working in the fast growing Culinary Cannabis industry.

YouTube Favorites

Spliff Busters Episode 1

OG Kush is the most popular strain of Marijuana today, but the true history of OG Kush is widely contested.

Spliff Busters Episode 2

In this episode of Spliff Busters, we’ll break down some of the most misconstrued cannabis terminology. What is a landrace? What are the real differences between sativa and indica plants? Is Durban Poison really a pure sativa, and does it actually come from Durban South Africa?

Spliff Busters Episode 4

Most cannabis consumers judge cannabis quality based on THC percentage and strain name, but what they should be shopping for is pungency— the olfactive sign that terpenes are present in the cannabis.

Spliff Busters Episode 4

Hashish, the removal of glandular trichomes from the cannabis plant, is an ancient art, but hash is becoming a lost art with the craze of concentrates in the United States:

2 Chainz Taste Tests Expensive Weed | Most Expensivest | VICELAND & GQ

2 Chainz meets weed chef and interprener Brandon Allen and taste tests some of the finest marijuana available. Watch more MOST EXPENSIVEST on VICELAND.

Cannabis for All Full Playlist

Want to learn a lot about cannabis without navigating the abundance of misinformation on YouTube? Check out the Cannabis for All playlist and start learning for free!

The Most Counterfeit Strain in Colorado: Blue Dream!

Join Leafbuyer, The Trichome Institute, and 420 Science as we dive into the Strain Name Dilemma! When dispensaries need to quickly sell marijuana flower, they may slap on a more popular strain name like Blue Dream or Girl Scout Cookies. Legal marijuana is still a budding movement, so the average cannabis consumer is, unfortunately, under-educated about the differences between strains AND how to identify bad (moldy, unflushed, etc.) cannabis. Luckily, Max & Gary are here to help!