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[in-ter-pen-ing] verb.

The Art and Science of the Cannabis Sommelier: evaluating flower for total quality control, psychotropic effects, and variety type designation.

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3rd Edition Updates & New Text Review

Interpening 3rd Edition Updates 

Welcome to the third edition of Interpening! We have added many new pages of information and updated some older information, including new laws, science, culture, and thoughtful perspectives on the evolving cannabis industry. Here’s a quick guide to the new info and changes. 

Appellation (Update): The appellation section now includes discussion of the new and first cannabis appellation law and how it compares to wine appellations. 

Terroir (Update): The terroir section includes a comparison between cannabis and wine terroir. Is terroir the same for both? Learn why this term does and doesn’t work for weed as it does for wine. 

Definition of Cannabis (Update): Trichome Institute’s definition of cannabis now includes new chemistry while being conscious of the speciation changes as well. We moved the US federal government definition of cannabis into this section as it changed in 2020 for the first time since 1972 to include hemp. 

Speciation (Update): The speciation section has had the most dramatic update: we went from a polytypic to a monotypic stance! We explain the changes while paying homage to this 300 year-old debate while pointing out how much it all may not matter in the end. 

How Legit Is Interpening? (New Text): This section replaced the “Devil's Advocate” section in the back of the old book. We take a look at the legitimacy of interpening by sharing a story about the first-ever scientific assessment of the interpening practice.  

Physical Observations (New Text): Found on pages X-X a scientific report by John McPartland and Ernest Small, A classification of endangered high-THC cannabis domesticates and their wild relatives, provides evidence for the interpening methodology of analyzing physical cannabis plant anatomy.

Crazy Leaf Types (Update + New Text): In the last edition, we briefly mentioned a few types of cannabis that don’t fall on the interpening broad to narrow leaf spectrum. In this edition we elaborate on five exotic cannabis types that not only break the common leaf shape rules, but also push into new speciation territory! 

Sensimilla (Update): An update to sensimilla cannabis

Pistil (Update): New information about cannabis pistils with updated images. 

Micro Seeds (New Text): A discussion of micro seeds – possibly the first-ever mention of micro seeds in a publication! 

Flavorants: (New Text) New information about different chemistry that contributes to the aroma profile of cannabis beyond terpenes! 

Quality Flower (New Text): A short description of what quality flower is.

Interpening Tips (New Text): A ton of new tips to help your aromatic interpening ability! 

Books that feature Interpening (New Text): A collection of other books that discuss interpening. 

The Interpening Book: Interpening explains the methodology of interpening and how to utilize interpening tools. It is designed to teach you how to evaluate cannabis by following a deductive process that encompasses both technical sciences and sensory observations and will enable you to identify the quality and psychotropic effects of cannabis variety types. Based on knowledgeable cannabis evaluations, an Interpener can describe the overall quality of cannabis flower and make recommendations for desired effects. Ultimately, this book equips you with knowledge that will enhance your professional, medicinal, or recreational experience. We strongly recommend this book as a companion tool while completing an online or live interpening course through Trichome Institute. 

Interpening pronounced “in-terp-en-ing” is the science of evaluating cannabis flower to determine quality, variety type designation, and psychotropic effects, through physical and aromatic inspection. Interpening is based on a combination of science and theory, yet it is also an art and requires significant experience. An interpener can be thought of as a cannabis sommelier. In fact, interpening was inspired by the model of sommelier certification, including education, training, and practice to develop such a recognized expertise.

Interpening is important at a time when millions of people are purchasing cannabis for medicinal or recreational purposes without quality certification or assurance of potential psychotropic effects. The psychotropic effects of cannabis vary from plant to plant and even within the same strain name, which is why strain names are so misleading.

The methods of interpening are used to identify cannabis variety type and better understand the potential psychotropic effects of each flower. This is done by visually evaluating the physical characteristics of the flower and by interpreting the aromatics, or terpenes which are the evaporating molecular hydrocarbon chains that produce the aromas of plants.

In legal states, many lab testing requirements for cannabis do not include mandatory terpene testing to provide insight to the possible psychotropic effects, and even those that do are only a guide, as the quality of the flower can change drastically between testing and consumption. While it is mandatory to test for various cannabinoids like THC, the percentage of THC in flower does not actually determine potency, which is why interpening the flower’s terpene profile is so important. Through interpening, you will have the tools to evaluate cannabis for its potency and psychotropic effects, regardless of strain name, lab test results, or presumed subspecies. Interpening also enables you to evaluate the total quality of the flower and determine whether it is an unacceptable, acceptable, or high-quality product, and ultimately safe to consume. 


Interpening Book Reviews

Check out all the reviews on Amazon here!

This art and science of characterizing marijuana varieties through olfactory training adds the crucial next dimension in deciding on your next purchase in this increasingly complex contemporary marketplace”
Rick Strassman, MD

Author of DMT: The Spirit Molecule


Montrose’s pioneering books teaches readers how to use their senses to evaluate cannabis quality as well as predict potency and physical effects, thus imparting invaluable practical knowledge to connoisseurs and patients alike.”

Nishi Whiteley

Author of Chronic Relief: A Guide to Cannabis for the Terminally and Chronically Ill