An important lesson in aromatic training

Published Oct 10, 2021 11:30 a.m. ET
iStock / NikiLitov

If you haven't heard the news, then you’ll be happy to discover the trending practice called aromatic training because it’s a unique experience that every single consumer should try at least once in life. Those who want to up their skills to a professional level require this practice frequently, and even the average toker can benefit greatly in many different ways from a session or two.

What is aromatic training?

Aromatic training is the practice of testing your nose using aromatic compounds that come from cannabis. That’s right! It’s a whole lot of sniffing and generally very little if any consuming. Still, it’s just as important and almost as enjoyable as smoking a spliff consisting of your favourite strains. The idea is that eventually, we can train our noses to detect cannabis terpenes, unlocking a host of aromatic qualities that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. Basically, it’s detecting which terpenes are in each pot product, and it’s quite a test of skill, even for the most experienced user.

Should all consumers participate?

Professionals often need to hone this skill so that they can give opinions on various strains that are in the creation stage when the plants are not quite ready to go out into the world, stuck in testing to see if they have potential. Since we know that different terpenes provide varying effects from uplifting to outright sedation, it also helps them to understand the possible effects that might be expected from a particular strain. Of course, that makes sense. It’s their job, but what about the average joe? Should everyone try it?

The truth is that though it might not be necessary for every single canna-curious individual to be privy to this sort of information with no more than a sniff, it can be just as helpful, especially for those who want a greater sense of control over their cannabis experience. Being able to familiarize yourself with a strain or product's terpene profile without having to rely on labels is enough to increase your chances of leaving this time spent highly satisfied.

Practice makes perfect

Repeating the same test can help to train your nose to know what to look for in cannabis strains and products, and that’s part of why aromatic exercises are often completed multiple times over the years rather than in a single sitting, but a fading memory isn’t the only problem. In fact, time is working against us all as it changes our sense of smell and taste which can erase any progress you’ve made with previous aromatic training sessions. It’s a bit of a pain, but it’s worth keeping up on this practice as much as possible.

How to do your own aromatic training

Every person who does this has their own unique methods of detecting various scents, with some opting for more complicated questions, like choosing multiple products that all have the same terpene content. However, the majority start with the basics, which is a simple list of steps that anyone can follow.

  1. Buy several sample bottles of terpenes

  2. Familiarize yourself with all of the scents.

  3. Now, put on a blindfold and see if you can recognize the aromatic compounds without labels.

  4. Determine which scents feel like aromatherapy because those are the ones you like the most, which means that they’re more likely to produce the effects you desire.

  5. Once you’re able to name each terpene with confidence without labels, then you can move on to more complex profiles by testing your skills on actual bud and concentrates, or you can choose to be happy with your extensive new knowledge base and take a break!

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