What is Interpening®?

Interpening® is a method used to identify and understand cannabis variety, based on interpreting the plant’s terpenes and flower structure. Scientifically speaking, terpenes are evaporating molecular hydrocarbon chains that produce scent. Terpenes produce aromas that distinguish the cannabis plant variety. Together, identifying both terpenes and flower structure will help you predict cannabis variety and the effect that you can expect the cannabis to have on you. Interpening® also teaches how to assess the quality of the flower, allowing a user to determine whether it is an unacceptable, acceptable, or the highest quality product.

The most logical way to describe Interpening® is to compare it to detecting the subtle and unique features of wine. A sommelier is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional who normally works in fine restaurants and specializes in all aspects of wine service. The sommelier combines trained senses and experience to detect the differences between types of wine. With a few simple observations, a sommelier can gather a substantial amount of information about the wine, where in the world the grapes were grown, what the weather was like during growth, and what to pair the wine with during a fine dining experience. Similarly, a beer taster is a cicerone, a cheese taster is a monger, and a coffee taster is a cupper. These professional tasters use a foundation of science, senses, and creative experience to help detect the flavors and subtleties that they prefer in a product. They also detect noticeable faulty characteristics. The same is true for cannabis, and the art of expert cannabis tasting and identification is known as Interpening®.

I am skilled in the art of Interpening®, therefore, I am an Interpener®.

As our flagship training, this course is applicable to anyone who has an interest in cannabis - from cannabis industry experts and newbies to novice and seasoned recreational and medical users.  In a 2-3 hour session, attendees will leave with a much greater understanding of how to identify cannabis variety types, all unacceptable and acceptable quality factors, and their differing effects on a user.  The session involves a brief lecture as well as hands-on learning with live (Only in Colorado until further notice).  All training attendees receive the Trichome Institute Interpening® Pack including the Weed Wheel™, the Interpening® Loop, and the Interpening® Guidebook, tools to help you identify cannabis anywhere in the world.  Check out these products on the SHOP page to learn more.

The Trichome Institute Interpening® Training includes details about:

  • Why and how strain names are made up and unreliable
  • Cannabis plant biological structure and native geography
  • Cannabis quality control, variety types and their various effects
  • The process of Interpening®

Why Take an Interpening® course? 
Have you ever wondered why your Blue Dream is really good sometimes and really crappy other times?  Do you know a “weed expert” who could use a real schooling on how cannabis works?  Or do you have a list of complicated canna-questions you have always wondered about, like what are terpenes, what’s the differences between strains, or why do edibles treat me so differently?  Come learn the answers to all of these questions while you  see and smell the differences between variety types like a cannabis sommelier.  Learn about the fantastic and poor qualities of ganja with live cannabis samples in class!  Did we mention you get to keep the dissection tools?  Read more about Interpening® or watch a video, above.

What is Interpening®?
Interpening® is a method used to identify and understand cannabis variety, based on interpreting the plant’s terpenes and flower structure.  Terpenes produce aromas that distinguish the cannabis plant’s variety.  Together, identifying both terpenes and flower structure will help predict cannabis variety and the effect that the cannabis may have.  Interpening® also teaches how to assess the quality of the flower, allowing a user to determine whether it is an unacceptable and should be avoided, acceptable, or highest quality product.

The most logical way to describe Interpening® is to compare it to detecting the subtle and unique features of wine.  A sommelier is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional that normally works in fine restaurants and specializes in all aspects of wine service.  The sommelier combines trained senses and experience to detect the differences between types of wine.  With a few simple observations, a sommelier can gather a substantial amount of information about the wine, like where in the world the grapes were grown, what the weather was like during growth, and what to pair the wine with during a fine dining experience.  Similarly, a beer taster is a cicerone, a cheese taster is a monger, and a coffee taster is a cupper.  These professional tasters use a foundation of science, senses, and creative experience to help detect the flavors and subtleties that they prefer in a product.  They also detect noticeable faulty characteristics.  The same is true for cannabis, and the art of expert cannabis tasting and identification is known as Interpening®.

Who uses Interpening® and why?
Medical and recreational consumers benefit from understanding Interpening®.  Here are a few examples of how various consumers use Interpening® and why it is beneficial.

For A Medical Marijuana Patient
A patient that suffers from PTSD should avoid cannabis varieties that have the potential to cause paranoia.  Sativa strains can increase the heart rate and exacerbate symptoms of PTSD.  A PTSD patient should at first stay away from Sativas, and rather ingest Indica products.  Interpening® skills help the patient to be self-sufficient in picking out an Indica that’s most beneficial.

For An Adult User
If you want to consume cannabis at a concert or event that is physically exerting, you are going to want an energetic variety.  Therefore, you should choose an energizing Sativa and not an Indica variety.  You don’t want to be Inda-couch when movin’ and groovin’.

Those employed in the cannabis industry benefit as well.  
Dispensaries, various cannabis businesses in Colorado, and cannabis-related businesses around the country send their staff to Trichome Institute trainings to maximize their understanding of the plant they work with everyday.  Some dispensaries in Colorado require their staff be Level 1 or 2 Interpener® Certified.  The Hemp Connoisseur Magazine requires that flower judges for their THC Cup, at a minimum, be Level 2 Interpeners® scoring a 100% on the Interpening® test.  Ideally, the judges are Level 3 certified.

There are a variety of businesses that use Interpening® tools and methodology to help educate their patients, customers, employees, students, tourists, and more.

What are the differences between a Level 1, 2, & 3 Interpening® Certification?
Level 1
A Level 1 Interpening® Certification, certifies that an individual understands the Interpening® methodology after an in-depth, hands on, 2 hour lecture.  During the course participants learn how to gauge cannabis variety types with live flower and dissect all of the good and negative qualities of cannabis.  You will receive instruction on how to use the Weed Wheel and Interpening® Loop that you get to take home and use.  The Guidebook and other Interpening® tools will be available available for purchase at the event.  Out of State Level 1 classes will have the option of adding an "Ask Max" Lecture.

What is an “Ask Max” lecture?
Max Montrose has been involved in the cannabis industry since before it formally existed. He has lectured and educated the cannabis industry, government, universities, physicians, and the public for seven years. An “Ask Max” Lecture is an opportunity to spend an hour with a cannabis expert to get all of your questions answered. What is the difference between Phoenix Tears and Charlotte’s web? Where does cannabis come from? Why do edibles treat me so differently? How is cannabis a medicine? Why is cannabis against the law? Does a “vape pen” produce vapor? Does your group want to engage Trichome Institute for a session? If so, feel free to “Ask Max” by emailing us at info@trichomeinstitute.com

Want more?

Practice the art of Interpening® at home with your knowledge and tools and sign up for our Level 2 Interpening® class.   When you pass the test, you will receive a framed Certificate indicating you are one of a handful of Level 2 Interpeners®, a Level 2 lapel pin and you will be eligible to be connoisseur flower judges in the The Hemp Connoisseur Magazine’s Colorado THC Cup. 

Level 2
A Level 2 Certification course is longer, includes more in-depth cannabis information and participants can test for a Level 2 certification at the event.  Level 2 Certification teaches the art and science of cannabis variety type designation using the methodology of dissecting terpene types with biological bud structure dictated by geography.  The course also includes the analysis of high and low quality cannabis differences – all while using live samples.  The flower used in this certification training is a mix of rare and common, good and bad, Indica and Sativa, and more.

The Interpening® test allows users to apply their new knowledge to live flower.  They identify unacceptable quality cannabis and identify variety type based on sight and smell. 

There will soon be a facility in Colorado that will allow for Level 2 Interpening® testing on a regular schedule, details to come.  Retesting is available at a nominal fee for those who do not pass the first time.  Anyone who does not pass the test to become Level 2 certified is automatically deemed Level 1 certified. 

Level 3
Becoming Level 3 Certified is a very difficult process.  It is similar to a wine expert becoming a Master Sommelier.  Level 3 certification is reserved for true cannabis experts. The Level 3 test is an all day event composed of written, oral, and performance testing.  The test is offered only once a year.  Those who attempt a Level 3 Certification test must come prepared to the exam with knowledge of all things cannabis including cannabis history, sociology, law, politics, horticulture, grow equipment, geography, extraction methods, genealogy, infusion techniques, the endocannabinoid system, pharmacokinetic pharmacology, terpene/cannabinoid molecules, and more.  Applications for Level 3 Certification will be available in 2016.

Who provides the certifications and do you need to re-certify?
The Trichome Institute is a national cannabis education company that develops standardized cannabis curriculum for the public, schools, cannabis industry, and physicians.  Trichome has helped to develop the Colorado State Responsible Vendor program and will release the National Cannabis Industry Textbook curriculum in the fall of 2015.  All Interpening® Certifications come from the Trichome Institute and will last forever.

How much are the courses and tools? Are there wholesale options?
The in person Level 1 Certification is $165.  This includes the Weed and Hash Wheel™, Interpening® Loop, and Interpening® Guidebook.

The in person Level 2 Certification with the test is $239 (quantity discounts available).  This includes a Level 1 Certification with a potential Level 2 Certification if the test is passed.  This course also includes the Weed and Hash Wheel™, Interpening® Loop, and Interpening® Guidebook.

There are price breaks available for large groups and private certifications.  To inquire about these contact sales@trichome.us

Just want to see some Interpening® tools?
The Weed Wheel™ costs $9.95.
The Hash Wheel costs $9.95.
The Interpening® Loop costs $9.95.
The Interpening® Guidebook costs $29.95.

To inquire about selling Interpening® tools with an Interpening® POP counter display for your retail business, contact us at sales@trichome.us.