All Cannabis Is Not Created Equal

As Cannabis-legal cities across the country prepare for increasingly populous and accepted 4-20 celebrations, there's a major shift taking place among users of legal Cannabis. The excitement of simply being able to buy Cannabis legally is wearing off for many, and they're discovering that all Cannabis is not created equal. Just as there are fine wines and (not so) fine wines, there is high quality Cannabis and there is low quality Cannabis.

But while many Canna-curious consumers know there is a difference between high quality and poor quality Cannabis, many have told us that they don't how to quickly and easily differentiate between the two. So, with the hope of clearing up the confusion and raising the quality of Cannabis expectations, Good Chemistry Nurseries has developed a new, simple tool to help novice and experienced cannabis users assess quality Cannabis.

Just as wine enthusiasts enjoy a user friendly tasting system and diamond buyers employ the "Four C's," cannabis users now have a new evaluation tool called "S.T.A.T.S.", a five-step process for identifying high quality, remarkable flower, similar to the multi-step process for evaluating wine. The S.T.A.T.S. method (Sight, Touch, Aroma, Taste, and Sensation) is a guide to helping consumers evaluate essential aspects of the flower in order to make the most informed and satisfying purchase decision.

What to know about S.T.A.T.S.:

S.T.A.T.S breaks down the essential aspects of Cannabis - sight, touch, aroma, taste and sensation - in order to show the consumer exactly what they should be looking for when purchasing Cannabis flower.
Sight: Seeing the flower can sometimes be the only evaluation option before purchase. It is important to know the visual cues for remarkable cannabis. Aspects of the flower to examine are: trichome content, color, structure, size and trim.

Touch: Touching the flower can help with evaluating the cure (the controlled drying process to achieve proper moisture content post-harvest) and can give when squeezed but bounce back to its original shape when released, have a sticky or tacky (resinous) feel, and the internal stem should snap.

Aroma: Each strain has a unique aroma. Distinctions can be made between high and poor quality aroma. Some aromas that can be expected from quality flower are floral, fruit, diesel fuel, skunk, pine, earthy, and cheese. Some aromas from poor quality flower include mold, hay, must, old socks, wet grass and no smell.

Taste: Different strains will have different flavor profiles. Similar to wine tasting, experience is necessary to distinguish between different flavors in the strains. The aroma may set up the flavor and the taste should be pleasant and enjoyable, never overly harsh.

Sensations to expect from Cannabis:

Consumers use Cannabis to experience a range of sensations. It can be ideal for people who are looking to relax after a long day of work, inspire creativity, provide relief or feel energized. But no matter the strain, the first sensation that comes from cannabis is the sensation of lift, or of being high. The sensation of being lifted may include warm, tingly, fuzzy feelings, sensory enhancement, and a pleasurable and lifted feeling.

Varying experience levels may affect how people feel with each strain and the amount of time people are lifted. Because of this, it's good to stick with the motto: "Start Low, Go Slow." You can always add more if needed. S.T.A.T.S also recommends sticking to Cannabis flower because it is the easiest way to control the intensity of the experience. Unlike other methods of consuming, the effects of flower are immediate and may start to dissipate after two to four hours.

Each flower strain can have a different sensation. Many Cannabis consumers are aware of the different sensations that can come from indica flower and sativa flower, but S.T.A.T.S. has explored sensation on a deeper level by identifying key categories of sensation that can come from different strains. The key categories of sensation are:
Amplify: Perception, creativity, pleasure - May make you feel euphoric and energized
Relax: Unwind, connect, chill - May help calm the nerves and alleviate tension
Relieve: Discomfort, pain and stress - May help to alleviate emotional and physical pain
Sleep: Cool down, rest, refresh - May make the muscles and body feel heavy or emphasize feelings of drowsiness

The S.T.A.T.S guide was developed as a consumer awareness campaign to bring to light that all Cannabis is not created equal. Whether novice or connoisseur, knowing how to assess Cannabis flower quality is key to having the best possible Cannabis experience. Learn more about S.T.A.T.S. at statsguide.org.