Understanding the aromas and flavours of weed
Ever had a buddy who swears every cannabis strain tastes and smells the same? Maybe you’ve felt the same way once upon a time.
In truth, a lot of us nod in agreement… until we encounter that one strain that’s a total game changer.
Oh, cannabis, our delightful flavour-shifting friend! The way it can echo the tastes and scents we know and love is downright amazing. But to truly unveil this feature? It requires a green thumb and then some.
Lucky for us, our amazing BC Bud Growers are top-notch and well-versed in this craft.
What Does Weed Taste Like?
To help you navigate the world of flavours and find the words to express what tickles your fancy, we’ve taken a cue from a Cannabis Cup Judging Sheet. And no, this isn’t just our personal two cents. We sat down with Canadian growers to help understand what everyone across our country means when describing that (insert your favourite weed descriptor here) strain.
A quick note about the lingo
A lot of the chat about cannabis flavours zooms in on terpenes – those aromatic molecules in cannabis and other plants. You might wonder why we don’t harp on about them much here. It’s intentional.
From our neck of the woods, diving deep into specific terpenes doesn’t always click with folks in a store setting or when buying weed online. Sure, some growers are all about terpene testing, but translating those figures to flavour? That’s a puzzler.
Keep your shopping trip breezy! Stick to terms you know and love. Saying “a nice spicy strain” gives a clearer picture of what you’re craving than “a strain with high levels caryophyllene”
Cheers to finding your perfect match fellow Canadians!
Who doesn’t have a soft spot for the sugary side of things? Especially when we’re talking cannabis strains that bring the sweet aromas and tastes to your experience. It’s like having your cake and eating it too.
Good news, my friends: hunting down a sweet strain isn’t like searching for a needle in a haystack. Your friendly neighbourhood budtender probably has a list as long as a hockey stick with suggestions for you. That said, remember “sweet” can mean a whole lot of things. So, you might want to get a bit specific or be ready to explore a bunch of delightful variations: sweet with a hint of tartness, sweet with a floral touch, sweet and fruity, or maybe a rich sweet and creamy vibe. You get where I’m going with this, right?
SuggestEd Sweet Strains:
- Peanut Butter Cup
If you’re all about those zesty, tangy vibes in your cannabis, then you’re in for a treat. Often, these sour strains bring a medley of tastes and aromas to the table – think citrusy zings, creamy undertones, or even a hint of that gasoline edge.
Now, many of us Canucks might jump straight to thinking of Sour Diesel when we chat about sour strains. But let’s not put all our pucks in one net. Sour Diesel is just the starting line in the tangy relay. Ever heard of Hawaiian Haze, or many of the Tangerine strains? They all dance under the sour spotlight but each brings its own unique flavour twist to the party.
So, a little tip from me to you: when you’re craving that sour punch, maybe pair “sour” with another taste note you fancy. Asking for just “Sour” might have you lacing up for a broad taste adventure.
Suggested Sour Strains:
- Hawaiian Haze
- Sour Strawberry
- Sour Diesel
When some folks hear “spicy,” they’re instantly transported to the zing of fresh cracked pepper, while others might be daydreaming of a cozy, warm spice cake during a Canadian winter.
These spicy strains might not be everyone’s first pick at the shop. However, when someone’s eyeing them, it’s often someone looking to make a switch from lighting up cigarettes.
Particularly those strains with a peppery kick – they carry a flavour that rings a bell with tobacco. So, they’re a top choice for folks hoping to mingle their tobacco routine with a bit of cannabis magic. A match made in Canadian heaven, wouldn’t you say?
Suggested Spicy Strains
- Durban Poison
- Jack Herer
- Northern Lights
Now, here’s a flavour that might raise a few eyebrows: bitter. Truth be told, it’s not a flavour that gets a standing ovation often in the cannabis world.
Why? Well, a bitter taste can sometimes be a red flag for too many pesticides or maybe a hiccup in the nutrient-flushing process – and we Canadians like our cannabis clean and top-shelf!
However, some strains give a nod to bitters, reminiscent of those botanical-rich spirits. Think aromas and flavours that send your senses on a journey with zesty citrus peels or aromatic bark.
While they might be the unsung heroes of the cannabis flavour world, we usually keep a couple of bitter strains in our back pocket. Feeling adventurous? Why not take a whirl with the White Rhino or AK-47. Who knows, you might find a new favourite.
Suggested Bitter Strains
- Tangerine Dream
- White Rhino
Alright, pals, let’s chat about a term that might leave a few scratching their toques: “gassy.” Now, you might be thinking, does this mean a strain that smells like a petrol station or maybe gives off a hint of your granddad’s old kerosene lamp?
Let’s clear the air (pun intended)! When we talk “gassy” in the cannabis scene, it’s more about feeling than flavour. Think of the sharp sensation of inhaling ammonia – that’s the kind of kick we’re chatting about. It’s not really about tasting or smelling like fuel; it’s about that little zing you feel when you take a deep breath of it.
Ever taken a big whiff and felt that tickle in your nose, maybe even leading to a sneeze? That’s the gassy vibe we’re talking about.
It might sound a bit out there, but believe it or not, gassy strains are all the rage. Loads of folks reckon the bold, rich sensation boosts their whole cannabis experience, making it a true Canadian delight.
Suggested Gassy Strains
- White Tahoe Cookies
- Miracle Alien Cookies
When you hear “fruity,” your mind might dart to a delightful, yet vast orchard. After all, the term “fruity” paints a pretty big picture. So, when we label a strain as fruity, which fruit are we actually talking about?
Well, let’s dive a bit deeper into the world of cannabis.
Here’s a fun fact: many of the same compounds that give our favourite fruits their tasty zing are also found in cannabis, thanks to our pals, the terpenes. So, when a cannabis strain sends out a fruity signal, it could mean a whole fruit salad of possibilities.
For example, some strains might remind you of biting into a juicy mango. That’s because of Myrcene, a terpene that’s also found in mangoes. And just like that, we’ve got strains that echo the delightful flavours of blueberries, pineapples, blackberries, and even cherries – all because they’re sharing the same chemical dance floor.
So, next time someone gives you a nudge, hinting that those familiar fruity cannabis flavours seem a bit “artificial,” you can kindly let them know it’s as natural as a Canadian maple tree in the fall. Pure, unadulterated flavour magic, right from Mother Nature!
Suggested Fruity Strains
- Grandaddy Purple
Flowery & Floral Strains
When you think “flowery,” does it whisk you away to a blooming field on a warm Canadian summer day? Well, just like its fruity cousin, the floral aroma in cannabis owes a big “thank you” to those fabulous terpenes.
The flowery strains might be a tad more subtle than their fruity relatives, but oh boy, they’re spot on. It’s genuinely mind-boggling how close these strains can get to the real deal.
So, next time you’re looking for a floral treat, remember, cannabis has got a blossoming bouquet just waiting to be discovered!
Suggested Floral Strains
- Platinum Purple Kush
- Watermelon Runtz
- Critical 2.0
You might be tilting your head, thinking, “Isn’t citrus just a fancy way to say fruity?” Well, while citrus fruits are indeed part of the fruity family, in the cannabis world, they’ve earned their own spotlight, all thanks to a particular terpene called Limonene.
Limonene is like the celebrity of the citrus scene. Once, it was mostly tied to strains that gave you a burst of energy. But nowadays, with all the blending and crossbreeding in modern cannabis cultivation, just about any strain can sport a citrusy badge.
And guess what? While Limonene’s most famous gigs are in citrus fruits, it also jams out in rosemary, peppermint, and juniper. A jack of all plants, if you will!
This terpene’s wide range makes for a delightful variety in citrusy cannabis strains. On one hand, you might get strains with a sweet, sunny twist, like Lemon Skunk. On the other, some strains might whisk you away to a porch swing with an array of citrus flavours – Rainbow Sherbert strain nails that “cool citrus” vibe.
So, next time you’re in the mood for a zesty kick, remember there’s a whole world of citrusy cannabis delights waiting for you.
Suggested Citrus Strains
- Lemon Skunk
- Rainbow Sherbert
Cheesy “Dairy” Strains
You might be doing a double-take. “Cannabis with a hint of dairy?” Yep, you read that right!
But for all our plant-based pals out there, no need to raise an eyebrow: this category isn’t quite a carbon copy of its dairy counterpart in the molecular sense.
Enter the world of creamy cannabis. These strains roll out with a lush, velvety taste, wrapped up in a rich, buttery bouquet. Picture diving into the velvety depths of a creamy panna cotta – that’s the vibe you’ll get with Blueberry Cheese strain. Or perhaps you fancy the indulgence of something a little stronger, UK Cheese will give you the accent you are looking for.
Now, you might’ve heard some folks toss around the term “cheesy” for these dairy darlings, but don’t get too caught up on that. While you might be dreaming of Cheddar or Bleu cheese, these strains are dancing to a different dairy beat. Think more brie or a slice of decadent cheesecake.
Suggested Cheesy Strains
- UK Cheese
- Blue Cheese
- Blueberry Cheese
Thinking of diving into a nutty experience? The world of nutty cannabis has got some delicious surprises in store.
While you might be reminded of the creamy tones from the dairy category, the nutty profile has its own little dance to do. Sure, they share that creamy richness, but nutty strains have a more swift and bold aromatic kick. Take a deep whiff and bam – that nutty essence hits you right away, no dilly-dallying.
Another fun twist? These strains often carry a hint of that gassy edge. It’s a cheeky contrast to the sweet and fruity vibes you might find in the dairy bunch.
And let’s spill the beans on some of the crowd-pleasers in the nutty department. Gorilla Cake is like the poster child of nutty strains, and then you’ve got Peanut Butter Breath making waves with its warm, roasted peanut flavour – just what you’d expect from a top-tier nutty strain.
So, if you’re nuts about cannabis, these strains might just be the perfect snack for your senses!
Suggested Nutty Strains
- Ice Cream Cake
- Peanut Butter Breath
- Gorilla Cake
Vegetal “Grassy Garden” Strains
When you hear “vegetal” in the world of cannabis, you might be picturing fresh green salads or maybe a plate of peas. And you wouldn’t be too far off! Vegetal strains give off vibes of fresh-cut grass or even some legumes. And hey, while “grass” has long been a slang term for our beloved cannabis, ironically, a true grassy taste doesn’t always get rave reviews.
Now, being a plant, it’s natural for cannabis to have a hint of that green, earthy note. But the magic of the curing process is that it usually lets those grassy hints fade to the background, allowing the other fabulous fragrances to step into the limelight.
However, if you find yourself with a strain that smells like you’ve just mowed the lawn or, oddly enough, like you’ve been playing with bugs, then it might be a wee sign that the curing stage didn’t go as planned.
So, if you’re ever in the mood for a garden-fresh aroma without actually gardening, the vegetal strains have got you covered. Just remember to enjoy the fresh greens without expecting a salad.
Suggested Grassy Garden Strains
Well, we don’t really suggest these. But you can probably find some for a really good deal!
When you come across the term “sharp” in the world of cannabis, it’s not about cheddar cheese or a pencil point. Instead, it’s more about how some scents or flavours can jump out a bit too aggressively, becoming the main act when you might have preferred a bit of harmony.
You see, some of our citrusy and spicy pals, especially those with a hint of orange, might sometimes get too enthusiastic, taking the centre stage. This can happen when the cultivation isn’t quite on point. Just like too much maple syrup can drown your pancakes (even if that sounds impossible!), an overpowering scent in cannabis can turn some folks off.
But, hey, don’t hang up your hockey skates just yet! Not every strain with these punchy profiles will give you a sharp jab. The magic is all in the cultivation. Like a mixtape, you wouldn’t want just one song on repeat, right? A good grower knows how to balance those beats to create the perfect playlist for your senses.
So, when you’re shopping around, keep your toonies tight and remember – the quality of your cannabis might vary depending on how much you’re willing to spend. It’s like expecting the luxury of a Vancouver hotel at the price of a roadside motel in the Prairies.
If you’re a bit hesitant about those zesty flavours like citrus or pepper, don’t dodge them entirely. Just look for those growers with a bit more experience under their belts (and that’s all you will find that we carry here) , maybe even a touch of that medical cannabis wisdom. They’ll ensure your experience is as smooth as a fresh ice rink.
Suggest Sharp Strains
- Gorilla Glue 4
- Blackberry Meath Breath
- GMO Cookies
A refreshing blast from the past or perhaps just a breath of fresh air? In the cannabis world, “minty” isn’t just about gum or toothpaste. Instead, it’s a captivating scent and taste profile that many find invigorating.
Much like opening a tin of mints or sipping on a peppermint tea, strains with this profile offer a sensation of clarity and rejuvenation. It’s not just a flavour; it’s a feeling. A minty strain can feel like a breeze on a hot day, bringing a brief respite from the intense heat or the warmth of an indoor space.
The terpene responsible for this is often eucalyptol, which, as the name suggests, is also found in eucalyptus trees. This terpene lends a cooling and refreshing quality to the strains it dominates.
Strains like Mint Chocolate Chip or Kush Mint might be obvious guesses due to their names, but others may surprise you with their hidden minty freshness. Remember, cannabis strains are as diverse as the world’s landscapes, and each carries its unique touch of magic.
So, if you’re looking to elevate your senses and feel a bit more invigorated, a minty strain might just be the ticket. But like any journey in the world of cannabis, it’s always good to start slow and see how the strain interacts with your unique chemistry. Who knows, you might just find your perfect cooling escape!
Suggested Minty Strains
- Mint Chocolate Chip
- Kush Mint
- Girl Scout Cookies
Terroir “Earthy” Strains
As cannabis cultivation becomes more refined and better understood, there’s a growing interest in the role of terroir in influencing cannabis characteristics. Just as wine enthusiasts will wax poetic about the specific characteristics of wines from Bordeaux or Napa, cannabis connoisseurs are starting to appreciate the nuanced differences between cannabis grown in different regions and conditions.
This appreciation is also a testament to the maturing cannabis industry. As markets evolve and growers perfect their craft, the influence of terroir could well become a key differentiator, adding layers of depth to the overall cannabis experience.
Terroir emphasizes the plant’s relationship with its environment. A plant grown in the valleys of BC may have distinct characteristics compared to the same strain cultivated in other parts of Canada. This can be due to various factors – from the mineral content of the soil to the water source, to the temperature fluctuations and sunlight exposure.
The understanding and appreciation of terroir also pave the way for cannabis appellations, designations that signify where a particular strain was grown, much like how Champagne can only be called so if it comes from the Champagne region of France. This could boost regional pride, ensure quality, and provide consumers with more detailed information about the origins of their product.
So, when selecting a cannabis strain, consider exploring the concept of terroir. Seek strains that come from specific regions known for their cultivation practices. You might just discover that the story behind the plant enhances the overall enjoyment and appreciation of the end product.
Suggested Earthy Strains
- OG kush
- Mendo Breath
- Master Kush
Let’s Wrap This Up For Now
Gone are the days of just that old “skunky” aroma; we’re now diving into a world that’s richer than maple syrup tapped straight from the tree!
From the delightful zing of spicy strains to the comforting hug of the dairy-inspired ones, cannabis offers a smorgasbord of flavours and aromas, as varied as our great Canadian landscapes. It’s all thanks to terpenes, those tiny molecules doing the heavy lifting to give our favourite strains their unique scents and tastes.
When someone says “fruity” or “flowery,” they’re not just being poetic. They’re talking about the real tastes and smells you’ll get from those strains. And don’t get me started on “terroir” – that’s like saying your cannabis carries a bit of the Rockies or the Maritimes with it. Pretty cool, right?
So, whether you’re from Vancouver Island or St. John’s, understanding these flavours and aromas is like getting to know your friendly neighbour down the lane. It’s all part of the beautiful tapestry that is cannabis in Canada. And as we keep exploring and sharing stories, our journey with this lovely plant will only get richer. So here’s to cannabis: The true north strong and flavourful!