You can become a cannabis expert with this Vancouver course

Jun 13 2018, 8:42 pm

CannaReps, a Vancouver-based company focusing on cannabis education and dispensary training, is offering a Cannabis Sommelier workshop for newcomers and experts alike.

The sommelier course was offered earlier in June and will be back later this month due to its popularity.

Daily Hive was on site to see what it takes to be a weed expert.

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The basics

Attendees were been a mixed bag of recreational and medical consumers with a breadth of knowledge that ranged from “I think I prefer sativas” to “everyone forgets about ruderalis.”

The workshop began with some cannabis 101 to bring the general knowledge of the room to the same level.

Cannabis expert

The workshop begins with cannabis basics (Henry Recinos)

Buds were dissected into pistils, colas, and sugar leaves to provide a brief overview of plant anatomy. Students were also given a history and geography lesson about cannabis and strain variance, with some key notes on differentiating indica, sativa, and ruderalis, the lesser known subspecies.

Strain identification

Armed with rubber gloves for hygiene purposes and to capture that air of science, several strains (or cultivars) were passed around the room for closer examination.

Sight, smell, and touch were all invoked to help differentiate the strains and identify key characteristics and quality.

Moby Dick, Orange Crush, LSD, Death Bubba, Red Diesel, and Super Silver Haze were some of the crowd favourites.

cannabis expert

Students learn how to identify different strains (Henry Recinos)

Quick tips: indicas like Death Bubba and Kush varietals produce dark green, dense buds, and have a pungent smell reminiscent of pine or gas.

Sativas like Moby Dick and Super Silver Haze tend to be lighter in colour and have longer buds and a sweeter, earthier smell (often compared to freshly cut grass).


If you plan on attending the next sommelier workshop, a word of advice: DO NOT smell the jar of mouldy weed. Curiosity will tempt you, but don’t do it. It’s gross. Julie Domingo, the workshop’s moderator, described it “like an old basement,” which is entirely accurate. Suffice to say that if you end up buying weed that smells like that, don’t smoke it.

Some other defects to look out for are foxtailing, which happens when the buds are too close to a light source, and spider mites.

Test your knowledge

The course wrapped up with a strain identification quiz that was divided into beginner and advanced groups.

Two strains were handed out and students were asked to identify them as either an indica or sativa, jot down key features in terms of smell and look, and examine trichomes under a microscope to gauge their stage of maturity.

cannabis expert

Students use microscopes to examine the bud’s trichomes (Henry Recinos)

The overall vibe, as you might imagine from a cannabis sommelier workshop, was very laid back and social, while being highly informative and educational.

If you’d like to step up your bud knowledge, check out CannaReps’ upcoming events. Daily Hive readers get 10% off by using the coupon code: dailyhive.

Cannabis Sommelier Workshop

When: June 20

Time: 6 to 8pm

Where: 525 Seymour Street, Vancouver

Tickets: $50 – Register here

Recreational Retail Training

When: June 26-27

Time: 10 am to 6 pm

Where: SFU Morris J Wosk Centre – 580 W Hastings Street, Vancouver

Tickets: $480 – Register here

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DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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