When it comes to buying cannabis, your nose can tell you a lot. With new regulations in place, most dispensaries are providing at least rudimentary information about THC content as well as screening for dangerous contaminants. But, your nose can give you a lot more information about the quality of what you’re about to buy.
Freshness: Properly cured and stored cannabis has a rich, pungent aroma. Cannabis that has been exposed to heat or light not only loses potency, but its aroma as well. Good lab results don’t mean anything if the valuable terpenes and cannabinoids have eroded after they were done. If the aroma is more like hay or cut grass, then it wasn’t dried and cured properly. Not only will the flavor suffer but the potency as well.
Terpenes: You can use your nose to pick out terpenes in some (not all) cannabis strains. Strains with a strong citrus or lemon smell are typically high in limonene, a terpene that can reduce appetite, improve mood and help your digestion. Strains that smell like forest and pine are usually high in pinene, a terpene that improve cognitive functions and memory, as well as being an anti-inflammatory. Floral strains that smell of lavender could be high in linalool, a sedating terpene that’s great for insomnia.
Purity: While a lab test is truly the only way to know if a batch of cannabis is free from pesticides and harmful chemicals, your nose can help you spot cannabis corrupted by mold or mildew. Upon inhalation of cannabis, your first response should be to inhale deeply. If anything makes you pull back or gives you a whiff of something not right, just say no thanks! Cannabis should not smell dirty or musty like a basement or under your kitchen sink. Trust your instincts!