You know your taste in style, music, and food, but do you know your taste in cannabis? You hear people talk about their weed smelling fruity or floral and spicy or earthy, but does it really smell like those things? Sure—to a trained palate. 

Some tokers are born with attentive taste buds, but for many of us the concept of our cannabis palate is new and going to take work to develop. What gurus refer to as the “palate” is really a physiological relationship between our sense of smell and taste. In other words, a large percentage of tasting is smelling. For example, pinch your nose shut and eat a piece of stinky cheese. Then let go to open your nostrils and notice the difference when you can actually smell. 

Cheese is only one example. Wine. Coffee. Craft beer are others. And now weed. With legalization, artisan cultivators are creating a variety of strains producing a wide range of phenotypes, smells, tastes, and effects. Luckily for consumers, there are concrete ways we can improve our palate, and the process can be rather fun as well. 

If you are somebody who is interested in learning more about your cannabis palate, and might one day enjoy judging the Cannabis Classic or cannabis cup, join Max Montrose, founder of the Trichome Institute and Interpening cannabis evaluation criteria, in “Perfect Your Palate,” at PDX Weed Week. The “Perfect Your Palate,” talk is scheduled for Thursday, December 1 at 1 p.m. If you are interested in this talk, join Montrose during his other PDX Weed Week talks titled “The Origin of Modern Cannabis Strains,” at 12 p.m. on Thursday, December 1, and the “Morphological Differences Between Marijuana Strains,” on Friday, December 2 at 1 p.m. For all-access passes to PDX Weed Week presented by TJs Gardens, please visit