Next time you take a whiff of your cannabis stash, focus less on what you smell and more on where you smell it.

This is the cornerstone of the flagship course at Denver’s Trichome Institute, which teaches nug novices how to become experts at “Interpening.”

It’s a concept developed by Max Montrose, founder of the cannabis trade school that teaches would-be connoisseurs how to identify specific strains based on visual clues and terpene characteristics.

The unique concept involves analyzing where you “feel the smell” of a cannabis flower to determine whether a strain is Sativa-dominant or Indica-dominant.

According to Montrose, pure Sativas are felt high in your sinuses when you inhale their scent, while pure Indicas are felt closer to the base of your nose. Hybrids are felt somewhere in the middle, he says.

It’s a process he says has “started to blow people’s minds”, as it challenges the idea that consumers should simply be choosing their cannabis based on what label is on the jar, he says.

“Every single jar of cannabis in the world has a name on it. And some of those names are true to their lineage… but the vast majority aren’t,” says Montrose, attributing this to the many unregulated “bud-tending” schools in existence.

thumbnail IMG 5836 2

“It’s extremely necessary to be able to take a big deep breath, forget the strain name… and analyze what is important, which is: how is this going to make me feel when I consume it and how do I know that and what is the quality of this product and is it safe enough for me to consume in the first place?”

Cannabis, as a plant and medicine, has been systematically misunderstood; at its core, this is why the Trichome Institute exists, according to Montrose.

“In 2009, when I was working at a dispensary trying to help medical patients, I quickly realized that… this is a multi-billion dollar industry that almost no one understands,” says Montrose, who blames this on the fact that “cannabis was purposefully designed to be out of the hands of the people, because the reality is that you can do anything in the world with it.”

“If I wanted to get rich quick, I would have started a dispensary and a grow, but my bigger mission was to teach people the reality of this stuff, because once you understand it, you can use it so much more and in better ways.”

Through his various courses at the Trichome Institute, Montrose hopes to “birth the paradigm shift in the cannabis industry that has got to happen.”

“We’re providing the foundation for understanding why strain names shouldn’t be as respected as they are, and what should be [respected] instead.”