SAN FRANCISCO - A lot of people think pot stinks, but for cannabis connoisseurs some weed has the coveted scent of fine wine. We take a closer look at a budding industry that is trying to bring wine and weed together.
Ask any wine connoisseur what makes a great wine, and they will debate the age of the vine, the makeup of the soil, even the elevation. Turns out cannabis lovers are just as passionate about their weed.
"Dining experiences aren't just about wine and food anymore, you can now add cannabis which is really exciting," said Jamie Evans, of the The Herb Somm, a website and gourmet guide that helps people match wine with cannabis.
"Like with wine tasting, it takes practice to learn the differences between aromas and the same with cannabis," said Evans.
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She says that many of the familiar smells and flavors you find in wine can also be found in cannabis.
"The first thing is, know your terpenes, and terpenes are the organic compounds that give cannabis all the wonderful aromas and flavors," said Evans.
Those terpenes can have floral, pine, earth, and citrus scents same as wine.
"So when I am thinking of a cannabis strain to pair with rose so I am also thinking of matching the aromas of the terpenes, said Devika Maskey, of Ellipsis Winery in Sonoma County.
"First you look at the cannabis then you smell, then you taste," said Maskey.
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She added, "The more we can educate people on the safe ways to consume, the more we can create enjoyable experiences all around."
First you smell the wine, then the cannabis.
"So this one has some nice candied citrus smells that I think will go really well with the rose," said Maskey.
Like wine grapes, where cannabis grows matters. A strain of cannabis from one area might not taste the same as cannabis from another.
The wine industry divides and names growing regions - known as "viticultural areas" in the U.S. and terriors in France.
Now cannabis growers want a similar system.
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"The Mendocino Appellations Project has been trying to figure out exactly where those terrior lines should be drawn," said Amanda Reiman of FLOW KANA, a cannabis distributor in Sonoma County.
She says many pot users do want to know where their weed came from.
"Once we figure out where the terrior lines are we will see certain strains that express themselves more fully in certain environmental conditions," said Reiman.
For some - all that sniffing may lead to smoking and drinking. Experts say go slow. Drinking too much before smoking can cause "greening-out," a nauseous sensation that kicks in when people get too high.
Just a reminder "cannaseurs" suggest new users of cannabis start with a low dose, 5-10 milligrams. Wait an hour before doing any more.
Written and produced by Ken Miguel
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