"...if you really want to take your pot smoking to level of a wine critic there are a few things you're going to have to know."
Wine drinkers have long enjoyed being part of a sophisticated cultural element. With practice a wine drinker can go from being awed at the selection in their local grocery store to impressing friends at a dinner and on to tasting elite crops from around the world. Well its about time the pot smoking community cemented it's own connoisseur culture.
Weed isn't too far behind wine in being appreciated for it's quality, grower's skill, taste and aroma. In fact if you look around you'll see that weed is already highly critiqued. Stoners love trying new strains and discovering new traits. But if you really want to take your pot smoking to the level of a wine critic there are a few things you're going to have to know.
Before you even open a bottle of wine you know what grapes were used to make your blend. With weed before you even pack a bowl you should know whether you're smoking an Indica or Sativa. Indicas originated in the middle east and are usually spicy or earthy and they are the type of weed that makes you sleepy. Sativas are more energetic, they're normally sweeter or fruity, and originate from Central America.
Just like many wines are made with many types of grapes, most types of weed are made with multiple strains of marijuana. Sometimes you'll be smoking a blend of Sativa and Indica. Most likely your dealer won't really know what your smoking unless you're buying from a clinic, but it won't hurt to ask, hopefully.
After you've handled that it's still not time to smoke yet. After a wine critic has poured his glass he'll use both his eyes and his nose before his mouth. A pot critic should do the same. Start with your eyes. What do you notice, what color are the leaves, does it have orange hairs. One of the most prominent visual features of marijuana is the crystals. Check to see how thick the coating of crystals is. This will give you a hint to the quality of the bud.
Next use your nose. Everyone knows what weed smells like in general, but if you really go that extra mile you'll notice not all weed smells the same. Once again, depending on whether it's a Sativa, Indica, or Hybrid you'll smell a variety of tones from spicy, to sweet, and from chemical, to skunky. Most buds have a few of these aromas mixed together which creates more complex smells.
Now it's time to smoke. While breaking up the bud take notice of how dense or fluffy the bud is. That will hint to it's freshness. When smoking it the device you use is important. Just like there are a variety of wine glasses not all pieces are the same. If you really want to enjoy the flavors a pipe is best. A bong is also okay. Joints and vaporizers have their uses, but they don't quite preserve the taste.
The range of tastes is going to be similar to that of the flavors. Take your time, you won't be able to notice everything right away. Try comparing multiple strains one after the other so you can see the difference.
To get an idea of what to look for check out the Baked Life Strain Encyclopedia. I know what your thinking, what about the high. Well, that's a topic for next time. Nearly Standing Stoner out.