Above: Candice uses her sense of touch to create a clay water pipe.
Touch is perhaps the most undervalued way of appraising cannabis quality. And yet, it is touch that helps us distinguish the well-cured from the rush job. In this episode of Senses, Dylan Zaitsoff, Cultivation Manager for Doja Premium Cannabis, explores how touch can help us discern between high and low-quality bud.
To explore how our sense of touch helps us engage with the plant, Dylan enlists the help of Candice, a professional ceramic artist. “As someone that collects ceramics,” she says,“the first thing [ceramicists] do when seeing the pots is they want to pick it up and touch it.”
Candice uses the art of touch every day to create pottery, and no one can better speak to the nuances of sensation, pressure, and texture. Together, Dylan and Candice use these tactile qualities to evaluate cannabis flower.
A hint of moisture is one of the first sensations you should feel from a cannabis flower. A blanket of crystal-like trichomes gives cannabis flowers a sugared appearance. Unlike table sugar, however, trichome resin glands should feature slight but detectable moisture.
The best way to check the moisture content of a flower is by gently squeezing the bud. A high-quality flower will not feature an audible crackling sound. Some cannabis flowers may also be slightly sticky to the touch.
How does your flower hold up under pressure? Buoyancy is the ability to rebound after applied pressure. It’s also a mark of a high-quality cannabis flower. If you apply gentle pressure to your flower, it should slowly return to its original shape. If a flower crumbles under pressure, however, then it may be too old, too dry, or both.
Is your flower dense or does the bud structure feel loose as you touch it? “One of the things that we talk about is the stacking of the buds,” says Dylan. “And that’s where the flowers will start to form on the stem.”
As individual blossoms reach full maturity, the buds will fill out and create a dense structure. A high-quality bud will have a lush appearance, with ample flower on the stem. In contrast, a low-quality flower will not feature strong stacking, and the bud will appear more sparse.
The look and smell of a flower can attract your attention, but its touch that tells you whether or not a flower is likely to provide a comfortable inhaled experience. Flower that is too dry or too old can contribute to harsh smoke or vapor.
When in doubt, choose a flower that feels right.
Watch to find out more!