How to Unlock the Flavors of Cannabis

Earth. Skunk. Sweet. Spice. The flavors of cannabis are unique, complex, and full of surprises. Hoping to unlock the secrets of cannabis flavor? The President of Dr. Dabber, the largest vape company in the world, shares some top tips.
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Terpenes are molecules that give plants aroma. Cannabis produces over 200, giving the herb highly complex flavor profiles.

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The future of cannabis is flavor. And no, we don’t mean the artificial kind. For decades, the herb’s primary selling point was the power of its intoxication. Producing a flower high in THC, with a gleaming trichome coating were the hallmarks of high-quality cannabis. Now, however, it’s aroma that’s enjoying the spotlight—for good reason.

What Gives Cannabis Flavor?

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Terpenes are stored in cannabis trichomes, which are the glistening resin glands that cover cannabis flowers.

There’s no denying it—cannabis features some of the most unusual flavor combinations in the plant kingdom. The herb’s aroma is so strong that you can smell it from thirty feet away. And, for cannabis enthusiasts, this distinct smell is often what makes specific strains more attractive than others. 

For Pantelis Ataliotis, flavor is an “absolutely essential component” of an enjoyable cannabis plant. Ataliotis is the President of Dr. Dabber, the headlining company that’s pioneering modern vaporization technology.

 “Living in a recreationally legal state,” he tells Herb, “we are spoiled for choice and there are so many different options available to us, it’s tough to justify settling for a strain that tastes unpleasant.”

The many flavors of cannabis come from aromatic molecules called terpenes. Terpenes, however, are not unique to cannabis plants. They’re natural chemicals that provide flavor and fragrance to plant essential oils. Just like every individual person has their own signature scent, plants produce aromatic bouquets that are unique to them. 

It just so happens that cannabis produces a remarkable number of terpenes—over 200—and in unusual ratios.

“The amazing thing about cannabis is that there are so many different strains, all with different terpene profiles,” says Ataliotis. Over 30 different genes are responsible for the unique flavors of cannabis plants, a number comparable to wine. 

“The fact that cannabis strains are so easy to hybridize means that there are potentially limitless combinations of terpene profiles, all slightly different from one another,” he explains.

How to Unlock the Flavors of Cannabis

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Butane Hash Oil is a preparation of cannabis concentrate used in dabbing. It is one of the most potent cannabis concentrates available.

There’s only one trick to unlocking the flavors of cannabis: controlling your heat.

Cannabis may rival wine, but tapping into the true flavor of the plant is not an easy task. Wine earns its rich flavor by chemicals released during fermentation. The terpenes in cannabis, however, are released via heat. 

This creates a big problem: heat is difficult to control. If you use too much heat, you’ll burn your terpenes. But, if there’s not enough heat, you may not release all of the aromatic compounds. Either way, you’ve just missed out on the subtle flavors of your strain.

“The most common issue [that spoils the flavor of your cannabis] is overheating,” says Ataliotis. “With flower, you only need to hold a lighter to the cannabis long enough to light up a cherry, whereas most people will hold a lighter to the flower throughout their hit.” 

The same concept applies to cannabis concentrates. “For concentrates,” he continues, “mistakes occur from either heating up your nail to too high of a temperature or using a vaporizer pen with no heating calibration which chars your product.”

For cannabis tech companies, the flavor problem is an engineer’s dream. Simple methods like lighters, ovens, and hot plates do very little to preserve the natural flavors of cannabis. In fact, these primitive heating mechanisms destroy delicate flavor molecules.

So, is it possible to design a better way to heat? For Dr. Dabber, the answer is yes—which is why Ataliotis and the Dr. Dabber team spent years researching and engineering the SWITCH.

High Tech Solutions to the Canna Flavor Problem

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The Dr. Dabber SWITCH is one of the first vaporizers to use induction heating.

There’s no vaporizer quite like the Dr. Dabber SWITCH. Winner of two Editor’s Choice awards, the SWITCH provides more precise heating control than any other vape on the market. It uses one-of-a-kind induction heating technology to carefully calibrate temperature, preserving more of the subtle flavors of your flower. 

“The SWITCH is unique because it allows you to turn your heat up to 700 degrees.” Normally, he explains, these high temperatures would combust flower in any other vaporizer. “But,” he says, “the SWITCH does it in a no-oxygen environment. This means that compounds that are usually not activated at the standard 300-400 degrees are being activated with the SWITCH.”

The end result? According to Ataliotis, the flavor is unparalleled. “Once you try it,” he says, “it’s tough to go back to traditional methods.”

But, the SWITCH isn’t the only technology hoping to unlock the flavors of cannabis. In fact, studying cannabis flavors has opened up an entirely new area of science; cannabis genomics. Genomics is the study of genomes, the DNA blueprints that make cannabis strains unique. 

Mapping the genomes of different cannabis strains can tell us which terpenes they’re most likely to produce. With this information, it’s possible for breeders to carefully select strains with reliable flavor profiles. This is important because flavors influence the overall strain experience; some aromas may be more uplifting, while others might promote sedation. 

But, understanding these chemical profiles is only the background of the puzzle. The next piece is developing the technology that will allow consumers to make the most of these flavorful molecules, without accidentally destroying them. 

And Dr. Dabber believes that they’ve done that with the SWITCH. With their new technology, Dr. Dabber is ahead of the times, offering a product that preserves more of a strain’s chemical profile than conventional methods. 

Get ready for a flavorful future.

About Dr. Dabber

Located in Las Vegas, NV, Dr. Dabber is a premium vaporizer manufacturer that has been operating since 2013. With products sold online and in countless dispensaries worldwide, Dr. Dabber has rapidly grown to be one of the top vaporizing brands in the cannabis industry. Dr. Dabbers’ products have received several awards including 10 High Times Cannabis Cup awards and first place on Digital Trends’ list of ​The Best Vaporizers of 2019. Dr. Dabber looks forward to this ever-growing industry and exciting their customers with many more new products to come. To learn more about Dr. Dabber, visit www.drdabber.com.

December 19, 2019 — Last Updated December 20, 2019
Written by Anna Wilcox

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December 19, 2019 — Last Updated December 20, 2019
Written by Anna Wilcox

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