Interpening is a made-up word by Max Montrose, a teacher at the Trichome Institute in Colorado. Interpening cannabis flowers though is clever, it references the terpenes in marijuana that gives cannabis its odor.
Terpenes and all that they do for cannabis users is still being researched but it is believed they are an intricate part of the entourage effect. Mr. Montrose teaches that interpening cannabis flowers allows for many strong interpretations of what strain of marijuana is being examined and its quality. How much can your sense of smell tell you?
Max Montrose, the 29-year-old president of the Trichome Institute in Denver, is “on a weed hunting mission.”
Montrose’s quest involves locating proper samples of cannabis to teach the students in his class how to detect specific characteristics of the cannabis flower. He’s been providing cannabis education classes in Colorado for more than eight years now.
“My passion is cannabis, and has been since a young age, young teens,” he tells ABC News. “My passion has led me down a road of daily research, growing, caregiving, activism, jobs, businesses, and now I am an expert witness in high-level cases and lecturing around the world. I have researched this plant incessantly from credible sources, and worked with it daily for 15 years.” His class involves a three-hour lecture, where Montrose discusses the history of cannabis, the anatomy of the plant and how to tell good quality from bad. Following the lecture is an olfactory workshop, where students have the opportunity to get hands-on with the plant. There they learn how to use their senses to determine good and bad cannabis samples, and to figure out where on the spectrum of psychoactive activity a cannabis sample falls.
To do this, Montrose instructs his students to use their senses in a way similar to a sommelier, in order “to break down real, true and noticeable characteristics [of the plant].” He calls his self taught theory “Interpening” — a hybridization of the words “interpreting’ and “terpene.” “I discovered Interpening in my later teenage years,” he says. “I discovered all the ways to correlate psychotropic effect with bud structure and smell, and scent perception analysis.”
There are three levels of certification for Interpening. For Level 1, the class costs $165 when taken in Denver, and consists of a 3-hour lecture on cannabis basics, the strain name dilemma, trichomes, strain structures, quality analysis and the methodology behind Interpening.
Level 2 classes cost $249 when taken in Denver, and include the Level 1 lecture, plus an additional olfactory workshop with samples of cannabis. It wraps with a certification test on the skills and information taught in the class.
The highest level of Interpening certification, Level 3, is done by invitation only.
Why interpret terpenes?
Montrose says that each cannabis sample has over 200 terpenes on it, and these terpenes not only determine the flower’s smell and fragrance, but they also have a pharmacology. According to Monstrose, by identifying the dominant type of terpene on a cannabis sample and where that smell is being felt in the nose, along with analyzing the structure of the bud, a user can determine what sort of impact a particular cannabis sample might have on a person when smoked. Montrose, together with his partner Jim Nathanson, started the Trichome Institute in 2014; Nathanson is the institute’s CEO.
“The Trichome Institute is really just a mission to end cannabis misinformation by educating people on cannabis things that we know to be real and true,” Montrose said.