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When it comes to evaluating cannabis resin quality, a Hashishin of my generation was never challenged by more than a few types and qualities of Hashish. There are a limited number of producing countries in the world, and each one produces a very unique resin with few and very distinguishable grades of quality.

I first experienced grading cannabis resin quality when I visited Morocco in the 1970s; grading basically fell into two distinct groups – good or bad. When you only have two choices the evaluation process is pretty straightforward.  

The amazing diversity of cannabis strains that exist today is reflected in an extensive range of resin quality, which makes the development of a precise and comprehensive classification system necessary. We need a system that can transcribe professional knowledge into a numerical grading that can be understood and used by professional connoisseurs, as well as by the less knowledgeable consumers the world over as a buying guide and an educational tool.

A system that can define the various dimensions and parameters of resin quality is mandatory for the future of our trade.

The amount of resin formed, the content as well as the spectrum of the cannabinoids and terpenes are the main scientifically quantifiable elements of quality evaluation. Additionally, the appearance and stability of the resin as well as the more subjective “human experience factor” have to be considered to give the level of expertise and information necessary to classify all aspects of quality in cannabis resin.

The logic behind the scoring system:

  • The melt or Amount of Resin Formed: 50 points, a fifth of the total points, for its importance in overall quality.
  • The cannabinoids content: defined by potency and width of spectrum to appreciate its full value, 20 points to each attribute for a total of 40 points.
  • The terpenes content: assessed primarily on quantity for 20 points. The spectrum quality assessment, being an inherent part of the gustatory experience, will be evaluated separately and in detail.
  • The stability of the resin: an important aspect of quality and should be evaluated on 20 points as well.
  • I give less importance to the appearance of the resin, which is dependent on the personal Hash-maker’s techniques and presentation, varying from micro-planed beach sand to old school pressed resin.

I put a strong emphasis on the value of the gustatory experience, which is truly the ultimate deciding factor of appreciation and the best possible evaluation of the terpenes spectrum.

  • The bouquet or aroma expressed by the resin is the olfactory essence of the experience to come and should be valued as a dimension of quality, an unappreciated and often passed over first dimension of experience.
  • The taste is the second major element of the gustatory experience.
  • The smoothness of the smoke is an element to consider in our scoring system.
  • The body of the smoke is closely related to smoothness and a significant dimension of quality; the term describes the sensation of fullness in the mouth, beyond the initial smoothness, as the taste buds explore the complexity of the smoke and of the terpenes profile.
  • The balance express finesse and elegance but above all it holds a perfect harmony of all the components. The balance of the complex terpenes profile is an important factor of appreciation when smoking so that we should consider it in our scoring.
  • Intensity/Duration identifies the intensity of flavors and how long it lingers in the mouth after inhaling the smoke. The concentration of terpenes exploding in your mouth and the duration of yumminess after exhalation has again to be consider as an important factor of quality.
  • The complexity of a smoke is associated to quality but also to the feeling accompanying the experience of smoking, the more complex the smoke the more intense the feeling.
  • Uniqueness is the expression of the distinctive personality of a cannabis resin.
  • The pleasure offered by the experience of smoking unanimously defines one intrinsic dimension of cannabis resin quality. There is a direct relation between the dimension of immediate sensorial pleasure, and the gustatory dimension, which provide a more analytical approach to validate the initial sense of pleasure by identifying all the diverse aspects of the gustatory experience and the pleasure it had brought initially.
  • Smoke-ability is a mandatory element of quality; if you want more, it has to be good!

We need to be able to rely on a scoring system that can evaluate precisely every dimensions of resin quality and specify the reasons behind the final score in the most detailed and informative manner.  

A scoring system of 250 points is complex and definitely pushes boundaries to the limit of impracticability, but when it is a question of palate and gustatory pleasure, what else would you expect from a French person?

I love details by nature but practicality had to be taken into account and being hard pressed to simplify my lovingly concocted system on my own; I asked for assistance on Instagram. I have created a page on my website to show this scoring system so that I could start the dialogue, receive critics, tips and the support necessary to fashion a concise and educative scoring system.

Thank you Livity Farms, Massachusetts for the assistance. There input brought this project closer to completion with the following simpler but still detailed approach.

                     
  Resin Scoring Sheet Rating        
  Strain – Example Perfect        
  ID#- 123456789 0 1 2 3 4 5 Value Score  
  Melt           5 x10 = 50  
  Stability           5 x 2 = 10  
  Appearance           5 x 2 = 10  
  Pleasure           5 x 2 = 10  
  Taste           5 x 2 = 10  
  Bouquet / Aroma (Nose)           5 x 2 = 10  
  Smoothness / Smoke-ability           5 x 2 = 10  
  Body           5 x 2 = 10  
  Complexity / Balance           5 x 2 = 10  
  Intensity / Duration           5 x 2 = 10  
  Uniqueness           5 x 2 = 10  
  Cannabinoid                    
  – Potency           5 x 4 = 20  
  – Spectrum           5 x 2 = 10  
  Terp. Content / Quality           5 x 4 = 20  
            Total = 200  

 

                     
  Resin Scoring Sheet Rating      
  Strain – Example Less Than Perfect      
  ID#- 234567891 0 1 2 3 4 5 Value Score
  Melt         4   x 10 = 40
  Stability       3     x 2 = 6
  Appearance     2       x 2 = 4
  Pleasure   1         x 2 = 2
  Taste     2       x 2 = 4
  Bouquet / Aroma (Nose)       3     x 2 = 6
  Smoothness / Smoke-ability         4   x 2 = 8
  Body       3     x 2 = 6
  Complexity / Balance     2       x 2 = 4
  Intensity / Duration   1         x 2 = 2
  Uniqueness     2       x 2 = 4
  Cannabinoid                  
  – Potency       3     x 4 = 12
  – Spectrum         4   x 2 = 8
  Terp. Content / Quality           5 x 4 = 20
            Total = 126

This project is vital to the future of artisanal Hashish and concentrate in general but cannot be born without the help of many and the consent of all. Add your comments below and at http://www.frenchycannoli.com/cannabis-scoring/

Instagram @frenchycannoli. Featured photo courtesy of Frenchy Cannoli.

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Frenchy was born a nomad at heart. He was on the road by 18, and for twenty years moved from country-to-country, visiting ruins and museums, learning traditions and sharing local life, never stopping, always seeking new experiences, feeding on diversity and foreignness, never taking roots, treating the world as his classroom. His travels brought him in different producing countries where he did most of his studies on Cannabis resin with local Hashishin who had been practicing their art for generations. A deep understanding of traditional techniques and forty years of personal experience are at the core of his principle, to discover the science behind these traditions is what drives him today. He is House of Aficionado’s official Hashishin; Aficionado is possibly the first seed company positioning its marketing strategy and the quality control of its breeding program on Hashish. Frenchy is also a writer for Weed World magazine and working on his first book, “The Lost Art of the Hashishin."

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