How to judge cannabis and hash
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How to judge cannabis and hash
In the events such as the Cannabis Cup and the likes, there are many variations of cannabis strains that need testing in a short space of time. Sometimes over 30 strains in just four days, that’s a lot of smoking!
We’ll give you a quick overview of how to test for the best possible cannabis and hash so you don’t end up wasting your time and money on commercial, low quality produce when there’s so much excellent cannabis available in Amsterdam.
All Cannabis should be inspected before you buy, and certainly before it is smoked. Many coffeeshop in Amsterdam understand consumer needs and will often be able to provide you with a magnification equipment or something similar so you can do so. If they don’t, don’t be afraid to pull out your own magnifying glass or a loupe. Once you have the closest possible view of the cannabis, here’s what to look out for… Well-manicured and well-cured cannabis. Can you see a coating of sugary crystals? That’s a good sign. The mushroom shaped trichomes that contain THC should be amber in colour and well-formed, be aware of if they are smashed or seem discoloured. Also be careful in looking for mould. Mouldy cannabis is not safe and if you spot this, make sure to return the cannabis immediately and have the staff process a refund of your money.
Strains of cannabis can be smelt as soon as the bag is opened, however to get the best most accurate smell of your products to enable more accurate judging, you just first grind the bud using a hand grinder. Keep the bud remaining in the grinder and bring it to your nose to get a good whiff of the ground cannabis when you open it. Different strains have varying smells, some are spicy, some smell fruity. Haze strains have a unique pine smell to them, whereas a good blueberry haze should smell like, well, blueberries. If it smells green, it means it hasn’t been cured. If you come across uncured or wet cannabis, or if it smells mouldy or musty, don’t consume the cannabis.
The “dry toke” should consume your mouth with memorable flavours whether they are fruity, spicy or industrial and make you want to finish the joint. A well-cured spliff will be pleasant in taste and more-ish, as opposed to bad quality cannabis that will leave a harsh after-taste that nobody will want. A well-cured joint will be nice to smoke without the need to constantly relight.
All cannabis in Amsterdam will get you high, that is a given, however don’t just assume that when rating cannabis the only thing you should consider is how strong the cannabis is. Taste, smell and appearance are all equally as important, similarly to the best wine is not always that with the highest alcohol content. A good high should also not just be an instant high that is all a blur, it needs to be a memorable and soaring high that you can sit and enjoy. Although, even the good strains may have varied affects on different people and their bodies, once you find the high that feels good for you and the strain tastes great, use it to compare with others. If you then come across a strain that blows this out of the water, you then have something new to compare everything else to.
In the better coffeeshops that line the streets of Amsterdam, you will find imported hash from countries that have been making it for centuries such as Afghanistan, Morocco and India. It is the likes of these who have passed down the tradition of how to make hash. The plants are grown for a length of time dependant on how much hash they will provide and then the buds are passed off a by-product of the process and thrown away. Most Europeans – including the Dutch – tend to mix their hash with tobacco, but this can be ditched for a hash pipe, glass bowl or vaporizer. Just like everything else, once you purchase hash, it should be inspected closely to ensure what you’re paying for is of a high standard. To do this, start by rolling the hash around in your palm and warm it up, it should then start becoming softer. A decent hash should smell sweet and earthy, if there’s a pungent or mouldy smell, don’t smoke it. Two more determining factors of good hash are how it reacts when a flame is held up against it. A high quality hash should bubble and melt, whereas a bad hash will burn like coal with a strong smoke rising from it. And also streaks of white running through the hash. If these are visible it is a give away sign that your hash has been too moist for too long and therefore suffering.
Another hash you will find it bucket loads on Amsterdam coffeeshop menus is Nederhash. As you MAY have guessed from the name, Nederhash is simply hashish that has been produced in the Netherlands. The way this is made differs slightly and is typically been ice-water-extracted therefore making it really soft and basically liquid when it is warmed. Nederhash that has been made using the correct methods will bubble when it burns and gives off a tasty smoke and it will feel smooth. Nederhash when made at its best can sell anywhere between €40 and €50 per gram.
Have a try at what Amsterdam has on offer and don’t necessarily stick with what you know, go and explore the green, smoky wonders of what the City has to offer. Use our blog to discover the best coffeeshops in Amsterdam and find what gems they have on their menus. In the midst of having fun, you may forget to carefully look after yourself, so keep yourself dehydrated – on water too, not just hot chocolate – and remember to eat, although we’re sure this will happen without a second thought.
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High Times Cannabis Cup
The High Times Cannabis Cup is the world’s foremost cannabis festival. Founded in 1988 by Steven Hager, the High Times Cannabis Cup is held each November in Amsterdam. The event allows judges from around the world to sample and vote for their favorite marijuana varieties. These judges-at-large decide the Cannabis Cup (overall winner in the cannabis variety competition), best new product, best booth, best glass, best hash and best Nederhash.
A team of VIP judges decides which seed company has grown the best indica, sativa and hybrid strain and which company has produced the best Neder hash (hashish that is produced only in the Netherlands) and best imported hash. The High Times Cannabis Cup also includes live music, educational seminars and an expo for marijuana-related products from cannabis-oriented businesses.
In 2010, High Times mounted its first Cannabis Cup in the United States. The magazine now holds Cannabis Cups in Northern and Southern California, Denver, Michigan, Seattle, with plans to hold a Cannabis Cup in Portland in 2015. The High Times Medical Cannabis Cup celebrates medical marijuana in states that have passed medical marijuana laws. The U.S. Cannabis Cup celebrates marijuana in states that have passed laws that legalize marijuana for adult, recreational use. Like the High Times Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, marijuana strains are judged and Cups (trophies) are awarded in a number of categories. Teams of expert judges vote on best indica, best sativa, best hybrid, best concentrates, best edibles and highest level of CBD in cannabis products. Attendees vote for best booth, best products and best glass of each Cannabis Cup expo.
All cannabis products are additionally tested for THC content and CBD content by independent cannabis testing laboratories.
In 2014, Amsterdam saw its last and final High Times Cannabis Cup, after 27 years of the cup in Amsterdam. This was partly due to the growing uncertainty about Dutch cannabis laws, the now available warmer, legal cannabis locations in the United States and various other countries, and the ill-fated and first ever police raid on the 2010 Amsterdam Cannabis Cup location.
In 2017, the Cannabis Cup returned and High Times celebrated its 30th anniversary in Amsterdam. The festival featured an award show hosted by Danny Danko.
The High Times Cannabis Cup is the world’s foremost cannabis festival. Founded in 1988 by Steven Hager , the High Times Cannabis Cup is held each November in Amsterdam. The event allows judges from around the world to sample and vote for their favorite marijuana varieties. These judges-at-large decide the Cannabis Cup (overall winner in the cannabis variety competition), best new product, best booth, best glass, best hash and best Nederhash. A team of VIP judges decides which seed company has grown the best indica , sativa and hybrid strain and which company has produced the best Neder hash (hashish that is produced only in the Netherlands) and best imported hash. The High Times Cannabis Cup also includes live music, educational seminars and an expo for marijuana-related products from cannabis-oriented businesses.