Research Roundup: cannabis cultivar standards should account for scents and flavours

A paper in the Journal of Cannabis Research points out that this sector remains in its infancy after decades of prohibition

cannabis cultivar standards scents and flavours

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Argentine researchers have completed the first data-driven analysis on the effects of hundreds of strains of weed. And they’ve concluded that cannabis cultivar standards should reflect scents and flavours.

That’s in addition to considering the types of highs experienced by users.

“By extracting information from different sources of data, our work suggests that the development of standards in the cannabis industry should not only focus on psychoactive effects and cannabinoid content,” they wrote in the Journal of Cannabis Research.

They added that these cultivars should “also take into account scents and flavours”.

That’s because these characteristics “constitute the perceptual counterpart of terpene and terpenoid” tastes.

The paper identifies Institute of Cognitive and Translational Neuroscience researcher Alethia de la Fuente as the lead author.

In addition, she works as a physicist at the University of Buenos Aires.

The researchers pointed out that the legal cannabis industry remains in its infancy after decades of prohibition.

As a result of the lack of cannabis cultivar standards, commercially available strains “are highly variable”.

That applied to their chemical compositions and subjective effects.

This was true even if they carried similar names.

Wine blends, unlike cannabis cultivar standards, have recognizable scents and flavours

The wine industry, on the other hand, has “arrived at reliable standards” for such blends as Merlot, Cabernet, and Syrah.

Therefore, the researchers wrote, these wine categories “are trusted and understood by the consumers”.

This is the case whether these wines are produced in South America, Australia, Europe, or North America.

In addition, wine marketers highlight scents and flavours in showcasing different brands.

In conducting their research, the Argentine authors applied “supervised and unsupervised machine learning algorithms to subjective effect tags”.

The researchers relied on more than 800 commercial strains in evaluating cannabis cultivar standards. And they found them listed on the website.

“Our results suggest that perceptual profiles (reported flavours) and terpene quantification show merit for the characterization of cannabis cultivars,” they stated.

Thanks for the tip

Have you read a recent study that sheds new light on the topic of cannabis? Are you a researcher working on a clinical trial? If so, send me a link and I might feature it in a future edition of CannCentral’s Research Roundup. Thanks!

Charlie Smith

I'm the editor of the Georgia Straight newspaper in Vancouver, as well as a CannCentral contributor.


  • Kathryn Ogg July 23, 2020 12:39 AM

    I would like to know more about cannabis products. For instance, what is the difference between CO2 vape cartridges and distillates? I prefer the CO 2 but I’d like to know the difference. I would also like to know more about terpenes.

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