High Scores: Chem D – Proper Cannabis
When you step inside a dispensary for the first time, it can be sensory overload. Whether you’re an ‘old head’ that has seen every type of cannabis under the sun or a new patient looking to find some relief, your first time purchasing legal cannabis can be daunting. So many choices, brands, and products that your mind may start to race.
Being directed inside the dispensary on where to go, who to talk to, or even what to look at, can cause anxiety. Once at the counter, you can finally breathe, and then you check out the menu. Your jaw hits the floor, you’re overwhelmed at the sheer number of choices of – flower, concentrates, edibles, vapes, tablets, tinctures, patches, capsules, creams, and other products – and all the accessories that go along with it.
With all of these choices, how will you know you’re getting the product you came for? How do you know what products are good for you and what products you want to avoid?
My name is Patrick Waibel, I’m a 3 time US Cannabis Cup Winning cultivator and consultant and I have a 10-point grading system that I use to help decide which products to enter in competition that I will not only share with you but I will use to evaluate all the new products so you know if it’s the new hotness or more hype.
The 10-point grading system for cannabis products is adapted from the grading process involved in most reputable cannabis events. This process requires honing and using all 4 of your five senses to determine how the product you’re trying now stacks up to those of past endeavors. One of the most dominant factors I’ve found while questioning cannabis users is the user’s own cognitive bias.
Because of the time period, the place you experienced it, the people you’re around, and how easily our memory plays tricks on us (especially with cannabis). Your memory of an event, the effect of the product, the flavor, and the overall experience may be skewed. I’ve found that an objective process allows me to truly determine what the best products are. The process is similar for all cannabis products but I’m going to outline cannabis flower for today’s example.
How do you decide if one cannabis product is better than another? Let’s dive in and find out.
Chem D – Proper Cannabis
Chem D aka Chemdawg is an old-school genetic made famous by a traveling DJ in the 80s known as Chemdawg. It was said to have been a special pheno selected from Massachusetts Super Skunk seed stock. This genetic went on to become the basis for a lot of the gassier genetics that exist such as Sour Diesel. I’ve grown Chemdawg 91’ and other crosses and have sampled many Chems in my day so I was excited to check this one out.
When I first open the container I let my senses take control. I smell the jar with the cannabis still inside to give me a concentrated dose of the aroma. I then pull the sample out, examining it for visual quality, and I will often pick up the nug and examine how it feels, checking for dryness. I will then squeeze the bud and smell it individually to decide if the initial smell of the jar is accurate to the bud I’m about to smoke. I prefer to smoke cannabis flower in joints, and because of that fact, I always do my ratings by smoking joints and using the same type of papers.
With this sample, I noticed right away that old-school kush funk I’d come to know as the Chem lineage. Rich aromas of fuel and skunk filled the air. Visually, the bud was light green in color with almost a very subtle orange hue. It had a good visual appearance, was reasonably frosty, and had nice bud structures. As I squeezed the bud I noticed that it had what I would call the perfect moisture level. Not so moist that it seemed like it hadn’t dried long enough or had been improperly stored but not so dry that it burst into dust when I squeezed it. This initial examination provides a lot of information pertinent to scoring the cannabis product properly.
- Visual Appearance score 8 – The bud looked great, but the bud sizes were medium. Very consistent. A score of 10 is set aside for products that Wow me.
- Smell/Aroma Score 9 – Not only does the bud smell amazing, it smells exactly like it’s supposed to with its sour apple roots.
- Proper Moisture Content Score 10 – I could feel that not only was this going to be easy to break up but it would be sticky enough to stick to the paper when I went to roll which is ideal.
After breaking up a half-eighth or so of flower I rolled a nice cone joint. As soon as I put the lighter to it the white ash started to encompass the end of the joint and I could smell kushy fuel terps. I put the joint to my mouth and took my first big inhale. No harshness hit the back of my throat and the flavor was clean. There was no taste of unflushed nutrients, only billowing old-school funk terps! As I ash for the first time, I notice how white the ashes truly are. I take the ash in my hand and rub it around for a second. This process will uncover any impurities that remained in the bud at the time of harvest. For this sample, there were no impurities.
- Initial Flavor Score 8 -The flavor was incredible, but not groundbreaking for this genetics as I’m a fan of most apple strains, but definitely one of the better ones I’ve tasted.
- Flush Score 9 -The grower clearly knew what he was doing as far as getting any excess nutrients out of the bud prior to harvest. This is apparent in the delicious billowing flavor and the color/consistency of the ash.
- Harshness (lack thereof) Score 9 – Very little harshness detected, very smooth. This stat is compiled of two characteristics, did the grower dry and cure this product correctly? And has it been stored correctly since?
Initially, smoking the flower will likely have an impact. Coughing, depending on the root cause, will either be due to harshness or due to THC density within the smoke. I often cough when first trying a cannabis strain and as I become used to it the cough will dissipate. That was how this joint went for me. Right off the bat, I began to really feel the potency set in. It was a very stoney couchlock, lethargic end-of-the-day kind of buzz. About mid-way through the joint, the flavor started to go and each puff became less desirable. This can be attributed solely to the genetics and has very little to do with the cultivator. None-the-less it made it very difficult to smoke the whole way through.
- Late Stage Flavor Score 6 – It’s pretty rare that a genetic will have better flavor as the joint progresses, and unfortunately this genetic just didn’t do it for me.
- Potency Score 10 – This variety is not for the faint of heart, I was wrecked. I took an afternoon nap after I smoked this joint. Very Medicinal.
- Effect Score 10 -The Cultivar had one of the stoniest buzz’s I’ve felt in a long time. It was strong while I smoked it but the true power crept on about 20 minutes later. Very nice.
- Repeat Excitement Score 7 – Did this product make me want to reach for it again after the effects wore off? In this case, the answer is maybe. I would likely smoke it again but might not reach for it more than once a day due to its extreme lethargic potency and its wavering flavor.
Chem D by Proper Cannabis
Total Score 86/100
In conclusion, Chem D is a highly medicinal old-school genetic that will assist with pain, sleep problems, and anxiety. I would recommend this genetic to anyone needing medical help in any of those categories. For the casual smoker, I would say this is going to be a little heavy-handed for you.
Patrick Waibel is a 3 time US Cannabis Cup Winning cultivator and consultant. Waibel’s experience in craft cultivation and the cannabis market makes him one of the most reputable reviewers in the industry. The 10-point grading system used to score and evaluate cannabis products aims to remove bias and determine the best qualities of marijuana products.