A cornerstone of the Ganjier certification training is our proprietary Systematic Assessment Protocol™. Known as The SAP, this revolutionary tool is the most thorough and accurate cannabis quality assessment method ever developed for cannabis flower and concentrates.
Harnessing the power of each of the four senses that interact with cannabis — Appearance, Aroma, Flavor, and Experience — The SAP guides the Ganjier on an interactive journey of exploration and discovery based on a robustly curated set of well-defined criteria.
While lab tests may be useful for providing a snapshot of the chemical profile of a given sample, in order to reliably identify the genuine desirability of any gustatory based product, we must utilize our own senses. This is known to be true in the world of fine wine, cigars, chocolate, coffee, cheese, etc. Every epicurean-based industry relies upon trained specialists to assess, judge, and characterize the essence of these delicacies.
The development of Ganjier’s Systematic Assessment Protocol is grounded in extensive research and based on the assessment methodology that is employed and validated by the quality assessment experts in the cannabis world. Select criteria, that traditionally denoted the qualitative aspects of cigars, wine, and chocolate, were adapted and modified to create a tool specifically tailored for the unique qualities and nuances of cannabis.
The initial prototype was rigorously tested by the cannabis industry’s most qualified experts, including Emerald Cup judges, scientists, legacy cultivators, concentrate gurus, and terroir experts. Leveraging decades of combined experience, knowledge and expertise, this group of legendary industry leaders collaborated to refine and evolve The Systematic Assessment Protocol into a genuine state-of-the-art tool that will provide enormous value to the cannabis industry.
How does it work? Well, The SAP is made up of four sections—each focusing on a different characteristic of cannabis and offering a unique criteria for grading its quality. These sections combine to produce an overall score that reflects its overall quality.
Below you will find a high-level breakdown of each section and the unique criteria employed for grading quality. So let’s dive in!
Grading The Appearance Of Cannabis
The Appearance assessment begins with a thorough visual inspection of the sample using a high quality 10x jeweler’s loupe (the recognized standard of certified gemologists). The Ganjier is trained to systematically assess:
- Trichome density: the amount of trichome coverage
- Trichome intactness: the preservation of trichomes
- Structure: the shape of the flower or concentrate
- Trim: the care and quality of the trim
- Flower maturity: the ripeness of the flower
- Contamination: the cleanliness of the product
- Cure: the level and quality of the cure
- Uniqueness: the rareness
As you can see, the visual inspection takes into account the natural features of the cannabis product (trichomes and structure) as well as features that speak to how well the plant was cared for and processed (trim, contamination, and uniqueness).
There is a lot that goes into making a product look good—from seed to soul, and The SAP helps you assess it all! Upon completing the Appearance section of The SAP, the tool calculates a final visual grade from 1-10.
Grading The Aroma Of Cannabis
Next, the Ganjier is trained on how to systematically assess the aroma of cannabis using a number of well-defined criteria. Specifically, the Ganjier learns how to use both their mouth and their nose to systematically assess:
- Clean or faulty
- Intensity: subtle through powerful
- Complexity: singular through layered
- Age: degraded through optimal
- Primary aroma category: fruit, fuel, floral, earth, sweet, or faulty
- Primary terpene class: myrcene, limonene, beta caryophyllene, terpinolene, pinene, and others
- Essence category: identify what the sample “smells like”
- Uniqueness: the rareness of the aromas
It is common for people to associate a “loud” smell with quality, and there is a lot of truth in that observation. The aroma of cannabis imparts a great deal of information about the quality of its products. It can tell you if a product is past its prime, and it can give you clues as to the direction of the experience.
At the end of the day, grading the aroma is grading the terpenes. The SAP will help you unlock the puzzle of terpenes that sits behind each flower and concentrate. It will also show you how to appreciate the depths of the aroma and interpret how the nuances that lie within each product paint a picture of its quality.
Upon completing the Aroma section of The SAP, the tool calculates a final aroma grade from 1-10.
Grading The Flavor Of Cannabis
Next, the Flavor assessment assists the Ganjier to distill the essence of the gustatory experience. Specifically, the Ganjier will develop a special palate to understand and assess the complex flavor profiles in cannabis using the following criteria:
- Dry hit: subtle to powerful
- Body: light to full bodied
- Intensity: subtle to powerful
- Complexity: singular to complex
- Longevity: brief to long lasting
- Smoothness: harsh to smooth
- Tastes like: identify what the sample “tastes like”
- Uniqueness: common to rare
Sommeliers spend years developing their palate, and for good reason. Flavor not only gives you an idea of the quality of a product, it can also provide information about the product’s origin. This brings us to the next big thing on the horizon in the cannabis industry.
Terroir and appellation may not be familiar categories to you at the moment; however, it is clear that the cannabis industry is moving in a direction that will look to highlight these traits soon. With The SAP, you will be able to develop a palate that can appreciate every little ounce of terroir that shows up in a flower or concentrate. Practice makes perfect, so keep at it!
Upon completing the Flavor section of The SAP, the tool calculates a final flavor grade from 1-10.
Grading The Experience Of Cannabis
Finally, The SAP unravels the complexities of quantifying the physical and mental effects of cannabis in order to provide the highest level of service to consumers. Specifically, The Ganjier is trained to determine how each cannabis product provides a unique experience under the following criteria:
- Physical effects: relaxing to stimulating in the body
- Mental effects: relaxing to stimulating in the mind
- Onset: delayed to rapid
- Intensity: mild to strong
- Duration: brief to long lasting
- After effect: relaxing to none
- Uniqueness: common to rare
The Experience section of the SAP is not quantitatively graded, as one type of experience in cannabis is not necessarily considered superior than another. Also, everyone is going to have a unique experience and have personal preferences when it comes to cannabis. So, it made sense to take a different approach in this section.
More so than the other epicurean-based industries, the effects of cannabis products are going to be at the forefront of the consumer’s mind. When it comes to things like coffee, beer, or cheese, one only needs to consider the appearance, aroma, and flavor when evaluating the quality. No one is considering if the caffeine from one coffee is going to hit them differently than the caffeine in a different type of coffee.
The effects associated with its use makes cannabis unique. A Ganjier needs to have the skills and tools to be able to explain the effects to the curious public in a way they can understand. The SAP is the ultimate tool for bringing clarity to the overall experience.
The Final Score
Upon completion of The SAP, the Ganjier is able to calculate a final score and develop a report that highlights the true quality of any cannabis flower or concentrate product. Coupled with our Certified Ganjier training, this information empowers the Ganjier to deliver the information that is essential to consumers at every level, from the cannabis novice to the contemporary connoisseur.
The SAP is revolutionary in that it is the first attempt at a standardized criteria for grading cannabis quality—a criteria developed by 18 of the most respected cannabis professionals in the industry. When you use The Systematic Assessment Protocol, you are learning from the masters of the craft as well as joining a group of passionate individuals that are dedicated to the elevation of the plant.
The SAP, combined with the Ganjier curriculum, provides a solid foundation from which you can expand your knowledge as we continue to unlock the mysteries of this wonderful plant. We look forward to you joining us on this incredible journey!