Flower Girls: Appreciating Connoisseur Cultivation

A stamp notifies that The Flower Girls have ranked that particular bud "certified dank."

Tips for joining a select smoking society.


In recent years, we have seen extraordinary advances in cannabis availability. Wherever the walls of prohibition are torn down, aspiring aficionados gain access to an overwhelmingly vast selection of strains and products.

Flower Girls are discerning devotees who congregate in order to elevate our appreciation of the cannabis flower. This smoking society is a forum for the cultivation of connoisseurship, wherein we discuss the intricacies of various flowers and highlight those we deem the dankest.

When Flower Girls gather for a tasting session, we strive to smoke mindfully, sharing insights and observations, considering origin, appearance, aroma, flavor and effect. To prevent a proper tasting from deteriorating into an ordinary hobnob, focused attention and patience are essential.

A pedestal of joints grace the table at a Flower Girl tasting event.

First, we attempt to establish how and by whom our flowers were cultivated. Were they grown under the sun or electric lights, organically or conventionally, from seed or clone, in soil or hydroponics? What do we know about the farmer or genetics? Is this a recently developed varietal, a rare heirloom strain, an old favorite or perhaps an accidental cross?

Next, we examine our flowers. Are they pale or bright or muted green, or tinged with purple? Are they large or small, dense or fluffy, dry or moist or perfectly cured? Are they sparkly or sticky with resin? A magnifying glass or handheld microscope allows a closer look at the trichomes: are they plentiful, with gland heads intact?

Anticipation builds and we are all yearning to get high, but it is very important that we take the time to smell the flowers, noticing layers of aroma that emerge as we break buds apart with our fingers and then grind them in a metal grinder.

A flower table cloth serves as a backdrop for all of the materials needed at a Flower Girl's tasting session, including a pipe, hempwicks, and bud.

We each fill a clean glass pipe (never a bong or bubbler) with ground herb and take a long inhalation from the unlit pipe (a “dry hit”) for a preview of the flavor.

Finally, it is time to light our pipes. We avoid inhaling butane by using beeswax-dipped hemp wick for a cleaner, cooler smoke. When lighting a freshly packed pipe, we hold the flame near the edge of the bowl, burning a tiny amount while preserving much of the green for subsequent tokes.

We inhale and exhale slowly, concentrating on taste and sensation. (Crucially, we must always remember to blow out the hemp wick. If a distracted Flower Girl fails to do so, her companions should promptly assist in extinguishing the flame.)

Now we begin to articulate initial impressions. Is the smoke harsh or smooth? Is it sweet or sour or spicy? Do we detect notes of fuel or pine or citrus? And how do we feel? After only a few restrained puffs, we pause to observe the effects as they arise.

One of the Flower Girls takes a dry hit from a joint to test the dry flavor of the bud.

Once we have reflected on the lighter side of the high, we proceed to roll a joint, or several joints. We each take a dry hit before lighting our joint with hemp wick. As the joint burns, we monitor the progressive unfolding of flavors and effects, continually endeavoring to describe whatever we perceive.

We offer our thoughts freely, without judgment or reservation. We avoid the terms “indica” or “sativa,” as they are imprecise and inaccurate, and instead specify whether we feel a sedative body stone or an energetic cerebral high.

Having thoroughly explored all aspects of our flowers, we conclude by determining whether they are dank. By “dank,” we mean that these flowers have met our collective standards to be ranked among the best of the best, the crème de la crème, the finest cannabis available anywhere. Evaluating dankness is inherently subjective, but we aim to be scrupulous, methodical and fair.

If we enjoyed the cannabis in question, if we would relish smoking these flowers again in the future, if we would recommend them to our friends, we declare them to be “certified dank.” This stamp of approval signals our recognition of excellence on the part of the farmers and breeders responsible for producing cannabis of the highest quality.

Originally published in Issue 22 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

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Caitlin Podiak is a freelance writer and cannabis connoisseur. She tweets and Instagrams as both @CaitlinPodiak and @CertifiedDank.

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