(Author of Terpenes for Well-Being) Andrew Freedman shares his passion for cannabis and wine in this Respect My Region feature.

If you visit recreational dispensaries you might hear about terpenes pretty frequently, but maybe you don’t fully understand what they are or the purpose they serve. You look it up online but it’s hard to find solid easy and simple to understand information sometimes. There’s a black hole of information surrounding terpenes, that’s one of many reasons why Andrew Freedman is bridging the knowledge gap with his new book, “Terpenes For Well-Being”.

The Cannabis Sommelier

The first thing you should understand about terpenes is that they’re more prominent in your life than you imagined. For many of us, our first exposure to terpenes was through cannabis and the terpene profile producers list on their packaging . . . but there’s much more to it.

Take this gLeaf concentrate profile for example; they list seven terpenes that serve as the makeup for Chem 91 Skunk VA #5’s terpene profile.

The general idea is simple: each one of those terpenes is associated with a specific aroma and boasts certain health benefits, similar to the idea behind essential oils, it’s all about aromatherapy. It sounds confusing, but Andrew Freedman, aka the Cannabis Sommelier, has dedicated a large part of his life to helping us understand the connection between our physical and mental health, and terpenes.

The Cannabis Sommelier’s take on Terpenes

You might be wondering how someone becomes an industry-leading authority on the matter of terpenes. Andrew says it best:

I want to do for cannabis what sommeliers and vintners have been doing with wine for centuries. If we refine our vocabulary around cannabis then it’s easier for us to make the case that weed can be just as sophisticated and elegant as a fine wine, hence the Cannabis Sommelier moniker.

Andrew’s first step was entering what would be unfamiliar territory to many of us stoners, a wine tasting certification.

I was the youngest person there by a decade or two and definitely caught a few odd looks, wondering if I was lost or confused. Safe to say I was the only one there with the intention of translating this to cannabis. Because what do wine and weed have in common? Terpenes.

I ended up falling in love with wine and even doing an apprenticeship on a vineyard in Canada, where I learned the art of winemaking.

With his newly accredited palate, mountains of knowledge about wine and its production, it was time for the young wine scholar to bring his focus back to cannabis and helping communities recognize it for its medicinal aromatic qualities by applying his new skillsets.

Andrew Freedman, aka the Cannabis Sommelier, hosting a wine and cannabis pairing.

Why You Should Support “Terpenes For Well-Being

You should pick up Andrew’s book because it offers a comprehensive approach to aroma-therapy by way of terpenes. His writings will offer insights and perspectives on a few different ways of managing stress relief.

Terpenes have a depth of complexity, whether it’s helping to set your intention, creating the mood, and now―fusing it with cocktails, cooking, and aromatherapy.

With engaging text, informative charts, and recipes for both edible and non-edible terpene consumption, “Terpenes for Well-Being” provides both a botanical breakdown and guide to aromatherapy-related techniques for relaxation, natural stress relief, and anti-anxiety treatment.

A table showing 16 of the most commonly used terpenes and their effects.

My conversation with Andrew went far beyond terpenes that are only in the context of cannabis. We talked about things like how our mood increases when we smell flowers, or why the air breathes cleaner in the forest.

There’s a physiological reason we love smelling flowers, or why we can breathe so well in a forest. Alpha-pinene for example, is a common terpene that’s found in, you guessed it, pine trees, and is known for its anti-inflammatory benefits.

At the end of our video chat I asked Andrew one thing he wishes everyone knew about terpenes.

He said it’s a common misconception that it’s just fancy wine and weed culture. Whether we are aware or not, we all have a relationship with terpenes so being able to learn about it through his book encourages people to explore that relationship and build upon it, which could open our unsuspecting noses to the world of aromatherapy.

How Can I Find More Cannabis Sommelier Content?

You can purchase a copy or two of his “Terpenes For Well-Being” here on Amazon.

Andrew’s passion for cannabis and wine led him to begin teaching what he had learned during the creation process for his “The Cannabis Sommelier” YouTube channel, a project that still runs currently and features new content frequently. Search “The Cannabis Sommelier” on Youtube or use the link above.

Freedman also currently teaches seminars about cannabis and wine pairing, cannabis cocktails and cannabis dining. In Canada and the United States, he hosts and/or provides custom presentations at private cannabis dining experiences. Also a member of the American Culinary Federation, Andrew was one of the first people in the world certified in Cannabis Edibles & Cuisine by the ACF. Buy Andrew’s Book


Terpenes for Well-Being

A Comprehensive Guide to Botanical Aromas for Emotional and Physical Self-Care

Herbal remedies to feel better outside and inside. In recent years, cannabis has taken the natural medicine community by storm, with terpenes as the number one conversation starter. To Freedman, dubbed “The Cannabis Sommelier”, terpenes have a depth of complexity, whether it’s helping to set your intention, creating the mood, and now―fusing it with cocktails, cooking, and aromatherapy. With engaging text, informative charts, and recipes for both edible and non-edible terpene consumption, Terpenes for Well-Being provides both a botanical breakdown and comprehensive drug guide to aromatherapy-related techniques for relaxation, natural stress relief, and anti-anxiety treatment.

Cannabis cocktails and aromatherapy. In the tradition of cannabis cookbooks, Terpenes for Well-Being offers terpene-infused food and cocktail recipes to promote well-being. With information on the distinct characteristics of different terpenes, this exciting self-care book offers a hands-on, DIY approach to terpene-infused lotions, potions, foods, and beverages.

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