AeliusFam Spotlight Profile: The Cannabis Sommelier
NAME: Andrew Freedman – The Cannabis Sommelier
MISSION: I want to prove that cannabis deserves a set at your dinner table or in the boardroom
AELIUS CUSTOMER SINCE: Early 2020
CURRENTLY GROWING WITH: Our Dynamic Series, including the Far Red spectrum!
International wine scholar, author, and cannabis consultant Andrew Freedman is on a mission to change the cannabis narrative. He has invested the last decade immersed in the cannabis industry, including working as a buyer, commercial grower, and extractor. Recently, he has extended his focus into the world of pairing with the mission of increasing awareness and appreciation for this complex plant.
There are strong parallels between wine and cannabis but there is still a disconnect in how cannabis is appreciated. In addition, there was a massive lack of scientific language used to describe cannabis. Wanting to solve this problem, Freedman acquired extensive knowledge about the wine industry, including achieving a Wine and Spirit Education Trust Level 3 and becoming one of a few Canadian wine scholars. It was here that he fostered a deep understanding of blind taste testing and the significant role that terpenes play in the tasting experience.
In an attempt to bridge the gap, Freedman developed the role of a Cannabis Sommelier, including creating the 100-point TCS grading scale to rate cannabis. He is highly focused on educating consumers and the dining industry on identifying the notes within cannabis and using this information to enhance the experience and develop pairings.
His book Terpenes for Well-being, delves into the science and culture of terpenes, taking a detailed look at a variety of plants including wine, cannabis, and carrier oils. Terpenes have been used in aromatherapy for the past 100 years, helping guide individuals through a world of natural self-care and wellness. Cannabis, with over 100 terpenes, is an essential inclusion in this guide. Despite this, Freedman recognized that the majority of individuals fail to take into account the significant role that aroma plays in health and wellness. His hope is that the guide will encourage the reader to stop, take in the aromas, and begin to identify the relationship between how aromas (terpenes) impact your quality of life, and in turn, your overall well-being.
Today, the role of terpenes has become well recognized in the wine industry, including how these notes can be used to enhance the overall experience. However, the distinct notes in cannabis, and the experience that they could provide, are still largely unrecognized. “Cannabis, just like wine, is all about a person, place and a moment,” he said. In fact, he shared that the best cannabis is often grown in the same areas that the best wine is found.
Today, Freedman continues to be an advocate and cannabis educator introducing the world to the potential of this diverse plant. “My goal is to normalize cannabis,” said Freedman. “I want to prove that cannabis deserves a set at your dinner table or in the boardroom.”