Frenchy CannoliNormally, consumers don’t put a lot of thought into evaluating cannabis product before they buy, and don’t have a clue what goes into making an educated analysis. But thanks to California-based cannabis activist and teacher Frenchy Cannoli, the cannabis community now has a finer understanding of criteria for evaluating concentrates. Why is that significant? Because, according to Cannoli, the essence of consuming cannabis is not about smoking the flower, it’s about the pure extract.

Cannoli bases his scoring system on his experiences traveling the world and living nomadically for over 20 years. Cannoli was born and raised in Nice, France, and after trying hash at 17 he began trekking the globe in search of the perfect smoke. During that time, he learned from traditional producers and studied their techniques. After moving with his family to California, he was able to take advantage of early medical access laws to produce legal cannabis concentrates.

Cannoli developed a scoring system that sensibly blends objective and subjective evaluation of hashish, which is a concentrate made by the compressing and processing trichomes of a cannabis plant. Trichomes, which are the sparkling resin glands that coat cannabis flower buds, are a key factor in the production of quality hashish.
The primary goal behind hashish is separating resin from the plant. Unlike marijuana consumers in the U.S., where the focus is largely on smoking cannabis flower, hashish is integrally part of the culture in other countries around the world. Hashish is regularly found at European retailers.

Cannoli relates cannabis and hashish with wine and wine-making. In fact, the hashish scoring system he devised is heavily inspired by wine scoring and ratings. In his Farmacy Cannabis Lecture Series webinar in January, “Examining the Quality of Concentrates,” Cannoli mentioned his 11-step scoring system being similar to that of American wine critic Robert Parker’s 100-point quality scale, which he created for The Wine Advocate publication. Many of the evaluation categories are similar to Parker’s scale, but take on a far different context and meaning in Cannoli’s 200-point system. No such scoring system existed before for hashish.

The Appearance category on Cannoli’s chart varies on the state of hashish resin – from loose trichomes to finely pressed dry-sift hashish. But judging on appearance at first-glance alone is not enough, Cannoli cautioned, as it would be difficult to judge without manual manipulation, that is, touching it, feeling it with your hands. One of the most common forms of hashish is dry-sift, which is produced by trichomes being extracted into a trichome-packed powder called kief. Hashish is created from kief. If loose trichomes are present in the final product, that hashish will receive a lower score.

Body is a term that describes the textured sensation of the fullness in the mouth and how it feels after the initial smoothness. After the smoothness is felt, reviewers will assess the complexity of the smoke and terpene profile. This is different than assessing what the hashish actually tastes like. It’s a matter of finding the perfect balance.

Additional factors considered with the body of hashish is smoothness, which describes the feel of the smoke during inhalation and stability, which indicates good drying and storing methodologies.
The bouquet/aroma category focuses on the olfactory experience, the aroma expressed by the resin and the richness of the resin’s unique, natural expression.

Quality is determined by how strong the hashish smell is. If the hashish doesn’t produce a strong aroma, the aroma is going to score lower.

The complexity of hashish addresses the overall quality of the hashish-smoking experience. The more complex the smoke the more intense the overall feeling. Cannoli describes balance as a term that “expresses the finesse, elegance and perfect harmony of all the elements” in the smoke. This criteria is subjective since everyone will consume or smoke a certain kind of hashish and have a different experience based on their unique preferences.

The intensity/duration is about identifying the intensity of the flavors and how long they linger in the mouth after the smoke – a guide to the concentration of terpenes and the duration of “yumminess” after exhalation. In the webinar, Cannoli describes intensity like watching a jazz quartet concert. The intensity of their sound is more profound when listening to them live as opposed to a recording. That scale of intensity could be replicated in the consumption of hashish.

Melt, or the amount of resin formed in trichomes, is the key factor in judging hashish quality. The cleaner the material, the better the melt. Melt varies in quality from cooking-grade to full-melt. Cooking-grade hashish is on the lowest end of the quality scale due to the amount of impurities. Between cooking-grade and full-melt is half-melt, which contains fewer impurities and is harsher on the throat than full-melt, but it can be smoked. Full-melt contains only pure trichrome heads.

Taste is more aligned with personal preference than any of the other categories listed.

Uniqueness/overall pleasure is the subjective desire to repeat the experience of consuming hashish and the amount of appreciation for the uniqueness of the experience.

Frenchy Cannoli’s scoring system can be found on his website at Sponsored by The Farmacy, Cannoli’s webinar, “Examining the Quality of Concentrates,” is available at