When you go into your dispensary, and start to browse the goods, you’ll notice different levels and percentages on the labels. THC and CBD percentages are most common, sometimes an indication of indica or sativa or hybrid. In visits past, I’ve picked up eighths where my budtender didn’t even remember to write the strain name! Lately, I’ve been pondering over how to figure out what traits of cannabis are the most important to know for seeking certain kinds of highs.
If you have a decent budtender and know little about cannabis, they’ll ask you, “What are you looking to experience? What kind of effect are you trying to attain?” upon which it would be better to know than to just say “I dunno, I just want to get high!” and then the budtender is making decisions for you.
If you’re there for pain relief, great, but what time of day do you need to medicate? Maybe you’re looking to sedate yourself for a long flight? Or feel energized before a yoga class? Like different foods carrying certain effects, cannabis can have different kinds of effects on our bodies.
Terpenes are the organic compounds present in plants, including cannabis, that create the differences in scent and taste, in addition to medicinal properties. They’re present as essential oils in plants and flowers, and commonly used as food additives. Some of our beloved needs of inflammation and insomnia are addressed by terpenes, that are found in plants other than cannabis- like pine! See the connection here? Between, perhaps piney, fresh tasting cannabis that will rock you to bed? That’s why terpenes matter. The psychoactive effect from a high level of THC will absolutely play its part in how strongly you feel what you smoked. Yet, other factors of that specific strain come from cannabis’ essential oils.
Those are apparently becoming available in markets, too. The world is keen to catch up for lost time of discovering different ways to use this plant. All the time, new rigs and vapes are being created to try and interact with marijuana in a unique way. That’s why the genetics, flavors, feelings of the high, methods of growing, consuming or inhaling, and purposes for using cannabis are all different and important. Terpenes appear to be coming up on the scene in a big way, but I think this is positive. Education on a plant that I believe in, especially as an alternative to more harmful medicines that somehow became the mainstream, should be supported. Learning about the full range of tastes and therapies terpenes in cannabis means they can be better benefitted from and enjoyed. Studies have suggested that terpenes and terpenoids may have been generally neglected in its importance of effects. That’s fairly heavy reading, so I also found this poster from Amazon, which is pretty cool and acts as a handy guide to common terpenes in cannabis. Next time you think a hit tasted specifically of banana, or use a soothing topical, remember that terpenes are responsible!