With the advent of Michigan’s legal marijuana, many of my fellow dispensaries have reported that patients tend to select their strains based solely on the THC “Which one has the highest THC content,” is a question often heard by the ears of budtenders, suggesting that anything with a lower count isn’t worth their dollar. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. After all, what is the reason that sometimes one eats a medicated browned, another time one enjoys a potent indica to sleep, and yet another night one savors a smooth gummy before a movie?
The problem with selecting cannabis strains based solely on the THC content is much like stomaching the worst bourden at the bar just because it has a high alcoholic percentage. By doing this, the consumer is robbing themselves of not only the rich scents and flavors of the strain, but also missing out on the beneficial effects that can be delivered through a strain’s specific terpene profile.
Terpenes are essential oils that determine all of these factors and make each strain unique. Together with the cannabinoid content — compounds such THC or CBD — we get what’s often referred to as an “entourage effect,” which ultimately has the final say in what kind of benefits you can receive from a particular strain. In fact, it has almost gotten to the point where one can zero in on what exactly they would like a strain to do for them, and by studying the effects of the individual terpenes, with a little trial-and-error, they can find the perfect strain to suit their needs.
What is a Terpene?
There’s something about the aroma of cannabis that soothes the mind and body. Whether it’s the robust taste of Big Chillz or that skunky smell that bursts from a cracked bud of Kush Mint, we know there’s something going on under their complex and flavorful bouquets.
Terpenes are what you smell, and knowing what they are will deepen your appreciation of cannabis.