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Terpenes, An Unsung Hero


Before I can dive into the wonderful attributes and contribution that Terpenes lend to Cannabis, it’s important to touch on some of the finer points of cannabis.B

Up until only recently, cannabis transactions were generally restricted to meeting with a dealer on his worn out couch and pretty much taking whatever was handed to you in a little ziplock bag. However with the onset of legalization, improvement of process and product quality of cannabis, we have all become connoisseurs. Arriving at dispensaries, sampling a plethora of aromas, and determining what we can enjoy most based on test results and personal anecdotes. For the most part, people are choosing their cannabis based on smell. Anyone that has shopped at a dispensary can tell you that not all weed smells the same. In fact, many of them have very different aromatic profiles. If you have ever wondered what exactly it is that you are smelling, it’s a combination of many different Terpenes.

Terpenes are organic hydrocarbon compounds that are found in the glandular trichomes that coat the leaves of the cannabis plant. These compounds are present in nearly everything living thing on earth and are in no way unique to the cannabis plant. The flavorful and scent that so many strive for is contributed to these wonderful Terpenes.

Terpenes don’t only contribute to the smell/aroma of the plant, but play a significant role in the high that certain strains can produce. Cannabis has been put on a pedestal for its beneficial healing properties. However when the active ingredients, such as THC, are extracted and put into pill form in high doses, the effects are altered significantly. Why would this be? Where many believe that THC is the main component in getting you high, it is in fact the combination of all cannabinoids and terpenes present in the plant that produce the distinct high. It is this “Entourage Effect” that makes this plant great at anti-anxiety, anti-insomnia, appetite stimulant, anti-cancer, etc.

Because a plant is tested and shown to have high THC levels, doesn’t necessarily mean that it will get you higher than a bud with lower THC levels. Because of the entourage effect, you can experience a significant high because of the overall cannabinoid and terpene profile.

As you can see, Terpenes play a wonderful role in the effect of cannabis. Some tips on choosing buds with higher terpene profiles you can do the following:

Ask the budtenders how long the buds were cured for. Generally when a grower dries and cures a bud more slowly and over a longer period of time, the terpenes are then better preserved and can make for a fantastic smoke.

Trust your Eyes and Nose. When choosing your cannabis you want to be able to get a strong, potent smell off of the cannabis. Don’t be afraid to take big wiff of the product, sometimes you can almost taste what the plant may smoke like. Also, be sure to look at the buds closely. You will find that those nugs that are frosted over nicely can and will be more potent as well as have a higher terpene profile.

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