Potency vs. Terpenes: How to Optimize Your High
Customize your high by learning how THC potency and terpene content influence your cannabis experience.
Ever wish you knew how to pick the perfect strain for the perfect occasion? It’s no secret that different strains have different effects. Similar to fine wines, cannabis’ effects are much more nuanced than you might think.
This article takes you beyond the outdated strain shopping method of using indica or sativa as a reference and teaches you how to pick strains that pair perfectly with your lifestyle and activities.
About THC Content in Cannabis
People typically shop for cannabis by comparing THC potency with the price per gram. This is a good way to get blazed on a budget, but what if you could get more from your cannabis experience?
THC is the psychoactive component in cannabis, the one that induces feelings of euphoria and distortion of the senses. Higher doses of THC can cause accelerated heart rate, racing mind, paranoia, and anxiety – the classic bad trip.
So, how do you find the optimal THC content for you? Is more THC always better? Do you get higher with more THC content? Every person responds to cannabis and THC uniquely, there is an optimal range for each individual, and also for each occasion.
In the next sections, we go over how terpene content guides the effects of THC. We’ll also show you how terpenes may have more to do with the diverse effects of each strain of cannabis than previously imagined.
Terpenes are aromatic compounds that give cannabis its beloved aromas and flavors and they (may) have more to do with your high than you think.
If you’ve ever enjoyed roses in bloom, fresh cut basil, crushed peppercorns, or simply walked through a forest, then you’ve interacted with terpenes.
Many of the incredible terpenes found throughout nature, such as Linalool in Lavender, Limonene in citrus fruits, or A-Pinene in coniferous trees, and more can be found in cannabis.
Each strain of cannabis has a unique chemical composition that includes cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, terpenes, and secondary cannabis compounds like flavonoids.
All of the berry, lemon, grape, cheese, diesel and even skunk aromas and flavors in your favorite strains are thanks to terpenes.
Advances in cannabis science now allow researchers to better understand how unique terpene profiles of strains could be responsible for the specific effects associated with different strains.
Customize Your High With Terpenes
Have you ever heard of the “couch-lock” terpene? The actual name is Myrcene and it’s called the couch-lock terpene because it causes a sedative effect that usually leaves you feeling locked in your chair and super heavy.
Myrcene is found naturally in ripe mangoes, it has an earthy, tropical-fruity, skunk-like aroma, and is the most predominant terpene found in indica-dominant strains.
This sedative-like effect is primarily caused because Myrcene helps THC to cross the blood-brain barrier more effectively in a synergistic process that increases THC’s psychoactive side effects.
Similarly, other terpene profiles in cannabis strains will have unique effects. For example, strains high in citrusy terps such as Limonene may have invigorating, stimulating, and even mood-boosting properties.
Strains high in Beta-Caryophyllene, which is found in pepper and has a sweet and spicy taste and aroma, are rich in anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties.
A-Pinene and Linalool are terpenes with refreshing, naturally calming properties that are cerebrally activating, making them great for people with creative and active lifestyles.
Picking Strains by Terpene Profile
You’ll need to stick your nose in a few cookie jars to learn exactly what different terpenes smell like, but once you can identify a strain’s predominant terpene profile you’ll be able to easily predict its effects.
Craving a great strain for your mountain biking adventures? Take along something high in Limonene for the daytime and pick a strain high in Linalool and Caryophyllene for nighttime rest and recovery.
Looking for the perfect strain pairing to go with your dinner social that won’t put everyone to sleep? Something with a moderate amount of THC highlighted by A-Pinene and Limonene will get the laughter and conversation started.
You can learn more about terpenes, cannabinoids, and picking the best strains in the content linked below. Thanks for reading!
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