THC is THC. Meaning, the THC in Green Crush (Crack) is no different than the THC in Granddaddy Purple. So how is one Sativa and the other labeled an Indica? Here’s a second oddly relevant and related question: Why does one flower smell like a rose and another lilac? Both questions believe it or not have the same answer- terpenes. In other words, using cannabis is a form of aromatherapy.
Have you ever smelled your way to the perfect strain for you? That’s terpenes tugging you in the right direction. The cannabis plant evolved terpenes to battle against predators, but for humans terpenes are a treasure trove for the cannabis experience- Terpenes give strains their unique aroma and scent, but they also do so much more. It’s time for the breath test.
What happens when you smell pine versus say lavender? Chances are pine makes you breathe deeply and opens up your chest. On the other hand, lavender are likely to lift the spirit while relaxing the body. Transfer that now over to cannabis.
Cannabis that pulls you in with scents of pine has a likelihood of being a bronchodilator and counteracting asthma to some degree. Whereas, those hints of lavender coming off a bud could lull you into a happy relaxation that brushes away some of that depression hanging around. Putting heat to dried bud opens up so much more than THC or CBD.
THC will get you high, but what kind of high? In and of itself, THC has no way of making your high a head rush of energy or a lethargic melting away into relaxation. For that you need terpenes, and in the cannabis plant there are around 100, only a few of which have been looked at in much detail to date.
So terpenes matter; but more importantly, terpenes are a better indicator than Sativa, Indica, or Hybrid labels for determining the end experience. As example, the terpene Limonene will give you energy whether in a strain listed as Sativa or Indica. Terpenes don’t care about plant height and leaf density.
Getting back to terpenes matter then, how much are we talking. When you check out an expensive bud on the market, see if the terpene profile is listed. The cost might be worth it. A high THC strain with low terpene count will be hit out of the park any day by a medium THC strain that boasts ample terpenes. It’s down to numbers then. Most producers and growers tend to point out their percentages when they hit or surpass the 2% mark. That might not seem like a lot, but consider that it only takes 2 nanograms of botulism toxin per kilogram of body weight to kill. Small amounts don’t mean inconsequential.