Learn how to buy cannabis depending on the effects it produces. Choosing the perfect cannabis strain(s) can be tricky depending on the desired outcome. The average cannabis consumer of today will tell you to choose between sativa and indica, but is that the best way to decide?
Asking for "Sativa to keep going" and "Indica for couch-lock" as an estimate on how it will make you feel is not very precise or accurate, at all. Luckily there is a more accurate method of defining the effects of each product besides the assumed "Indica vs Sativa", called Terpenes.
Before science took a keen interest into cannabis, defining the effects of the plant was left to farmers and consumers. This (lack of a) naming system resulted in the common nicknames (Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid) which can correlate to the leaf structure, not actual effects.
By definition, terpenes are a large and diverse class of organic compounds which are produced by a variety of plants and insects. They are the chemicals found in the essential oils of plants that give them a unique aroma, and maybe more.
Today, terpenes (or terpoinoids, in cannabis) are credited with the aromas and associated effects of the cannabis you consume. These terpenes are similar to those found in many other naturally occurring products and the cannabis industry is already getting creative with how to use them.
Here are the most commonly found terpenes in cannabis
When it comes to choosing the best cannabis for you there are a number of factors to consider besides strain name and THC percentage. Pay attention to the terpene's in the products you enjoy most, this will help you refine your preference as you test each one.
Asking for a Sativa or Indica will lead the bud tender to ask more questions to fully understand how you are using cannabis. These additional answers will give insight towards a better pairing of your products and needs.
Today, the bud tenders at your favorite dispensaries are being trained on Terpenes and how they influence aroma and the effect of your cannabis beyond THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids. Even Leafly.com released their cannabis guide and complete website redesign to reflect these findings.
Terpene production will vary from an indoor grow to outdoor even with the same genetic/strain says Amber Wise, Scientific Director of Medicine Creek Analytics "you can end up with different terpene profiles at the end because temperature, growing medium, nutrients, sunlight, all kinds of things affect the terpene profile of plants"