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Understanding Terpenes

It is not uncommon to hear the quality of weed associated with the THC concentration. Users commonly base their expectations about how good their high will be on how high the THC is in a given product. And although THC concentration does impact how good of a high you will have it is not the be-all end all. The “entourage effect” or in other words the interaction between THC and other compounds in cannabis are truly what influence your perception of what is “gas”and what isn’t.  In fact, there are some great strains that typically come in the 16-19% THC range  but pack a mean punch such as Pedro’s Sweet Sativa by Color Cannabis and it’s all thanks to the terpenes. So, what exactly are terpenes and why do they matter?

What you may be surprised to learn is that terpenes are not unique to cannabis. In fact, terpenes exist in all plants and are responsible for giving them their distinct taste and aroma.   The basil in your marinara sauce that give it that extra oomph or the lavender in your bath that soothes you into relaxation, are just a couple examples of how terpenes can affect an experience in your everyday life. So why wouldn’t it be the same for cannabis? 4 of the most common terpenes found in cannabis are Myrcene, Alpha-Pinene, Limonene, and Humulene andl. They are also most likely the reason you gravitate to certain strains when you visit your local store. Let’s break these 5 terpenes down a bit more.


 Myrence in the most abundant terpene found in cannabis. It’s aroma would be described as earthy, musky and clove-like. Aside from cannabis, Myrcene is found in lemongrass, eucalyptus and mangoes. Therapeutically, Myrcene has antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and sedative effects. When it comes to how it will affect your high, strains with high levels of myrcene will definitely give you that couch potato effect. Popular strains, high in Myrcene include OG Kush, White Widow, and Black Cherry Punch.


 Pinene is present in two forms, alpha-pinene and beta-pinene. However, alpha-pinene is most commonly found in cannabis plants. Pinene can be found in common household ingredients such as rosemary, dill, parsley and nutmeg. Individuals who your cannabis products containing alpha-pinene often express experiencing feelings of euphoria, and increased alertness. Some popular strains that are high in alpha-pinene include, Blue Dream, Jack Herer and OG Kush.


Limonene is responsible for producing the citrus aroma you find in lemons, grapefruits and oranges. It is the third most common terpene in cannabis and is best known for it’s mood boosting effects. Those who use cannabis products high in limonene, express experiencing elevated mood, feeling uplifted and less anxious. Some strains that are high in Limonene include Wedding cake, Super Sour Diesel and Banana OG.


Humulene is described as having an earthy, spicy and herbal aroma. It is found in hops, basil, cloves and sage. One effect that some find humulenrather appealing for is it appetite-suppression and weightloss properties.  Strains high in humulene include Bruce Banner, Girl Scout Cookies, and Bubba Kush.

The next time you are looking for something to take you high to the next level, take a moment to consider a couple things. 1. What activity you will be engaging? 2. What feeling are you looking to experience? Share this information with your budtender so they can guide you to the right cannabis strain. Consume and enjoy the ride! 

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