For decades, cannabis growers and breeders focused on high THC content as the main strain trait. Today, we know that a complex biochemical interplay involving dozens of different cannabinoids and hundreds of aromatic terpenes determines the every single cannabis high. Below, we help you find the best cannabinoid and terpene profile to match your personal taste.
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The Rush For More THC
Until quite recently, producing, harvesting, and inhaling as much THC as possible was the sole objective of most marijuana lovers. Getting as high or as stoned as possible was the main goal, which seemed largely dependent on the percentages of tetrahydrocannabinol that buds contained.
Breeders recognised this market demand, and set about crossbreeding new strains with ever-higher THC concentrations. Sadly, their fevered THC goldrush caused considerable homogenization of the cannabis gene pool. Some claim that the global breeding and growing community is still recovering from the damage done over the past decades.
Your Strain, Your High
Fortunately, scientific discoveries and passionate experimenting by amateur growers broadened our perspective on the nuances of cannabis effects. As more and more new cannabinoids were identified, including CBD (cannabidiol), CBG (cannabigerol), and CBN (cannabinol), we started to learn more about our own body’s ability to use these various compounds.
The discovery of the endocannabinoid system, an important regulatory mechanism shared by all humans, other mammals, birds, and even fish, opened up new levels of understanding cannabis effects. Plant-based phytocannabinoids are highly similar to the endocannabinoids produced by our own body.
Our endocannabinoid system recognises both types of cannabinoids: it can use either kind to help regulate our internal physiological balance called homeostasis.
The chemical receptors of the endocannabinoid system extend all throughout our body and our nervous system, including the brain. This explains why cannabis can have such diverse effects on our cerebral, endocrine, gastrointestinal, and musculoskeletal systems.
Your Perfect Cannabinoid & Terpene Profile
The brief information listed below helps you find your perfect strain in terms of cannabinoids. Read on to pair these cannabinoids with a terpene profile that suits your taste, as these aromatic compounds define a strain’s flavour and codetermine its high in subtle ways.
Tetrahydrocannabinol is the main psychotropic ingredient in cannabis. It is responsible for much the sedative, narcotic, and mildly hallucinogenic aspects of a high. If you are looking for an intensely ‘spaced-out’ experience, pick marijuana seeds with 20% THC or more.
High THC levels can cause unpleasant (temporary) effects like paranoia, nausea, and palpitations in inexperienced or sensitive consumers, so go easy on THC if you’re looking for a nice and mild high.
In many ways, cannabidiol produces the opposite effects of THC. CBD can help curb a high that gets too intense. It can also help you relax and control anxiety, as well as providing pain and inflammation relief. Strains with over 1.5% CBD will produce a more modest high compared to THC-heavy strains, although much will depend on the overall cannabinoid and terpene profiles.
Cannabigerol has even greater soothing and relaxing potential than CBD. It does not add much to the psychotropic impact of a strain, although it is a useful cannabinoid to consider when you are looking to relax after a workout or sleep better in stressful times.
Cannabinol has only modestly psychoactive properties by and of itself, but is able to reinforce the sense of euphoria produced by THC. CBN is also being studied for its sedative potential, culminating in a relaxed state of bliss when paired with higher THC levels.
All cannabis strains have their own unique cannabinoid profiles, reflecting the relative proportions of the various cannabinoids found in their flower buds. Most strains contain traces of dozens of these compounds, although the profile tends to be dominated by a high THC percentage.
The recent surge in demand for CBD flower and extracts has led to widespread availability of CBD cannabis seeds alongside their THC relatives.
Since any type of weed conveys a unique mix of different cannabinoids with different effects, they all cause different effects when consumed. Some strains get you sleepy; others convey a more uplifting, energetic, stress-busting, or creativity-boosting effect.
Finding The Right Terpene Profile
If you’ve grown more than one type of weed, you will know that no two strains taste or smell exactly the same. The flavour and scent of cannabis strains is determined by a group of aromatic compounds called terpenes. Terpenes are found all throughout the plant kingdom. They are the main ingredient of etheric oils used in aromatherapy, alongside many modern applications in the food industry and perfumes, for instance.
Some terpenes, such as refreshing linalool (also found in lavender for instance), are associated with uplifting effects. Others, including spicy caryophyllene also present in peppers, can improve mental focus and help counter inflammation.
Interestingly, these fragrant chemicals each add their own unique twist to our experience of a cannabis high. And as with cannabinoids, every single strain of weed has its own distinct terpene profile, culminating in sophisticated nuances that affect both aromatic and mental or physical effects.
Which Terpenes Should I Pick?
A strain’s terpene profile is even more complex and refined than cannabinoid profiles. It’s not easy to pick strains based on terpene content. Still, the flavour and terpene profile information in our seed descriptions will help you pick the ones you like best. The suggestions below help you make a quick selection to narrow down the search.
Limonene is a terpene found in citrus fruits, pine trees, and many marijuana strains. It has cheerful, uplifting qualities that can help put a smile on any high. This is a common and welcome addition to many a famous terpene profile. In addition, limonene can help contain some of the less desirable side-effects of THC like CBD can – with great refreshing lemon zest fragrance as a nice bonus!
Strains with high myrcene levels in their terpene profile are known to amplify the sedative quality of THC, partly by making it easier for cannabinoids to cross the blood-brain barrier. Myrcene is also a powerful antioxidant with additional anti-inflammatory and pain relief potential. It extends a pleasantly earthy, herbal scent to your buds that is sure to get any connoisseur’s appetite going.
If you like your weed spicy, look for caryophyllene in its terpene profile. This compound is common in black pepper, oregano, and cinnamon as well as in many types of weed. It adds a slightly woody and distinctly zippy taste to weed, while adding calming qualities and a distinctively refreshing cheer to your high. This terpene can help counter THC-induced paranoia and anxiety, just like black peppercorns can.
Finding The Perfect Cannabinoid & Terpene Profile
As you can see, finding a strain with perfect cannabinoid and terpene profile is a complicated affair. There are many aspects to consider, and in the end, picking one remains an educated guess as well as a matter of taste.
Still, the information we provide in our blogs and strain descriptions can help you pick a strain that satisfies your personal taste and preferences. Consider these strain suggestions your first step down a winding path leading to ever better grows with the genetics, flavours and highs that suit you best!