We’ve all had that customer, the number hunter. “Yeah, my tolerance is pretty high, nothing below 25% will do.” I have had a person tell me that anything below 25% is garbage. WHAT?! As budtenders, we are the in the trenches of fighting the stigma surrounding cannabis. We help normalize it; we answer questions, we make cannabis a comfortable topic for all. Whether we like it or not, we all help in setting the bar for what people should know or at least be aware of in all things cannabis.
While we are beginning to come out of the darkness of the number hunting era, we need to be having the everyday discussions that take it there. Therefore, I give you, the terpene talk. If you haven’t had it, you need it, and we gotta start passing the knowledge around! Some people take in cannabis to get high and have fun, but we must always remember that this is a medicine, first and foremost, and many people use it as so. How does that tie into terpenes? What even are terpenes? Long story short, terpenes are what gives cannabis its aroma and flavor.
Terpenes are found in everything that has a smell and a taste such as plants, herbs or foods like fruits, everything a unique blend of terpenes. Terpenes are what bind everything together in your brain map, or endocannabinoid system. Everyone’s is different, with a unique set of likes and dislikes. In the Entourage Effect, the terpenes bind to the neuroreceptors to create or give rise to specific effects. Pinene and limonene happen to be in a lot of Sativas due to uplifting and cerebral or energetic properties whereas terpenes like linalool and myrcene tend to be in hybrids and Indicas for their “stony” and sedative feelings. Not to say that they don’t have crosshairs into other strains, but the concentration of them matters. One prime example is beta-Myrcene; in low doses, it can help you focus and get through the day! However, when above .5%, it induces insatiable couch-lock. Goodbye, motivation. We may even be leaving the era of “sativa” and “indica” as crossbreeding becomes more and more intense, and we could be pushed to shop by terpene content, which makes sense. We all love cannabis for how it helps us in our day to day lives; terpenes are the key to unlocking true natural medicine and understanding it.
Think of THC and CBD as the engine to your car, but terpenes are what give it a place to go to! That’s why something like THC-a can be somewhat of a short-lived high because without the terpenes to get it to bind, it’s a five-minute blow to the mind, but the longer lasting highs and benefits can be found in concentrates and flower with higher terpene content! Fun fact: if a particular smell calls to you, it usually means that that terpene has something to offer medically to your body that your body makes you want it. It is your body talking to you and telling you what you need. SCIENCE!
Give Lower THC Percentages a Chance
All I’m saying is, some of the best flower I’ve ever had was this batch of Blueberry Cookies from Yerba Buena in Oregon, and it tested at 14.87% THC. Some people wouldn’t even give that a chance. I can’t stress enough how beautiful and tasty it was let alone how AMAZING the effects were. This isn’t to bash higher numbers, some numbers are accurate, and they tell how much psychoactivity there is going to be (important to know for those with anxiety problems).
But I am just tired of the lower testing, beautiful buds, just not being given a chance. Things like indicas having lower numbers because it is more of a body high as opposed to cerebral which means there would naturally be less THC go unmentioned. The neutral public doesn’t know, and we need to tell them!
Trust Your Nose, Trust Yourself
The way I like to break it down for people: back in the day, when you were buying a doob-sack from a dude on a corner or behind your local convenience stores, you were LUCKY if he remembered what strain it was and what is this business about numbers? You went by how it looked and how it smelled. The nose knows, your body knows. If you have some flower that’s 31% but smells like hay and looks like grass, and you have another bud that looks beautiful and smells amazing but only tested at 15-17%, TRUST YOUR NOSE, TRUST YOURSELF.
I will talk more about this because in terpenes you can never know enough and we are in charge of enlightening the community and guiding them towards cannabis that is likely to be better for them. We are all here for a better tomorrow. This isn’t just to benefit any one demographic of people, but all. There isn’t a thing you can’t do to cannabis that it can’t be used to improve anyone’s life in some way. I believe cannabis is indeed for everyone, just figuring out what product is for you or even your preferred method of intake can be complicated, but as budtenders, we are here to guide.