Yo, what’s up my fellow smokers? You all know that when we light up that sweet Mary Jane, it’s the THC that gets us lit. But let’s be real, not all highs are created equal, amirite? Some of us get couch-locked and lazy, while others feel energized and philosophical. And let’s not forget about the munchies – they hit us all!
But have you ever wondered what makes different strains of weed produce such different highs? It can’t just be the THC content, right? I mean, most strains have around 15-25% THC, so how could such a small difference in THC levels create such wildly different effects on our brains?
Well, my fellow stoners, that’s where terpenes come in. Terpenes are the chemical compounds found in weed (and other plants) that give each strain its unique aroma and flavor. And scientists are starting to realize that terpenes, along with cannabinoids like THC and CBD, are responsible for creating the different types of psychoactive effects we experience.
So next time you’re smoking and feeling a crazy new high, just remember that THC isn’t the only culprit!
Terpenes: The Secret Ingredient in Your Weed
If you’ve ever taken a good whiff of different strains of weed, you know that each one has its own distinctive smell. Strains with a citrusy scent, like Lemon Haze or OG Kush, are high in limonene. Strains with a piney aroma, like Jack Herer or Chemdawg, are likely loaded with pinene. And the list goes on.
David Watson, a cannabis crafter, was one of the first to realize that terpenes were responsible for pot’s unique highs. He believed that terpenes contributed to the intensity and flavor of the high, so he tested his theory by comparing the effects of a pure THC extract to that of a terpene-infused whole-plant resin.
The results? The whole-plant resin, with only half the amount of THC, was actually more potent than the pure THC extract. Other studies have shown similar results with CBD isolates – they’re more potent when they come from a full-spectrum extract that includes terpenes and other cannabinoids.
So What Are Terpenes, Anyway?
Terpenes are compounds found in many plants, not just weed. They’re what give plants their distinct aromas and flavors, and they’re made up of aromatic hydrocarbons. Unlike cannabinoids, terpenes are not unique to weed – in fact, there are over 200 different terpenes found in marijuana alone.
One interesting thing to note is that cannabinoids and terpenes share some similarities. Both are essential oils secreted by the cannabis plant’s resin glands (trichomes), and both originate from a molecule called geranyl pyrophosphate that’s found in the plant’s flowers.
Different Terpenes, Different Highs
There’s still a lot we don’t know about terpenes and their effects on our bodies and minds. But here’s a brief rundown of some of the most common terpenes found in weed and what they’re believed to do:
Linalool: This terpene has a strong lavender smell and is great for reducing stress and anxiety. It’s also used in topical treatments for acne and other skin conditions.
Myrcene: This is the most common terpene in weed and gives off an earthy, musky scent. It’s known for its pain-relieving properties and is often found in strains that produce a couch-lock effect.
Limonene: As you might guess from its name, this terpene has a citrusy aroma. It’s believed to be good for treating seizures, improving mood, and killing bacteria.
Pinene: This terpene gives off a strong pine scent and is found in strains like Jack Herer and Chemdawg. It’s been known to improve memory, alertness, and promote energy levels.
Beta-caryophyllene: This terpene is found in various herbs and spices (like oregano and black pepper) and is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, there’s still a lot we don’t know about terpenes and their effects on our bodies. But one thing is for sure – they play a big role in the different types of highs we experience from different strains of weed.
So next time you’re at the dispensary trying to decide which strain to get, take a good whiff and see if you can detect the different terpenes. Who knows – you might just discover a new favorite high!