You walk into the dispensary, glance at the array of bud, edibles and concentrates. The budtender welcomes you and asks what you're looking for today. You say flower. They pull out 2 jars of some kiefy looking nugs. One says 12% THC and the other says 22% THC. Which do you choose? Most would choose the higher THC content because higher THC means a better high right? Nope.
What if I told you THC content is an important component but it isn't the sole reason for a better high?
Everyone responds to the compounds of a strain differently. A strain that works for you may not have the same effect on someone else. That's why it's important to shop for strains that have a compound combination that is aimed at the type of high or effect you are aiming for.
Cannabis has hundreds of compounds from terpenes to cannabinoids. These all play an important role in the high that a strain will produce.
Terpenes are what gives each strain its specific taste and smell. There are over 100 different terpenes so you can only imagine how many different combinations there are! Each combination of terpenes will have a different effect. Some terpenes help with relaxation while others help with focus. It is thought that terpenes are responsible for many effects that cannot be explained by cannabinoids alone. (Stay tuned for next week's article on terpenes)
Another important component to a strain's potency is if it's an indica or sativa. Indicas are known for their couch locking properties while sativas are known for their head high and focus. If you are someone prone to anxiety, strains high in sativa may intensify those effects. Just like someone looking for a strain for focus may want to stray from strains with high indica properties as they tend to have more sedating properties. It's important to choose which goes with the effect you’re looking for.
The combination of cannabinoids in a strain can also affect the type of high. Strains higher in CBD content tend to have a more mellow high unlike those low in CBD. Different cannabinoids produce different effects. Even the different amounts of cannabinoids can cause a different effect than strains with the same cannabinoids but in different amounts.
If you buy weed solely for the THC content you are really limiting yourself. With so many different combinations of compounds there is a strain out there for everyone. But if you don't pay attention to the other aspects of a strain when buying, then you may never truly achieve the high you're craving.
When shopping for cannabis, talk to the budtenders. Tell them what type of high you are looking for. You can even ask them for the lab paperwork on a specific strain. All legally sold cannabis goes through different tests to know its compounds, percentages and more! So do some research next time you head to the dispo!