TERPENES vs THC: The importance of terpenes, cannabinoids, their relation to each other and what to look for when trying to get the best out of your cannabis products.
Whether you call them terps or terpenes, you have surely heard about these compounds by now. Phrases like ‘terpene profile’, ‘entourage effect’, and ‘full spectrum’ have been a common thread when it comes to describing the flavor and/or the benefits of today’s cannabis products. Some articles have even gone as far as stating that terpenes are more important than the THC percentage!
So, what is the truth and how important are the terpenes to your cannabis experience?
Are they indeed more important than the THC percentage?
We decided to take a deeper look into these questions and make some recommendations while we’re at it. Terpenes can be described as organic compounds formed inside the trichomes that give cannabis its unique aroma and flavor as well as assist and influence its effects by interacting with other cannabinoids. This interaction with other cannabinoids is referred to as, the ‘entourage effect’. There are currently over 200 identified terpenes present in cannabis but they are in no way unique to cannabis and can be found in all types of organic compounds in nature actually – most notably in fruits, plants, and spices. This is in fact, why cannabis has such a vast array of flavors and aromas that can be present in its unending assortment of strains.
But besides their unique flavor and aroma, what do they have to do with your high? As our Vice President of Operations, Ted Whitney puts it, “Terpenes are the driver behind the steering wheel and the THC is the bus”.
This indeed is not too far from the truth as terpenes decide how THC and other cannabinoids like CBD will affect your high and the medical benefits your body will experience. We then pose the question: If terpenes steer the THC bus then which compound is more important?
Well, you can’t have one without the other, so the answer is a bit more complex than what is simply “better”. The simple answer is that both are equally important. However, choosing the right terpene profile for the effects and medical benefits you’re seeking is more important than choosing the highest THC percentage. For example, if you’re seeking the anti-anxiety effects of cannabis, choosing a strain high in the terpene linalool would be more important than choosing a strain with the highest THC content. Additionally, if you’re seeking mental alertness effects of cannabis, a strain that’s high in Pinene will be much more effective than the same strain with no Pinene but a high THC percentage. We hope this helps give some clarity when choosing the appropriate strain for your needs.
Now since we know the importance of both Terpenes and THC in relation to each other, let’s talk about how to make sure your cannabis product can deliver the best experience and therapeutic benefits. To make sure your cannabis product has all of its desired potential, we have to talk about the term we mentioned earlier; ‘full spectrum’.
Full-spectrum is referred to as a cannabis extract or product that contains all the cannabinoids that are naturally occurring in the cannabis plant. One of the best ways to tap into this potential is, by smoking fresh flower, however what about other cannabis products?
Let’s take vape carts for example. To make a vape cart with the highest spectrum terpene and cannabinoid profile, it first comes down to the way the flower is harvested. Since terpenes are very fragile and can be broken down by the change in temperature and/or moisture levels, their presence is most concentrated in the flower that is ready to be harvested. For the plant to maintain all of its naturally occurring cannabinoids, the flower has to be either instantly put through extraction right upon harvest or frozen at or below -38°F right to maintain its freshness until extraction. This where the terms ‘fresh frozen’ and ‘live resin’ come from. Since the plant never has time to begin to degrade or dry out, you are indeed extracting the live plant… hence the term ‘live resin’.
The next important step that will dictate the most optimal terpene and cannabinoid presence is the extraction method. This is where most terpenes are lost and a lot of companies have to resort to adding either cannabis-derived or non cannabis derived terpenes back in. While this is not a terrible practice and can guarantee a more consistent outcome, it does not yield the most accurate representation of the cannabis plant. What you want to look for is a manufacturer that not only uses ‘fresh-frozen’ flowers, but has also figured out a way to maintain all of it’s original organic compounds in a safe and sound way through the extraction process.
Here at NUG, through years of innovation and R&D, we have figured out a proprietary extraction method that keeps all of the precious terpenes and cannabinoids intact. This is why we believe that we have truly created a vape cart that is the most accurate representation of the cannabis plant. This means that you’re able to take full advantage of the most optimal cannabis experience and the full therapeutic benefits the plant has to offer. Yes, we know we sounded a little biased and there are some other brands that have come close but we firmly believe we’re leading the charge when it comes to vape carts.
So far, we know talked about the importance of terpenes, cannabinoids, and their relation to each other and what to look for when trying to get the best out of your cannabis products. Now, we can finally make some recommendations.
You’ve probably sensed that we’re going to mention our vape carts again. Can you blame us?
NUG Vape Live Resin cart line
FIND NEAREST RETAILER: http://bit.ly/NUGLIVERESINVAPE
Forbidden Fruit x EVE Live Resin Vape Cart 1:1 CBD|THC
FIND NEAREST RETAILER: http://bit.ly/FxEvexLiveResin
If you’re after the most true representation of the cannabis plant and taking full advantage of its therapeutic benefits while having the best experience you really should look no further than the NUG Vape Live Resin cart line. We do however want to highlight a specific cart that even among our outstanding cart line up shines the brightest. It is our first CBD|THC live resin cart, the Forbidden Fruit x Eve. It has over 11% total terpenes with over 58% total cannabinoids present! This unusually high total percentage has many industry veterans stating that it is the ‘the best tasting vape cart’ they have ever tried. Not only is it one of the best tasting carts we have ever tried but because of our proprietary extraction methods, we were able to produce a cart with the highest concentrations of the terpene, Terpinolene that we have ever seen. Terpinolene features powerful sedative properties making it effective in the treatment of conditions such as anxiety, insomnia and panic attacks. Further, Terpinolene is one of the main actors in the synergetic performance that enhances the action of THC and CBD providing you with the best entourage effect possible. Combined with the other 39 beneficial terpenes, THC, CBD and other cannabinoids the Forbidden Fruit x Eve cart provides a full spectrum therapeutic experience that is hard to match by other concentrates.
Okay shameless plug over. In closing, we would like to reiterate the fact that choosing what to smoke based solely on THC percentage is not necessarily always the best practice. Terpenes decide how the cannabinoids present in the flower/concentrate will act when inside your system dictating the experience and the therapeutic benefits.
So, make sure you ask your budtender for this info when making your next purchase! Or just save yourself some time and ask for a NUG Vape Live Resin cart. 🙂 Now let’s go out there and enjoy our favorite plant in its many forms! Happy smoking everyone.