Use science to choose the best strain for any activity
Whether you want to relax, spark your creativity, energize in the morning or just get silly, there’s a lot more to picking the right cannabis strain than just indica vs. sativa. As it turns out, the effects of any given strain might actually be less about the type of plant, and more about what’s in it – the terpenes!
You’ve probably heard of terpenes and know what they are – aromatics produced naturally by pretty much all plants. But it’d be wrong to think of terpenes just as flavoring. In fact, your favorite cannabis strain probably has hundreds of terpenes, a few of which dominate the rest to produce smells, flavors and even effects that are highly specific to that strain. Even a slight change to that mixture of terpenes will change the experience you get (that’s why temperature is so important in vaping!)
The Bloom team are strain experts, and we craft our vape oil, live resin and budder to preserve the rich flavors and effect profiles of each original plant. Below, learn a little more about how the most common terpenes contribute to different strains’ effects, and when to look for each terpene profile.
The dominant terpenes
Four terpenes most commonly stand out among the rest: Myrcene, Caryophyllene, Terpinolene and Limonene. Though several may often appear together in the list of terpenes present in a strain, knowing which is dominant and understanding the potential effects that terpene promotes can help you choose the right high for the right moment.
The most common terpene in today’s weed, Myrcene is also found in hops, thyme, mango and lemongrass, among other fruits and herbs. Myrcene is thought to bring on calming effects and may relax the body; and it has a long history of use in folk medicines like lemongrass tea, which can help regulate sleep, relieve pain and reduce anxiety.
When to look for Myrcene
You’ll primarily find Myrcene-dominant strains recommended for relaxation and stress relief, but the effects to which Myrcene contributes aren’t limited to “couch lock” and heavy sleep. In fact, we find that Myrcene can bring on a peaceful attitude that’s great for small dinner parties or casual hikes
Caryophyllene is the spice in your life! This terpene is found in black pepper, basil, oregano and other herbs and spices. It’s a little different than other terpenes in that it can bind with cannabinoid receptors (CB2, specifically) in our bodies, which means it can deliver direct effects of its own, like reducing inflammation.
When to look for Caryophyllene
Caryophyllene is great for relaxing the body and reducing stress. It often produces euphoric and uplifting effects that might make it easier to get going the day after a hard workout, or can be the perfect accompaniment to activities that require creativity and flow, like painting, surfing, skateboarding or playing music.
The herbal and fresh floral scent of many cannabis strains comes from Terpinolene, which also pops up in apples, lilacs, tea tree and even in many soaps or fragrances. Terpinolene is often described as the least common terpene, but maybe that’s better said as the least-common dominant terpene. While rare, there are some strains that feature Terpinolene front-and-center. If you happen to love a strain that’s Terpinolene-dominant, be sure to look out for it the next time you hit the dispensary or buy weed online.
When to look for Terpinolene
Medicinal cannabis users may already know of Terpinolene – this terpene is well-known in the scientific community as an antioxidant, and several studies suggest Terpinolene may help inhibit growth in cancer cells. Recreational cannabis users will also enjoy uplifting, euphoric effects in Terpinolene-dominant strains, making it great for happy, silly highs or creative inspiration. Grab the Terpinolene-dominant cartridge when you’re playing board games with friends, to dive deeper into a good book, or to write one of your own.
You probably know this one – Limonene brings the citrusy smell and flavor of lemons and other citrus fruits to your favorite strains. Sure enough, you’ll find limonene in the rinds of citrus fruits and in “bright”-smelling herbs like juniper and peppermint. While the smell of citrus might be recognizable, it should be noted that it’s not a surefire sign that a strain is Limonene-dominant. If you’re specifically looking for Limonene, check the label or ask your budtender
When to look for Limonene
So, what’s it do? Primarily, Limonene is known to promote euphoric feelings, making it a good terpene to seek out when you’re stressed or anxious. The indica vs. sativa question may (finally) come into play with Limonene-dominant strains, depending on whether you want an energetic or relaxing high. Need help sleeping and love citrusy strains? Go for a Limonene-dominant indica. Want to float through a local park, maybe do some birdwatching? Grab the sativa with Limonene at the top of the terpene list. Both sides of the Limonene coin are about relaxation; Limonene is thought to also promote the absorption of other terpenes, so pay attention to the mix of terps in the strain you go with depending on what relaxes you – whether that’s a nap or nature.
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