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THC vs Terpene Percentage: What Should You Choose?

Frost Denver Dispensary, one of the leading marijuana dispensaries in Colorado, has received awards like Best Dispensary for Newbies and Best Dispensary for Selection (among others!). We stand out in the Denver cannabis industry because we know our stuff about cannabis, and we are excited to share it with you. With cannabis increasingly legal and available in the US, we thought we would answer some commonly asked questions about THC vs terpene percentage in cannabis and some advice on how you can choose.

Terpenes, THC, and Cannabinoids, oh my!

Cannabis is a complex plant. It is rich in terpenes, the highly aromatic compounds found in many plants. Terpenes perform many functions in the natural world, and they are responsible for the smell we associate with cannabis. Cannabinoids are a subset of terpinoids, a slightly chemically different kind of terpene, and these are the compounds responsible for many of the effects associated with marijuana. They include CBD, known for its relaxing qualities, and THC, known for its psychoactive qualities. THC works by binding with cannabanoid receptors in the brain and stimulating them

Some of the main terpenes in cannabis are the following ones:

  • Myrcene: Smells earthy, musky, and often clove-like.
  • Limonene. Citrus smell, also found in lemon rind.
  • Linalool: Most associated with the floral smell of marijuana, and also found in lavender, mint, cinnamon and coriander. 
  • Phellandrene: Pepperminty scent, with a slight note of citrus.
  • Alpha-pinene and beta-pinene: Smell like pine trees.

The “entourage effect”

Terpenes don’t just contribute to the smell of marijuana. Some scientists have recently explored what is known as the “entourage effect,” whereby these terpenes act in synergy with THC to contribute to the overall effects on the user. Different ratios and levels of terpenes and cannabinoids can interact in different ways to produce different kinds of responses, from relaxation and pain relief, to more euphoric experience. These responses are in addition to, more simply, the production of the smell and flavor of different strains.

Effects of THC-Terpenes Ratios

Through selective breeding, the THC-terpene ratio can be tweaked for different experiences. Here are how a few of the main terpenescan impact your experience when they are in higher concentration:

  • Higher levels of Limonene and Pinene, as in Sativa strains, can increase feelings of uplift.
  • Higher levels of Myrcene and Linalool, as in Kush strains, can increase feelings of relaxation.
  • One strain cultivated by a California company, NaPro, has 4.5% Myrcene, which provides a sense of euphoria and pain relief.

Ultimately, since there are a lot of variables, it’s best to experiment and decide for yourself. The continued innovations of the cannabis industry mean there are many strains to try. 
This may all seem overwhelming. Fortunately, Frost Denver Dispensary has excellent, knowledgeable budtenders in-store who are here to guide you and keep it fun. Check us out on Facebook or Instagram or come by our Denver store in person. We’re excited to help guide you on your cannabis journey!

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