Updated: Aug 24
This article is brought to you by the new Higher Learning LV Core Cannabis course. Learn the 25 most important cannabinoids and eight most common terpenes for an affordable enrollment fee of only $240.
Guest author Hart Steinfeld from Calgary, Alberta shares his thoughts about the current cannabis industry, including THC percentage and the important role of the aromatic molecules that give marijuana a sometimes wonderful fragrance that are called terpenes.
Buying Cannabis on THC Percentage is Stupid
Buying Cannabis on THC Percentage is Stupid. What you are about to read is going to make a lot of you angry, so maybe grab that bong and take a rip before you go any further. OK, all good? Head feels right? Perfect.
If you're buying cannabis flower based on THC percentage, you're doing it wrong. There, I said it.
If you're buying cannabis flower based on THC percentage, you're doing it wrong, says Canadian cannabis industry professional Hart Steinfeld.
I'm not really sure from where the race to have the highest total THC numbers came, but using THC percentage as a value and quality marker seem to have gained life when cannabis became legal. Most aspects of legalization are great—but with it have come some interesting bubbles. Sure, THC is a component that's important in getting you "high." But if that's all you're looking at, you are missing out on so much more.
Buying Cannabis on THC Percentage is Stupid: Terpenes
It may be helpful to think of cannabis like a sandwich. THC is the bread—you can't make a sandwich without it and you really can't get high without it. But the terpenes and other cannabinoids are all the amazing fillings you put in your sandwich that make it perfect.
Maybe you like vegan cold cuts, hot peppers, lettuce, tomato, and mustard on your sandwich. Or maybe you just like a good old fashioned PB and J.
It's the same with terpenes. They make the flower taste and smell more complex and add so much to the total experience.
The more fillings you put in a sandwich, the more complex and potent (filling) it becomes. It's the same with terpenes. They make the flower taste and smell more complex and add so much to the total experience.
Buying Cannabis on THC Percentage is Stupid: Diamonds Prove It
If you have ever dabbed just THC-A diamonds, you know what I'm talking about. Almost pure THC, they offer zero flavor (that's why they are sold like terp sauce). And to be honest, I'm not really sure they got me high. Something was missing from the effect.
Fact is, you like what you like and terpenes are no different. For example, if you like citrusy, sour smells, look for flower that's higher in limonene and terpinolene (both of which just happen to be Super Class terpenes!) Both of these terpenes will allegedly give you a mood enhancement and a bit of a boost!
Look for something that's got a terpene profile three percent or higher and ignore the THC percent. Some of the best stuff I've smoked was around 15 percent THC and higher than four percent total terpenes.
If you prefer things on the skunkier end of the spectrum, myrcene has got you covered. It's also been reported that it helps to relax and take your mind off things.
The best thing to do is to explore many cannabis cultivars with different terpene profiles to find out what profiles you like best—what your favourite sandwich is, if you will.
Buying Cannabis on THC Percentage is Stupid: My Challenge to You
I challenge you to try something different the next time you are hunting the menu of your local dispensary for something that's 30 percent or greater THC.
Look for something that's got a terpene profile that is three percent or higher and ignore the THC percentage. Some of the best stuff I've smoked was around 15 percent THC and higher than four percent total terpenes.
I can't wait to say T H See, I told you so. Keep your head high!
Also check out Higher Learning LV's informative article Aroma Trumps THC as Consumer Lure. It will make you smarter than your cannabis industry competition!
Did you enjoy Hart Steinfeld: Buying Cannabis on THC Percentage is Stupid? Are you a cannabis industry professional? Check out Higher Learning LV's Deep Dive Subscription that features dozens of long-form articles based on the latest peer-reviewed scientific research. Priced to accommodate personal and enterprise training budgets.