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Terpene Profiles May Shape the Future of Cannabis

Knowing which terpenes are the most prominent gives more insight into the likely effects of THC levels, strain names, and indica/sativa designations.

This story originally appeared on Cannabis & Tech Today

It's fascinating how people choose their cannabis products, especially terpenes and flower. It wasn't that long ago when the only option was cannabis flower via a local unregulated dealer, and likely only one or two options were available at that. The "I will take what I can get" strains were the most popular because, well, that was all that was available.

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Zoom forward to today, and cannabis is legally available in several markets for medical and/or adult-use purposes, and the options are staggering.

RELATED: How Terpenes Could Revolutionize The Cannabis Industry As We Know It

THC Hunting

Arguably, the most common factor for consumers and patients purchasing flower in legal markets is the THC level associated with the particular flower, rather than terpenes. Veteran consumers typically want the strongest THC flower available. For rookies and newbies, the opposite is often the case.

The problem with that method is that THC testing levels can be misleading. Many producers know that THC levels drive sales, so they will get multiple tests performed and go with whatever test result comes back with the greatest amount of THC, even if it's not necessarily accurate.

Another popular method for selection is searching for specific strain names and/or indica, sativa, or hybrid designations. Those factors can also be misleading because of how much cannabis crops vary from grower to grower and harvest to harvest. A much more applicable set of criteria is becoming more popular at dispensaries, which is good news for patients and consumers.

RELATED: The Next Big Thing in Cannabis? Terpenes

Terpene Profiles

Cannabis plants contain high concentrations of terpenes. Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in plants. Knowing which terpenes are the most prominent in a particular cannabis sample provides far more insight into the likely effects of the sample compared to THC levels, strain names, and indica/sativa designations. It is estimated that there are more than 100 terpenes found in the cannabis plant, with each having its own distinct characteristics.

For example, the terpene linalool has a strong sedative and calming effect. The same can be said for myrcene. If those particular effects are desirable, looking for cannabis terpene profiles that are high in linalool and myrcene is a much more scientific approach than looking for an indica-dominant flower that may or may not possess the commonly associated effects.

This article was provided by the International Cannabis Business Conference.