THC isn’t everything

I love my job. Managing a growing dispensary in an unknown market is thrilling, to say the least. I experience different strains every day, meet new farms and farmers, and get to sell a product that helps customers.

The only real downside is the focus on THC percentage. The vast majority of customers simply look for the highest THC percent and go with that strain. They don’t take into account terpenes, size and structure of the bud, or even the memory that accompanies its smell.

There are so many factors that attribute to cannabis effecting your body and mind the way you want – or rather, need – it to. It’s not always the THC. In fact, I’d argue that the THC percent is one of the least important factors.

One of the leading factors to a great high for myself is how the flower smells. What emotion does it trigger? Are there any memories to that particular scent? Does that earthy, pine scent remind you of hiking? Laying in the grass? Doing yard work? What about the fruity, citrus scent? Picnics? Summer? A mai tai on the coast of Maui?


Breath deep and imagine yourself somewhere else. Are you trail running or watching Netflix? Does your mind feel creative or introspective? Imagine yourself inhaling, exhaling, relaxing – where are you now? Where does that smell, those terpenes, the tiny hairs and bud structure take you?

If you grab a strain that’s 28% THC and heavily inhale its aroma, and nothing happens, chances are that won’t be the best high for you. Terpenes are not only scientifically proven to elicit physiological changes in our bodies, they are also tied to moments in our lives; memories, the same way your favorite dish reminds me of your mother’s cooking.

Or how the smell of the ocean reminds me of home.

These scent-triggered memories are key to your enjoyment of cannabis. They’re tied in directly with the plant’s terpenes, which again, actually do something. For example, Pinene is a piney, sharp smell that triggers memory retention and alertness. It’s also great for inflammation and asthma. Limonene is a citrus terpene known to elevate your mood and relieve stress. Used to combat depression, anxiety, and even gastrointestinal problems.

Point is, if you’re looking for a mood boost, perhaps that 22% White Widow (caryophyllene, no physical effects) isn’t going to work as well as the 15% Durban Poison. Maybe you shouldn’t immediately grab the 28% Blue Dream (myrcene, sedating and relaxing) and instead buy a gram or two of Super Lemon Haze.

Understand what you’re purchasing. Be an educated consumer. Research this medicine, just like you’d do with any other form of medication. Again, it’s not solely about the THC percentage. There are thousands of factors involved, most of them we don’t even know about yet.

Take your time. Smell the bud. Allow your mind to wander to the place that smell takes you. You’ll thank me for it later.

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