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Does THC Potency Matter? Here’s What’s Really Important When Choosing Marijuana



By Jelena Martinovic

Just as carefully choosing the perfect wine to pair with your meal, selecting your favorite cannabis strain is highly dependent on a variety of factors closely related to an individual’s preferences and the effects they’re seeking.

When it comes to an individual experience inhaling marijuana flower, a pleasant aroma can be a determining factor to a more positive outcome, rather than THC potency, dose or terpene expression, a new study is suggesting.

Published this month in the journal Psychoactives, the report is titled “The Nose Knows: Aroma, but Not THC, Mediates The Subjective Effects of Smoked and Vaporized Cannabis Flower” and co-authored by Dr. Ethan Russo.

cannabis smell terpenes
Photo by Sharon Mccutcheon / EyeEm/Getty Images

The Study

The group of scientists led by Russo was focused on identifying which marijuana features affect its overall appeal, reported Cannabis Health.

RELATED: Why You Should Smell Your Weed Before Buying

As part of the research, volunteers consumed several commercially available cannabis flower products and complete an anonymous survey.

The Results

Based on the data analyzed by independent researchers, a ‘pleasant subjective aroma’ seems to be a “predictive of pleasant subjective effects,” the paper said. Surprisingly, terpene expression as well as THC potency and dose proved to be a less important indicator of the quality of consumed cannabis.

It seems that those who consumed smaller amounts of marijuana enjoyed it more as they were likely to report higher appeal scores.

RELATED: New Study Just Busted Myth That High Potency THC Is Bad

The greatest overall appeal was evidenced in those aged 60 and older, while males reported enjoying cannabis more than women, as they were more likely to report the appealing effects of THC.

smelling weed
Photo by Heath Korvola / Getty Images


Russo and his colleagues said their findings are a step toward educating consumers about making safer choices when it comes to cannabis products. After all, high-THC consumers comprise the majority of all cannabis users, according to data from Flowhub. This study is a step toward minimizing that trend and reducing the risks of THC overconsumption.

“With a constantly growing worldwide legal cannabis consumer base, there is a great need for consumer education about how to consume safely and responsibly,” researchers said in the paper. “Aligned with harm reduction approaches, these blinded, unbiased results suggest that optimal recreational enjoyment may be achieved by using small amounts of low-potency cannabis with a pleasant aroma, particularly when used once per week or less.”

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.

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Dry Haul – Taste the terpenes of your cannabis by taking a dry haul




Whether you’re a cannabis newbie, a longtime stoner, or calling yourself a cannaseur, you should be familiar with the term dry haul. If you don’t, then now is the time to get familiar with dry hauling as it allows you to taste your cannabis’ terpenes completely.

So, let’s look into practicing the dry haul and how this can help you evaluate your cannabis.

What is a dry haul?

dry haul
Photo by Canva

As its name already implies, dry hauling means to take a puff of your joint before lighting it (dry). The best way to do this is by removing the excessive paper at the end of your joint, as this creates more airflow, enabling more of the Terpenes to land on your taste buds.

The Entourage effect and Terpenes

cannabis terpenes
Photo by Canva

If you’re versed in Cannabis, you should have heard about the so-called entourage effect. 

The entourage effect is a theory that suggests that all of the phytochemicals of a cannabis plant, such as Cannabinoids (THC, CBD, CBG, CBN, etc.), Terpenes (Limonene, Myrcene, Linalool etc.), flavonoids and others work in synergy to create even better effect and healing properties. 

Or simply put, the entire plant chemistry is more beneficial than having only THC and CBD.

So, it is speculated that the main components that are actually responsible for creating a more sedative or stimulating effect type aren’t the cannabinoids but the Terpenes. 

Terpenes are the essential oils that the glandular Trichome heads on your buds produce.
Once these oils are exposed to heat or air, they turn into a gas that releases into the air.

These gases are what give your cannabis bud its distinct aroma. 

Terpene gases and flavours

Photo by Canva

Besides causing the complex scents of a cannabis bud, the Terpenes are also responsible for the taste of your weed. But, when you’re lighting your joint up, you’re combusting the entire plant. 

By combusting the plant, you inhale not only the tasty essential oils but also the plant material and its contaminants. That’s why the best way to taste the terpenes fully is by taking a dry haul.

So, starting your sessions with tasting the unlit plant will allow you to experience the pure terpene gases without their change through combustion.

How taking a dry haul helps you assess the terpene content of your products

terpene content
Photo by Canva

Now that we know that the dry haul can help us sense the Terpenes responsible for the effect and the flavour of our cannabis, let’s explore how we can use this practice to evaluate the quality of our buds.

There are many different aspects that we have to look at when determining the quality of a bud. In our opinion, the two most important ones are the aroma and the flavour of our weed. 

Because the aroma comes from the Terpene gases, we can expect to face complex effects and a great flavour when smelling intense and diverse cannabis scents.

The same applies to the dry haul. When we taste our unlit joint and perceive intense flavours like gas, skunk, pine, lemon and many others, we are likely to experience more diverse effects and flavours.

Keeping the complexity of the dry haul in mind, we can then light our joint up and compare the smoke flavour to it. This allows us to evaluate the smoke quality of our weed because properly manufactured cannabis will have a smoke flavour that tastes similar to the dry haul.

When it comes to cannabis and its effects, you should always follow your nose to define and look out for the aroma profiles that work best for you. That’s why we especially recommend doing a dry haul when you purchased a pre-rolled joint.

You usually won’t be able to get much smell off a pre-roll, so the dry haul will help you indicate if you bought a good product or not.

Add the dry haul to your routine

Photo by Canva

As you can see, tasting the pure Terpene flavours of your cannabis by taking a dry haul can tell you a lot about the quality and the effects a certain product is likely to produce.

Besides, it also helps you build your own palette of cannabis flavours, so you become better at assessing your weed.

Lastly, we recommend starting a cannabis journal to take notes about the flavours, aroma, and effects you perceived. This practice will help you to define the exact cannabis profiles that work best for you.

Let’s discuss your favourite cannabis aromas and how they make you feel. Is it the skunky strains that knock you on the sofa? Or the citrusy ones that make you run around your house?

Let us know in the comments, on Instagram or our Facebook page.

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