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Don’t Shop By THC Levels: Here Are The Top 3 Cannabis Strains Based On Terpenes

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

Many cannabis enthusiasts are slowly realizing that there is more to cannabis than cannabinoids. Terpenes are no longer being overlooked and are now gaining their deserved recognition as major players in cannabis. They affect the taste, smell, and effect of the individual strain. This makes them very important in influencing a cannabis user’s choice of preferred strain.

Cannabis plants play host to over 200 terpenes, over 100 cannabinoids, and many flavonoids. Knowing the cannabis strain that contains an adequate amount of your desired terpene is another ball game entirely. This is why we will be looking at the top three cannabis strains available right now based on terpenes.

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Cannabis Terpenes    

Terpenes are aromatic molecules that are quite known in the plant kingdom. With over 40,000 terpenes in existence, they are equally important in citrus fruits as they are in pine forests. Cannabis terpenes however play multiple roles as they tell the smoker a great deal about the cannabis strain. By giving the strain a unique taste and aroma, you can say that terpenes give the identity of the strain.

Cannabinoids like THC and CBD are easily ascribed the power of determining the effects of a cannabis strain. THC gives rise to a psychoactive euphoric feeling while CBD produces a calm and relaxed feeling in the users.

Research however has also shown that terpenes play a role in the psychoactive effect of the plant. The synergy between cannabinoids and terpenes produces an entourage effect to further augment the physical and mental effects of cannabis strains. This makes the knowledge of the terpene profile of cannabis plants very important as it can be used to determine expected effects.

Top 3 Cannabis Strains By Terpenes

Some terpenes occur more frequently than others in cannabis strains. The percentage of these terpenes in cannabis strains also differs from strain to strain. We will focus on three of the major cannabis terpenes today and check out three strains with notable quantities of such terpene.

This is the commonest terpene in cannabis strains. It gives an earthy, musky, and spicy taste to most strains. It also adds a pinch of sweetness which is why it is characterized as a “complex” taste. Myrcene has also been researched to have a role in producing the relaxing effect that is common to indica strains. The top 3 cannabis strains with high myrcene content are Blue Dream, White Widow, and OG Kush.

Blue Dream

This hybrid strain gives sativa-like strain despite containing high levels of myrcene. Its parent strains are Blueberry and Haze which accounts for the high myrcene levels. The strain is perfect for social gatherings and daytime use. It opens up the creative and artistic genius within with its high THC content of 19%.

White Widow

The popularity of this particular strain started in the 1900s when it experienced a boom across the cannabis world. White Widow has different features which show that it has a blend of indica and sativa genetics. The high levels of myrcene in this strain synergize with its high THC content to give an intense euphoric sensation.

OG Kush

This iconic strain originates from Northern California which indicates that it possesses unique genetics. The strain has spicy and earthy notes which are indicative of its high percentage of myrcene. Entourage effect from this myrcene and THC gives a unique sensation that takes over the entire body.

RELATED: Want The Best Weed In The Dispensary? Forget THC Percentage And Focus On This Instead

rolling a marijuana joint
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Limonene is common among different types of citrus fruits. It accounts for the sweetness and pleasant characteristic taste of citrus fruits. In cannabis plants, limonene acts as a precursor for other terpenes. It also aids euphoric feeling by interacting with serotonin receptors in the brain.

Sour Diesel

The high level of limonene in Sour Diesel leaves a strong imprint on the sour taste buds of the tongue. The invigorating effect of limonene helps it to impart a strong surge of energy throughout the nervous system. The parents of Sour Diesel are Diesel and Northern Lights and the strain has a high THC content with lesser CBD content.

Do-Si-Dos

This unique strain has high limonene content with accounts for its strong bursts of sweet citrus tones. The high of the strain has a rare balance of euphoria and relaxation which makes it a special strain in all respects. It is an indica-dominant strain with 25% THC so be sure that this strain will satisfy all your needs.

Lemon Shining Silver Haze

This is another strain with a high percentage of limonene with intense effects. It is perfect for daytime users as it provides the needed energy to get your day going. You can do no wrong by starting your day with the strain and a fresh cup of coffee.

This is a common terpene readily found in nature. As the name suggests, it gives pine forests their characteristic scent. This scent is also present in many cannabis strains to give distinct notes of pine and wood. Pinene produces a calm and relaxing effect and can help to modulate the high of THC.

RELATED: Why Terpene Profiles May Shape The Future Of Cannabis

marijuana dispensary
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Pineapple Express

This is another special strain from the unique Kush dynasty. The high pinene content of the strain gives a blend of fruity and tropical goodness. High levels of pinene work in synergy with THC to promote alertness and mental clarity.

Jack Herer

This strain got its name from that popular cannabis activist Jack Herer. It is a sativa-dominant strain that contains 20% THC and a great deal of pinene to complement it. This makes the strain perfect to get your day started as you are sure to have a clear head and focused mind.

Critical Mass

Afghan and Skunk 1 were crossed to give Critical Mass. This accounts for its high THC content of 22% and strong euphoric effects. Its high pinene content further balances this out to promote relaxation.

Bottom Line

Terpenes are a very important component of cannabis strains and many users are already catching on to this. Terpene profile has now become a factor to consider before choosing a cannabis strain as it determines a great deal. A cannabis strain with the right terpene profile can easily be the answer to all your questions.

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



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Cannabinoids

Beyond CBD And THC: The Hottest Cannabinoids And Terpenes You Should Know

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

Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the most widely researched compounds in the cannabis plant, and for good reason. CBD is renowned for its anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic, and anti-epileptic properties while THC gives users the high we all so love, but also has powerful therapeutic benefits.

Both compounds have shown tremendous success through both anecdotal evidence as well as clinical research when it comes to dozens of ailments: from cancer to Parkinson’s disease, everyday stress and anxiety, depression, PTSD, nausea, insomnia, and so much more.

Will Congress Boost Hemp Total THC Limit To 1%?
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However, in recent years, researchers have discovered that there are other notable compounds in cannabis that are just as important as CBD and THC. In fact, many of them are even more significant for some people depending on the conditions they may have. Because of this, cannabis product manufacturers have been zoning in on these cannabinoids and terpenes that offer subtle yet powerful healing properties that you may be interested in exploring.

Consumers who live in states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana can find an abundance of oils, food products, drinks, and even lotions that are powered by terpenes or cannabinoids alongside CBD and/or THC, are on the rise. On the other hand, in the past, consumers would seek out products specifically for the CBD and THC.

Terpenes

Terpenes are compounds in plants – not just in cannabis – that are responsible for its aroma and flavor profile. These occur naturally in the plant, and they served an evolutionary purpose: to ward off predators or attract pollinators.

Each strain or phenotype of cannabis has its own unique ratio of terpenes as well as cannabinoids. There are some 50,000 known terpenes today, but the cannabis plant has around 250, though scientists may soon discover more. Terpenes may be derived from the plant in essential oil form, though they can also be derived from other plants that contain the same terpenes such as lavender or pine. Where the terpene comes from will impact its consistency and purity.

RELATED: Don’t Shop By THC Levels: Here Are The Top 3 Cannabis Strains Based On Terpenes

The best way to consume terpenes are through inhalation, edibles or drinks, and topicals. They are naturally volatile and potent, so one doesn’t need much in order to feel its effects.

Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular terpenes and their health benefits:

  • Terpinolene is not common nor is it abundant in cannabis, but you only need a small amount to experience its benefits. It has an herbaceous and floral aroma, and it is known for relaxing and sedating effects.
  • β-Caryophyllene is an anti-inflammatory terpene that also has antibacterial, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. Research has uncovered its potential abilities to fight against neurodegenerative diseases because it protects the brain from inflammation as well. Other studies show that it can help treat the symptoms of multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Myrcene is one of the most abundant terpenes in marijuana plants. It has an earthy and musky aroma but cannabis consumers appreciate its sedative effects. Myrcene is one of the compounds responsible for the couch-lock that users experience with some cannabis strains.
  • Humulene is common in cannabis as well as hops. It has a mildly spicy, musky, and earthy scent. When it comes to its medicinal benefits, humulene is renowned for its antibacterial properties and inflammation-fighting characteristics though some studies show promise in its ability for shrinking tumors.
  • Limonene is easily recognizable because of its sweet, fresh, and citrusy scent. You can detect limonene in lemony strains of cannabis which are associated with its mood-uplifting properties and mood enhancement, as well as its ability to relieve stress. It also has powerful anti-depressant properties that are ideal for anyone struggling with emotional distress; limonene is also gastroprotective and anti-fungal benefits.
  • Linalool has a woody, spicy, and floral scent. It is one of the oldest-known natural sedatives but aside from that, it has other important properties: linalool is an anti-convulsant, anti-anxiety, anti-depressant, and a muscle relaxant.
THC oil
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Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids are unique, naturally-occurring compounds in the cannabis plant. While scientists currently know of almost 500 different cannabinoids, we have only identified around 70 of them.

The most famous of these is of course, THC, which is the compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of the plant. CBD is the second most famous, which we mentioned earlier. All cannabinoids work by interacting with the cannabinoid receptors found outside of cells in the human body, most of which are concentrated in the central nervous system. The cannabinoid receptors are known as CB1 and CB2.

Just like terpenes, there are specific cannabinoid products that are now available on the market. Each of them have their own cannabinoid profile which has various benefits for the human mind and body.

Here are some popular cannabinoids to check out:

CBG: Cannabigerol (CBG) is the grandfather of THC and CBD, because chemically speaking, it serves as the foundation and building block that the cannabis plant uses to produce these other compounds. However, on its own, research shows that it may have numerous benefits especially for anxiety, treating IBS, tumors, and bacterial conditions.

THCV: Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) possesses a similar molecular makeup with THC, though it has less carbon atoms. It can potentially be intoxicating though since it’s so little, it’s nearly impossible to feel anything. It’s widely used as an appetite suppressant, so if you are trying to lose a little weight, it would be beneficial to look for products that have THCV. Research has shown that it can also be beneficial for diabetics in managing blood glucose.

RELATED: CBD, CBDa & CBGa: What’s The Difference?

CBN: Cannabinol (CBN) is a cannabinoid created when THC has degraded because it was exposed to light, or when your cannabis has aged. However, if you ingest old cannabis, the CBN content is mildly sedating which can come in handy for people struggling with insomnia. Some researchers believe that even a small amount of CBN is adequate for relaxing the body compared to a 10mg pill of Valium.

CBC: Cannabichromene (CBC) is the second most abundant cannabinoid in most cannabis strains, after THC and CBD. It was discovered in the 1960’s, and while there is still more research needed for this cannabinoid, scientists do know that it enhances the benefits of other cannabinoids especially CBG, CBN, THC, and CBD through the entourage effect. It’s also interesting to note that current research says CBC is 10 times more powerful than CBD when it comes to treating stress and anxiety.

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



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Organic, Vegan, Non-GMO? Applying Nutritional Terms to Cannabis Products

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Nutritional terms are something we see every day, so much so that they’ve almost begun blending into the background. Organic, non-GMO, vegan, all-natural, raw, superfood, sustainable, and so on, are words you see and a large percentage of labels on consumable products. We tend to think about food in relation to these terms, but they’re prevalent in the cannabis industry as well. For example, organic weed products can sell for two or three times more than conventional items, but the process of creating organic, non-GMO, vegan weed products is complicated and costly.  

To stay current on everything important happening in the industry, subscribe to the THC Weekly Newsletter. Also, it’ll get you premium access to deals on cannabis flowers, vapes, edibles, and much more! We’ve also got standout offers on cannabinoids, like HHC-O, Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP HHC, which won’t kill your bank account. Head over to our “Best-of” lists to get these deals, and remember to enjoy responsibly!


Common nutritional terms and their meanings  

Let’s start with a few basic terms you may hear when discussing food and other comparable products. The original “organic ideal” was to eat only local, seasonal, sustainable produce, but all these terms have different meanings (although a lot of overlap exists) and sometimes it can be a challenge to incorporate all these components into the final product. The term organic refers to the production of consumable goods without using fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial agents. Any exceptions are listed in the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances.  

Local refers to foods grown within a certain radius that are consumed relatively close to where it was produced. The exact range varies from a few miles to about one hundred, depending on the product and local regulations. Seasonal means the food was grown “in season” and eaten when ripe, not imported produce. Sustainable, in the broadest sense, it refers to how well something maintains itself over a longer period of time. In food, it means the produce was grown in a way that does not deplete the earth around it of natural resources.  

Then we have non-GMO, which can get a bit complicated in terms of application. “GMO” stands for Genetically Modified Organism, and is an umbrella term used to describe any plant, animal, or other organism whose genetic material has been alerted in some unnatural way. Non-GMO implies the final product does not have any ingredients that were modified in a laboratory, but roughly 70% of products on supermarket shelves are, in fact, GMO.  

Vegan is self-explanatory but for the sake of being thorough, vegan items are made without using any type of animal byproducts or animal testing. The cutoff on what exactly is vegan and what isn’t can vary for some people. For example, some vegans still consume honey while many do not. Same with eggs. Some have certain parameters for when they’ll consume such products. For another example, I have chickens at home, 8 hens, no roosters. So, all the eggs produced by my hens are non-fertilized, not viable, and would go to waste if not consumed by someone.  

Similarly, raw food is completely unprocessed, similar to non-GMO, and “natural” has been deemed by the FDA to mean that “nothing artificial or synthetic (including all color additives regardless of source) has been included in, or has been added to, a food that would not normally be expected to be in that food.”  

Organic, Non-GMO, vegan cannabis products? 

An upcoming movement within the cannabis industry, #whatsinmyweed focuses on the connection between shopping for cannabis vs shopping for food items. In both the cannabis and food industries, consumers are spending 60% to 109% more on organic, non-GMO, raw, natural, (healthy) options. It makes sense to see this crossover considering both cannabis and food are consumable products, and if we’re promoting cannabis as a substance for wellness, it makes no sense for it to be loaded with pesticides, heavy metals, mold, and other contaminants that are detrimental to human health.  

Longtime cannabis industry operators can vouch for this, stating that craft organic options are selling for more, and at a much higher rate, than bottom shelf strains. This can be seen in the B2B sector as well, with cultivators struggling to sell bottom and mid-shelf flower. The price for that quality, in some markets, has dropped to as low as $100-$200 per pound, and that’s IF a buyer is even found.  

“The organic side is really coming into its own,” said Liz Geisleman, CEO of 710 Spirits, a Denver company that sells organic and conventional solvents to extractors nationwide. “Organic cannabis is coming fast and furious.” 

And it’s not just artisan buds that are fetching those higher prices. Edibles, topicals, and many other product types are switching to healthier alternatives as well. These days, you’re more like to be able to find gummies that are flavored with natural fruit juices rather than artificial flavorings, or sweetened with real cane sugar as opposed to corn syrup. Obviously a gummy, is a snack and not something we can consider a health food, but eliminating bad ingredients, even if it’s only little by little, does still make a difference in the long run.  

“Being organic, it’s a bit of a slower approach,” said David Bernard, vice president for growing operations for The Green Organic Dutchman in Mississauga, Ontario. “But once the systems are in place, you have a really healthy method of producing cannabis, and as the years go by, the margins increase.” 

Production standards  

When it comes to creating organic cannabis products, naturally, it all starts with the way the plant is grown. But with no true production standards in place, and very little in the way of organic certifications, what exactly constitutes “organic cannabis”? It’s important to note that just because cannabis products can’t get a UDSA organic-certified label, business owners can still choose to abide by those standards in their cultivation and production practices. The problem at that point, is trusting whether the companies advertising “organic” products are self-regulating and actually committing to those standards. 

Luckily, there are some exceptions for this lack of oversight. Organic recognition for organic marijuana (more than 0.3% THC) from the USDA is obviously not going to happen until its federally legal, but hemp (less than 0.3% THC) is legal as per the 2018 farm bill, and can in fact, sport the organic label. Additionally, at the state level, we are seeing more of a push for organic standards in cannabis production, as demand continues to grow, and local governments try to thwart the still-thriving black markets.  

Take California, for instance, where the state’s Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) recently released information for the new OCal Program, which is meant to establish regulatory framework to create “comparable-to-organic” standards in the cannabis industry. In Maine, the Organic Farmer & Gardener Association has launched a Certified Clean Cannabis Program (MC3) that would offer third-party verification for cannabis companies who claim their products are organic. Georgia (medical), Washington, and Massachusetts are working it implement their own standards and regulations as well.  

Organic extractions 

The next step in the creation of organic cannabis products, beyond flower, is extraction and processing. Certain extraction methods, careless manufacturing, or even using the wrong cleaning agents can ruin a product and strip of its organic label.  

cbd extraction
Photo courtesy of Green Mill Supercritical

Choosing an extraction method is key, and hydrocarbons like butane are out of the question. So that leaves: CO2, organic ethanol, or solventless (such as cold-press extraction); all of which have their ups and downs. If we take solventless extraction, those methods are intrinsically organic, but they’re slow and it’s difficult to scale how much you’re going to get at the end.  

Organic ethanol is another option, but not a very cost-effective one. Organic ethanol can cost anywhere from two to ten times as much conventional ethanol, so that’s not an option for man companies. “It’s not really cost effective at this point to use organic ethanol,” said Smoke Wallin of Vertical Cos., a multistate marijuana operator in Agoura Hills, California, and CEO of its hemp-derived CBD spinoff, Vertical Wellness. “The market is there,” he said. “The future play for processing is going to be significant growth on the organic side.” 

Wallin’s company, and many others, are opting for CO2 extraction simply because it’s the most affordable option that still falls under the umbrella of organic. During CO2 extractions, pressurized carbon dioxide is used to draw out naturally occurring phytocannabinoids and terpenes from raw cannabis flower.  

Final thoughts 

The way it’s looking now, the future of cannabis is in the high-end, artisan-style, organic, non-GMO, natural products. This pattern has already been seen in the food industry. Since the USDA began requiring companies to print nutrition facts on their products, consumers became increasingly conscientious of what they were putting in their bodies; it’s no surprise this mindset eventually spilled over into other industries, like cannabis.

Welcome to the site! Thanks for making it to CBDtesters.co, the top internet spot offering up fully-rounded independent news covering the growing cannabis and psychedelics industries. Stop by frequently to stay up-to-date on these dynamic industries, and make sure to sign up to The THC Weekly Newsletter, to ensure you’re never late on getting the news.





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Cannabis Vaping Among Teens Higher Than Ever, Especially Among High School Seniors

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By Maureen Meehan

Cannabis vaping is increasing as the most popular method of cannabis delivery among all adolescents in the U.S., as is the frequency of vaping, according to research done at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

The study found that the frequency of vaping cannabis among adolescents from all demographic groups is reported at six or more times per month, and rising faster than occasional use. Those who vape and smoke nicotine are more than 40 times more likely to also vape and smoke cannabis, according to the study published in the journal Addiction.

Vaping In Teens Continues To Increase And Could Have Long Lasting Impact
Photo by Toan Nguyen via Unsplash

Relatively Unstudied Until Now

Trends in vaping use have largely been unexamined including frequency, emerging disparities and use with other substances — all critical information said Katherine Keyes, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School.

“Heavy and frequent use of cannabis is increasing among U.S. adolescents, and vaped systems for products for both cannabis and nicotine are growing in number so understanding the prevalence and patterns of frequent cannabis vaping is important public health information for prevention,” Dr. Keyes said.

“Given rising concerns about cannabis vaping in terms of safety and potential for transition to cannabis use disorder especially at frequent levels of use, these results indicate a necessity for public health intervention and increased regulation.”

The Study

The findings are based on the annual survey Monitoring the Future, in which a population of 51,052 high schoolers were randomly selected and invited to participate for two years, per Columbia’s Public Health Now.

According to Keyes, tobacco use and e-cigarettes, as well as binge drinking, are strongly linked to frequent cannabis use – both vaping and non-vaping. The evidence indicates that young adults who use nicotine, especially through vaporizers, are more likely to later vape marijuana.

RELATED: Cannabis Use Among Teens Drastically Declined, Confirms Government-Funded Study

In fact, adolescents who reported smoking and vaping nicotine on more than 10 occasions of binge drinking, were 42 times and 10 times more likely to report past 30-day cannabis use with vaping, respectively, compared to no use.

vaping
Photo by Ina Lihaca / EyeEm/Getty Images

“Given that it is easier for adolescents to conceal vaping than cannabis smoking, this mode of cannabis use may facilitate more frequent use,” Keyes said.

Prevalence increased across grades, with the largest burden among high school seniors for whom past-30-day prevalence almost tripled from 5 percent (2017) to 14 percent (2019). The one-year increase in this grade from 2018 to 2019 (7.5 percent to 14 percent) is the second-largest one-year increase in any type of substance use prevalence ever tracked by Monitoring the Future.

RELATED: Teen Vaping Continues To Increase And Could Have These Long Lasting Impacts

“This persisting prevalence of daily cannabis use, which in 2020 use was higher than any year since 1981, is of further alarm for several reasons, Keyes said. “Heavy levels of cannabis use are associated with adverse cognitive and social outcomes for youth, as well as long-term trajectories of drug use that may have adverse health and other consequences.”

Keyes added, “As cannabis legalization continues across U.S. states, and as products, delivery systems, potency and marketing proliferate within a for-profit industry, increased attention to youth trends, including investment in sustained and evidence-based prevention and intervention, is increasingly urgent.”

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



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