Is THC level the best indicator of how high I’ll get?

Erica Nahorniak
Erica Nahorniak Photograph: Erica Nahorniak

THC is certainly a big contributor; it can stimulate more than 200 receptors in your brain. But when it comes to cannabis flower, the main factor is actually the terpene makeup and content.

Terpenes are natural essential oils that have pharmacological benefits. When cannabis flower is grown and stored properly, it retains a large amount of these, which will ultimately enhance its effects. They allow the cannabinoids to cross the blood-brain barrier more easily. A low-THC flower product high in terpenes can be more effective than a product high in THC but low in terpenes.

Common terpenes such as myrcene and limonene can relax your muscles and elevate your mood. But your biology plays a part. Someone who, say, gets headaches at the smell of citrus will not find limonene pleasing. To get a sense of what offers you the best high, ask your budtender what the top terpenes are in the strains you like.

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