When it comes to evaluating the quality of cannabis, the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) percentage is often a topic of discussion. While THC percentage is indeed a significant factor, it is crucial to understand that it is not the sole indicator of cannabis quality. In this blog, we will explore why THC percentage alone is an inadequate indicator of potency and how other elements contribute to the quality and effects of cannabis.
The entourage effect of Cannabis
THC is the primary compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis, but assuming that higher THC automatically leads to a more potent high oversimplifies the plant’s complexities. Why? Contrary to popular perception, cannabis connoisseurs and industry insiders recognize that the entourage effect plays a crucial role in determining the quality of cannabis. The entourage effect refers to the idea that all the components in cannabis, including cannabinoids and terpenes, work synergistically to create a unique and comprehensive experience.
However, cannabis quality encompasses various other aspects that contribute to the overall experience. Neglecting these factors can lead to an incomplete assessment of a strain’s quality. Here are some additional elements to consider:
Terpenes and Flavors
Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in cannabis that contribute to its distinct flavors, aromas, and effects. Each strain of cannabis contains a unique combination of terpenes, which can greatly influence the overall experience. For example, the terpene limonene, highly present in most of our psychoactive genetics (see Lemon Sorbet, Jack Attack, Royal Glue) gives cannabis a citrusy scent, is associated with uplifting and mood-enhancing effects. On the other hand, the terpene myrcene is known for its relaxing and sedative properties. By paying attention to the terpene profile of a strain, consumers can select cannabis varieties that align with their desired flavors and effects.
While THC and CBD are the most well-known cannabinoids, cannabis contains a plethora of other cannabinoids that contribute to its effects. CBG (cannabigerol), CBN (cannabinol), and many more cannabinoids each have their own unique properties and potential therapeutic benefits. The presence and balance of these cannabinoids in a strain can influence its overall potency and effects.
The cultivation practices employed in the growth of cannabis have a significant impact on its overall quality. Factors such as genetics, cultivation environment, nutrient regimen, and harvesting techniques can greatly influence the final product. Well-grown cannabis tends to have better structure, potency, flavor, and overall effects, regardless of the THC percentage. Cultivators who prioritize sustainable practices tend to produce higher-quality cannabis, as they avoid the use of harmful chemicals and focus on preserving the plant’s natural attributes.
Overall Experience of Cannabis Consumption
Cannabis is a highly subjective experience, and personal preferences play a crucial role in determining the desired effects. While THC percentage provides a general idea of the strain’s potency, the overall experience goes beyond a single metric. Factors such as the strain’s effects, duration of the high, onset time, and consistency of the experience can vary significantly between individuals. Some consumers may prefer strains that provide relaxation and pain relief, while others may seek strains that enhance creativity and sociability. By considering individual preferences and desired effects, consumers can choose strains that align with their specific needs and expectations.
While THC percentage is an important aspect of evaluating cannabis quality, it is not the sole determinant. The entourage effect, terpenes, cannabinoid profile, cultivation methods, and personal preferences all contribute to the overall experience. By recognizing the multidimensional nature of cannabis quality, individuals can make more informed decisions when selecting strains. Embracing a comprehensive approach that considers THC percentage alongside other factors will lead to a more satisfying and well-rounded cannabis experience.