Selecting a cannabis product without the terpene results.
So you've been learning about terpenes and cannabinoids and how the combination of those two or the profile of those in a cannabis product really are responsible for the effects you experience. If 'terpenes" sound unfamiliar to you, or you don't know what those are, go check out our other FAQ video right here, "What are the active compounds in cannabis?" We talk more about terpenes and you can get a better understanding of what they are exactly, and how they really influence the effects you experience when consuming cannabis.
So you know about terpenes and you know about cannabinoids, but what do you do if those aren't listed on the label or the packaging? A lot of companies now are testing their products for terpenes or putting those on the label, but some still aren't. So there's a couple things you can do, depending on the type of cannabis product, to still be able to predict what effects you might experience.
So let's start with cannabis flower. The cannabis flower is, normally in most states, you can view it, you can open it, look at it, and smell it. A lot more companies and farms are getting their products tested for terpenes and then putting that on the label, but everybody isn't doing that yet. So smelling it is the key part of trying to predict what effects you might experience. Terpenes are very aromatic. It's what give cannabis, different cannabis strains, their different smells. And so as you get better over time, you can really predict what terpenes are in cannabis flower just from smelling it. And at the beginning when you're not as sure, or your terpene palate isn't as well developed, you can still get a pretty good prediction on how that cannabis strain might make you feel.
There is a saying that goes "The nose knows." So from smelling a cannabis product, you might not know which terpenes are in it, but your body will tell you if it wants to consume that cannabis flower, basically. If you feel drawn to that smell, you know if something feels, when you smell it, it's kind of fresh, maybe a little uplifting, citrusy or even minty, that cannabis product or that flower will probably be more stimulating. And on the other end of the spectrum, if something smells, a strain smells a little earthy, maybe floral, maybe even musky, that one's probably going to be more relaxing or calming or sedating. And so really follow your gut instinct, and if you smell cannabis flower and it kind of makes you pull back or hesitate and not really like that smell, don't buy that flower. Most likely you won't enjoy that experience as much as you would from another cannabis strain.
A couple of other types of cannabis products, edibles and vape cartridges, can be really difficult to predict what terpenes are in those products, if they have terpenes in them, by look - if they're not on the label or the packaging, just by looking at the product. Edibles and vape cartridges are in sealed packaging, so there's really not a way to smell what terpenes might be in there. They also have other flavors, other smells that are going to mask the smell of terpenes. And so that can be really difficult around edibles and vape cartridges. And hopefully you can find a product with the terpene results on the label.
Another category of products, tinctures - again, might be sealed or packaged so you can't open them and try to smell them. Maybe the store has a sample that you could open or smell or look at. You may be able to smell a terpene profile in a tincture depending on how it's made and what it's infused with. There may be things in there that mask the smell and dilute the terpenes but you might be able to get an estimate of what effects you can expect from that product.
One thing you can definitely do for every type of cannabis product is ask the budtender if they've consumed that product before, and how it made them feel. Anecdotal stories from other people consuming cannabis products, and correlating that to how it might make you feel as well, is a good method for predicting effects and kind of deciding what is the right cannabis product that you should try or purchase. Again, everybody's body is different. So if your budtender was very relaxed or calm from a certain type of cannabis product, you could have the opposite experience from that, so you do have to take that with a grain of salt. But either way, always ask the budtender if they've tried the product and also how it made them feel.
If you want to learn more about terpenes and which terpenes produce which types of smells, and also what effects you might experience from consuming them - go to the footer of our website. We have a link down there called "Terpenes" in the footer and we have a page where we listed some of the most common terpenes found in cannabis, what they smell like, how they might make you feel, so you can better develop your palate for terpenes over time.
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