Here’s something your Mom didn’t teach you about cannabis. When it comes to getting high, the cannabis connoisseur doesn’t focus on THC (or more accurately THCA.) Sophisticated consumers know the most elevated experience often results from strains with the lowest THC.

What do you mean? THC gets me high, and more is better, am I right? Nope. Not at all. THC is not like tequila. A shot of 60-proof tequila is going to produce a more intense effect than 40-proof tequila. But a pre-roll testing at 20% THC does not necessarily provide a more intense effect than a pre-roll testing at 15%.

THC is only one of many compounds in cannabis that affect the intensity of your high. Another important factor in how you experience cannabis is the terpene profile of the plant. Terpenes are aromatic oils secreted by plants that give us the different flavors and smells of cannabis strains (limonene, myrcene, pinene, etc.) Terpene molecules work in synergy with each other and cannabinoids like THC and CBD to give each strain its unique properties. Savvy consumers become familiar with terpene profiles of different strains over time. A connoisseur will often select products with lower THC in favor of the terpenes associated with a strain. If you want to start learning about terpenes, there’s a handy reference chart in the Clear Sky Guide to Your Cannabis Experience available at our dispensaries.

And it’s not just terpenes interacting with THC. Everyone’s internal response to THC and terpenes is somewhat different. Your body might be more or less sensitive to different compounds found in cannabis. Remember that cannabis is a complex plant and THC is only one measure of plant potency. To learn what works best for you, sample a range of cannabis strains and thoughtfully examine the effects. Keeping a journal of what you’ve tried can go a long way in recognizing which strains are working for you.

If that doesn’t convince you to experience the flavors and effects of mid-range THC strains around 15%, consider that THC is a biphasic drug. This means that THC acts 2 different ways in low versus high concentrations. If you keep puffing and you are not getting higher, it’s time to back off the THC. You probably won’t get higher at this point because you’ve passed the optimal intake for feeling good. Try again next time and stop when you get to a good point and enjoy the feeling.

The more you know about cannabis the better you’ll be at choosing the optimum products for you. Now that you realize high THC isn’t the hallmark of a great sesh, perhaps we can break free from the Sativa/Indica classifications. More on that in another blog!