How Terpenes inform our understanding of cannabis

There are many strains of cannabis, the characteristics and effects of which vary greatly. Making informed choices allows you to find the strain that is the best selection for your particular taste or preference. So how do we use science to organize the choices and make decisions?

The current understanding: Phytomorphology vs Chemometrics
Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid represent the current terminology used to sort and predict the effect of strains of cannabis. However, these terms describe the physical characteristics of the plant during growth and do not actually correlate to the effects of a strain at all. Instead of using Indica, Sativa, Hybrid, we should look to the chemistry of the plant to predict the effects.

The bioactive compounds in cannabis and hemp present in the highest volume are the cannabinoids and terpenes. Cannabinoids and terpenes in cannabis can represent upwards of 40% of the mass of a female flower. It is the profile of these highly potent compounds that is the best predictor of the effects of a particular strain. This profile is referred to as the plant’s chemotype; the identification and measurement of the cannabinoids and terpenoids in a strain.

Then why do people say “Indica, Sativa, Hybrid”?
Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid are in fact descriptors of the phytomorphology (the physical attributes) of the plant. In the past, these terms may have been more accurate at describing the attributes of strains, but they are now outdated. Due to continued breeding and hybridization of cannabis and hemp varieties, the original, physical characteristics of Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa are no longer relevant in determining the chemical composition—and inevitably the effect—of the plant. So basically, we are using terms that no longer mean what we think they do.

Indica Phytomorphology: Short, squatty, wide/large leaf, short(er) flowering
Effects (no-longer accurate): Physically sedating; relaxing; couchlock
sativa plant phytomorphology

Sativa Phytomorphology: Long, stretchy, thin leaf, long flowering
Effects (no-longer accurate): Energizing, uplifting, cerebral
So talk to the Expert Budtenders at Ideal Buds who are happy to offer their assistance in finding the Ideal Buds for you ✌️❤️