In recent years, there has been a lot of buzz about terpenes. We used to think that THC and CBD were the sole factors in determining a strain’s effects; now, we know that the effects are a result of the interactions between all (or at least many) of a strain’s cannabinoids and terpenes. A strain with lots of limonene will smell like citrus and provide a more clear-headed, alert high, a strain high in myrcene will smell skunky and provide a stony high, and so on.
Can Other Terpenes Affect A Cannabis High?
Each of the terpenes found in cannabis can also be found in a ton of other plants, but can they still alter cannabis’ effects if they come from a different source? The short answer is yes. The long answer may be a little more complicated.
When you smoke or vaporize cannabis, or when you take a full-spectrum edible, you get the cannabinoids and terpenes at the same time via the same method. It makes sense that they would both take effect at the same time. But what if they come from different sources? Can you smoke cannabis and then eat a lemon for a limonene boost, or will they metabolize at different rates? Scientists haven’t studied the subject yet, but anecdotal evidence and collective wisdom seems to state that it doesn’t really matter. Eat whatever terpene-containing foods you want either during or after your smoke session, and you should notice the subtle effects within a few minutes.
How To Modify Your High
So, taking in additional terpenes can modify your high, but which foods cause which effects? This is far from an exhaustive list, but here are a few foods that are easy to find:
- For a clear-headed, focusing high, you’ll want extra pinene. It’s mostly found in trees, and not many foods, but there’s plenty of it in pine nuts.
- To reduce stress, you may want to add extra limonene. You can do this by eating citrus fruits, as the name suggests, but you can also find it in rosemary, juniper, and peppermint.
- Smoking as a sleep aid? Add some linalool, found in mint plants and cinnamon. As a bonus, linalool reduces lung inflammation, reduces THC-induced anxiety, and boosts the immune system.
- If you’re too high and having a bad time, try eating some black pepper – it’s full of beta-caryophyllene.
- Not high enough? Eat a mango. Mangoes contain myrcene, which is one of the most prevalent terpenes in cannabis. According to anecdotal evidence, it can also boost your high.
There are way too many active terpenes to put them all in this article, so make sure to do some of your own research as well.
If one additional terpene can modify the effects of cannabis, couldn’t I combine several to get exactly the effect I’m looking for? Of course! But, if you don’t have all the ingredients on hand or you don’t have the time to make your ideal cocktail, you might want to look into terpene-containing supplement products.
Several companies are developing precisely mixed terpene supplements that are intended to amplify the specific effects of cannabis. These contain terpenes that might be difficult for the average consumer to source, and they’re all mixed in proportion. However, it’s important to be wary of what products you buy – especially CBD products.
Manufacturers frequently extract CBD from hemp by using ethanol, which destroys the terpenes in the process. To replace lost terpenes, manufacturers use terpenes extracted from other plants and mixed together until they somewhat resemble the terpene profile of a chosen cannabis strain. The problem is that some manufacturers get the mix wrong, with terpene concentrations of up to 20% in some products – high enough that their positive health effects might turn negative. For context, cannabis flower is typically 0.5%-1% terpenes.
Finally, remember that everyone’s body and brain chemistry is different. You may find that certain terpenes make you feel anxious, or you may even have a sensitivity to one. On the other hand, maybe you’ll find out that the secret to the perfect high is stocking up on mangoes to go with your munchies. Give it a try!