If you consume cannabis, there's a good chance you've heard about terpenes. Terpenes are hydrocarbon chemical compounds similar to cannabinoids found in all plants on earth, including cannabis. But did you know that cannabis terpenes can affect your high? Here's everything you need to know.
Terpenes do not affect your high in the traditional sense, like THC itself. But some terpenes do have a physiological effect on both your body and brain. Each plant contains hundreds of terpene isolates that all offer their own scents, flavors, and effects. Most terpenes are naturally antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory in nature, though terpenes have also been found to help reduce the side effects of medications, increase immune system function, improve digestion, and improve heart health by lowering triglyceride levels, cholesterol, and blood sugar. Some can even slow the progress of certain cancers and even reduce your risk of having certain cancers.
More importantly though, they affect your mood. Some terpenes can help reduce stress and anxiety, help you sleep, or boost your energy levels, increase your ability to focus, and improve your memory. In fact, terpenes are responsible for the indica, sativa, and hybrid effects you're familiar with from your favorite cannabis strains. Sedative indica strains contain Myrcene, Beta-Caryophyllene, Linalool, and Humulene. Energizing sativa strains contain Pinene, Limonene, Myrcene, and Valencene.
When it comes to cannabis, they can affect your high thanks to the Entourage Effect, which is the documented phenomenon that shows that cannabinoids and terpenes work in synergy to promote effects. Cannabis terpenes interact with the body's endocannabinoid system and assist cannabinoids in entering our bloodstream, but both compounds work in synergy to promote effects. THC causes euphoria in both indica and sativa strains, but whether it's a sleepy euphoria or an upbeat and energized euphoria depends on the terpenes present.
Ultimately, cannabis terpenes affect your high by making THC (or other cannabinoids) stronger. The THC also makes the anti-stress, anti-anxiety, energizing, focusing, or sedative effects of the terpenes themselves stronger. That's why full-spectrum THC and CBD products will get you higher than isolates alone.