Terpenes are responsible for the distinct smell and taste of cannabis varieties and have an important impact on the plant's effects. While cannabinoids like THC are credited for the psychoactive effects, or high, known from smoking cannabis, terpenes themselves are also partly responsible for different types of highs. Here's a brief overview of which terpenes get you high along with the best terpenes for boosting your high.
Terpenes are slightly psychoactive but don't get you high.
All terpenes promote unique effects in our minds. Some are noticeably relaxing, like the Linalool found in lavender, while others are energizing, like the Limonene found in citrus zest. However, they can't take all the credit when it comes to the high from cannabis. Cannabinoids like THC and CBN play an important role in getting high, too.
Ultimately, cannabinoids and terpenes work together in synergy in the entourage effect to promote different effects. While you're getting the true euphoric high from THC, the high may feel more energizing and focused or soothing and sedative depending on the terpenes found in the specific strain. The psychoactive effects of terpenes are actually what makes a strain an indica, a sativa, or a hybrid.
Terpenes exist in all plants and cause very mild psychoactive effects that don't really alter your perception, mostly your mood. Terpenes don't necessarily get you high, but they alter how a high from cannabinoids feels. Together they work in conjunction with one another and influence their individual effect.
Common cannabis terpenes and the type of high they cause:
While there are hundreds of different terpene isolates out there, most cannabis strains have a few major terpenes which we've outlined below. A cannabis strain can contain hundreds of different terpenes in minimal levels, but usually, they contain higher concentrations of these terpenes. If a cannabis strain contains one or a combination of these terpenes, you can get a better idea of the type of high you'll have when you smoke the strain.
Limonene — Mood elevating and energizing. Found in citrusy strains like Banana OG, Cinex, and Do-Si-Dos.
Humulene — Relaxing and uplifting. Found in hoppy strains like Girl Scout Cookies, Headband, and Skywalker OG.
Linalool — Sedative, anti-anxiety, and relaxing. Found in floral strains like Lavender, Amnesia Haze, and LA Confidential.
b-Caryophyllene — Calming and relaxing. Found in spicy strains like Chemdawg, White Widow, and Gorilla Glue #4.
Ocimene — Uplifting, relaxing, and energizing. Found in sweet strains like Green Crack, Sour Diesel, and Clementine.
Pinene — Focusing, energizing, and relaxing. Found in piney strains like AK-47, Blue Dream, and Grape Ape.
Myrcene — Sedative, anti-anxiety, and uplifting. Found in earthy strains like OG Kush, Critical Mass, and Jillybean.
Terpinolene — Uplifting, energizing, and calming. Found in fruity strains like Chernobyl, Golden Goat, and Jack Herer.