NETHERLANDS: Step foot any well-stocked dispensary and one of the first things you’ll observe is the vast array of chronic cannabis varieties waiting to be tested out – hundreds of glass filled Mason jars sparkling with well cured, tightly trimmed nugs. Dependent on health issues and the type of high you enjoy, most smokers have their pet strain: Blue Dream, StarRyder, Psycho Killer Bubba, Tangie, NYC diesel – to name a few. While some strains leave you feeling energized and creative, others are prone to couch lock and leaning heavily towards the sedated side of the ‘high’ spectrum.
Snapping a few phat rips off any High-THC weed, regardless of the ridiculous name, is guaranteed to leave you hungry, happy and high. However it’s not the amount of THC that is responsible for the subtle nuance between strains. Neither are the trace amounts of the CBD cannabinoid, nor the so-called “minor” cannabinoids found in all strains of marijuana. As cultivators covet the psychoactive cannabinoid, THC, other equally important compounds barely register a scientific nod.
So – given the fact that THC levels are generally accepted as being high in today’s average marijuana strain, and that other cannabinoids only exist at barely noticeable trace levels, what variables enable one strain of weed to stand head and shoulders above the rest?
While many speculated, David Watson, a master seed breeder and the creator of hybrid skunk #1, was among the first to theorize and study the importance of marijuana’s aromatic terpenes - for their modifying impact on the psychoactivity of the THC cannabinoid.