A quick guide to World’s different types of weed and their effects


For a long time, the cannabis community has used the terms indica and sativa to try and pigeon-hole the effects of cannabis. But these terms actually tell us nothing about how a particular strain will make us feel. The biggest variable affecting our experience with cannabis being the plant’s chemical profile. Here’s our ultimate -and condensed-  guide to a better understanding of different terpenes profile and the effects that are to be expected.

Forget about the “Indica Vs. Sativa” classification
Cannabis is a very complex plant that contains up to 400 different active chemicals, many of which we barely understand. The concentration of these 400+ chemicals can vary greatly from one plant to another (even if they are considered to be the same strain or chemotype) and even among different parts of the same plant.
In an interview for Medical Marijuana 411, Dr. Jake Felice, a neuropathic doctor, cannabis clinician, and author, explains how different parts of the cannabis plant may produce different terpenes.
“The cannabis plant can have a very wide variety of terpene expression, even within the same plant. Upper leaves tend to be preyed upon by insects, so the plant might put out insecticide terpenes, such as limonene and pinene. In the lower plant, it might be more appropriate for it to develop bitter sesquiterpenes to prevent grazing from animals,” says Dr. Felice.
Stress, the type of medium and fertilizers used during cultivation, drying, curing, and other parts of the processes that go into producing cannabis can also impact what terpenes a plant produces and in what concentrations.
The terms indica or sativa, however, tell us nothing about a particular strain’s chemical profile. More than anything, these terms tell us what a plant might look like, whether it will grow tall or short, develop broad or narrow leaves, etc.

Going Beyond THC levels: How terpenes are defining the effects of cannabis
For years, the unique effects of cannabis have been almost entirely attributed to THC. Today, however, we know that THC is just one of the 400+ chemicals found in cannabis and therefore can’t be entirely responsible for the plant’s myriad of unique effects.
New research is showing us that terpenes might be just as important in dictating how cannabis makes us feel. Not only are terpenes responsible for the unique aromas and flavors of cannabis, but they have very potent physiological effects that may make or break our experience with a particular cannabis chemovar (or strain).

4 terpenes you are likely to find most in most strains and how they’ll affect your “high”:
Alpha-pinene. Pinene, as the name suggests, has a sharp, fresh pine aroma. Think of the smell of conifer trees or eucalyptus. Besides having anti-inflammatory properties and working as a bronchodilator, one of the more unique effects of pinene has to do with memory. Pinene is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, meaning it can inhibit the breakdown of acetylcholine, the main neurotransmitter involved in memory. So, if you’re looking for a cannabis strain that’ll leave you with a clear head and the ability to think cohesively and stay focused, look for a variety with lots of pinene.  **Note: Unfortunately, most modern-day cannabis strains contain very little pinene.
 Apha Pinene dominant  strains: Jack Herer, Blue Dream, Strawberry Cough

Myrcene. Arguably one of the better-known terpenes, myrcene tends to give cannabis a musky, herbal, and spicy aroma. Basil, laurel trees, hops, and wild thyme plants all produce considerable amounts of myrcene, too. This terpene has analgesic properties and produces a strong sedative, almost narcotic-like effect (commonly known as “couchlock”). If you’re having trouble sleeping or need strong pain-relief, look for cannabis strains with high amounts of myrcene. If you need to stay focused and productive, however, you’ll want to steer clear of this terpene.
Myrcene dominant strains: OG Kush White Widow, Sour Diesel

Limonene. Limonene has a sharp, fresh citrus aroma, and is found in high concentrations in citrus peels, rosemary, peppermint, and ginger. It has very powerful antidepressant properties, and studies also show that it is an anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, and potent immunostimulant. If you’re looking for mood-boosting effects, anti-inflammatory properties, and relief from anxiety or stress, try to look for strains with high concentrations of limonene. **Note: Most of today’s cannabis varieties contain low amounts of limonene. Beware of strains with strong citrus aromas, as myrcene can sometimes also give off citrus aromas.
Limonene dominante Strains: Do-Si-Dos , Sunset Sherbet, Super Lemon Haze

Beta-caryophyllene. Caryophyllene is one of the main aromatic compounds in black pepper, and it gives cannabis a spicy, woody, and peppery aroma. There is solid research showing that caryophyllene is a very effective, gastro-protective anti-inflammatory. Studies also show that it’s a selective agonist of CB2, the cannabinoid receptor that mediates pain, inflammation, and more. Unlike some of the other terpenes on this list, caryophyllene is very much present in today’s cannabis strains and is one of the main terpenes found in cannabis extracts.
Beta-Caryophylene dominant strains: Gelato, Zkittlez, Chemdawg 

In order to properly understand how a type of cannabis will make us feel, we need to look beyond the individual compounds present in a particular plant. We also need to consider the way these compounds synergize (the Entourage Effect), as well as the set and setting in which we use cannabis.
**This list is far from complete. For a more thorough overview of the terpenes in cannabis and their effects, read Taming THC: Potential Cannabis Synergy and Phytocannabinoid-Terpenoid Entourage Effects.