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Today’s flower can reach a potency of up to 30 percent or more, an amazing leap from a few decades ago.
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Today’s flowering can reach potency as high as 30 percent or more, an amazing leap from a few decades ago when the plant’s strength was often in the low to mid single digits. However, many in the industry, such as Ben Celani, co-founder of High Life Farms, find that plants around 18 percent potency can still provide a more effective and robust experience than 30 percent plants if the former have the right plant Profile makeup that contains its terpene content.
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Terpenes, or the oily compounds found in cannabis and other plants, are critical to creating the unique aroma, taste, and effects of each strain. “There are also numerous anecdotes that suggest that changing strains to vary the terpene profile consumed can make the user feel like they have reset their tolerance and require less consumption to get the same level of effect,” notes Celani.
Brighid Kelley, Chief Operating Officer at Cannabis Brand Incann, agrees. According to Kelley, confidence in potency comes from the lack of identifiers that consumers used to have in the market. This has changed as plant information and consumer interest increase.
“As we continue to learn more about the therapeutic benefits of additional cannabinoids and terpenes, it is becoming more common, due to consumer demand, for cannabis flower varieties to have a full cannabinoid and terpene profile,” explains Kelley.
What should consumers watch out for beyond potency?
Consumers should continue to consider THC strength but go beyond the single metric, especially if it is a medical patient.
Jonathan Wharton, CEO of cannabis care company Wayfare Nursing Inc., says the entire cannabinoid profile, terpenes, and flavonoids can play their part – as can the method of use. “When you’re trying to treat a disease … [THC content] is only one factor, and it is definitely not the most important for many conditions, ”explains Wharton.
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Kelley gave similar advice, addressing certain cannabinoids of interest, including CBN, CBG, THCV, and CBD.
Hans Enriquez, CEO of Dazed Inc, the parent company of the coffee shop franchise Lazydaze, notes that consumers like him seek plant benefits without the potential side effects of THC poisoning, which can include anxiety, paranoia and increased heart rate.
However, the shopkeeper and cannabis consumer also does not see that the THC potency is decreasing. Instead, Enriquez sees it sharing the space with full-spectrum products and more balanced cannabinoid profiles.
“The next development will be a version of a composite pharmacy where products can be customized in terms of cannabinoids and terpene profiles for the consumer,” predicts Enriquez.
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The FreshToast.com, a US lifestyle website that serves lifestyle content and, through its partnership with 600,000 doctors, distributes medical marijuana information to The GrowthOp through Skipta.
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