The cannabis plant features very small glands on the leaves and the flowers, which are called trichomes. On marijuana plants, trichomes are crystal-like formations that are visible. These crystals produce terpenes and THC. The terpenes are what are responsible for every strain of weed’s distinct aroma and flavor. Different strains of weed will have different flavors and scents, depending on the terpene profile. But can terpenes get you high?
Can terpenes get you high? No. Terpenes are not psychoactive like THC is. This means alone, terpenes cannot give you that high feeling. Terpenes are added to cannabis strains in order to increase the effects. This means, your high will last longer and will be more intense. Of course, this will depend on the type of terpenes you add to your pot and whether they’re designed to bring you up or down. Because of this, it’s important that you know the effects of the terpenes you add to your weed. Some can leave you feeling relaxed and sedated, while others will make you feel naturally energized and can improve mental focus.
Now that you know that terpenes cannot get you high, let’s learn exactly what they can do and how adding terpenes to your favorite strain can affect your high, which terpenes you should use and just how terpenes work.
Table of Contents
Terpenes at a Glance
Terpenes are found throughout nature, unlike most cannabinoids. They can be found in flowers, trees, or even your favorite fruit. Since there are over fifty thousand known terpenes, the list really does seem almost endless. While most plants usually contain a uniform formula of terpenes, the cannabis plant’s range of terpene combinations is very diverse.
Terpenes have a major role when it comes to determining the aroma of cannabis. That citrus aroma that many strains are known for is the result of a high limonene content. Strains that have a very piney scent contain a high pinene terpene content. There are a variety of terpenes that infuse every strain of cannabis, but with each strain, there are certain types of terpenes that tend to dominate, and these are the ones that affect the flavor and the aroma the most. While the flavor and aroma are largely due to the types of terpenes in your cannabis, the effects of terpenes and how they can impact the quality of your weed and the quality of your high, are much more important.
The Endocannabinoid System
Cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system in order to regulate different processes such as pain, pleasure, appetite, and mood. Basically, cannabinoids are what is responsible for the medicinal effects of weed, in addition to the recreational high users experience. It’s believed that terpenes can also interact with the endocannabinoid system and change the way that the cannabinoids influence the body. A terpene can help the cannabinoids to cross the blood-brain barrier, easily and much faster. It can also affect the duration and strength of your high.
Myrcene is a common terpene found in marijuana. It makes cell membranes more permeable, so when you smoke weed that has a high terpene content, it allows the brain to absorb the THC and other chemicals in the marijuana more easily. When the brain absorbs more THC you will experience a longer lasting, stronger high.
There are also people who swear that certain terpenes can impact the brain’s neurotransmitters. Research is also currently underway to determine if terpenes can affect serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain. This could explain why some marijuana users experience different moods based on the strain they smoke. As an example, limonene, another terpene commonly found in marijuana, is believed to increase serotonin levels, which would elevate the mood of the person who smoked.
Now you know that terpenes can get you high faster and allow you to stay high longer. They may even be able to elevate your mood. Additionally, they can make weed smell and taste better. But can terpenes alone get you high? No, they cannot. Terpenes aren’t just found in weed. They’re also found in thousands of plants and they won’t get you high without THC.
That Weed High
The term high is used to describe the effects of using marijuana. Basically, when a person is high they tend to experience a feeling of euphoria, in addition to a reduction in stress and anxiety. Many strains of marijuana can also naturally elevate mood. These changes are the direct result of psychotropic and psychoactive effects.
This is the reason that terpenes cannot get you high. Terpenes are not psychoactive and do not cause any type of psychoactive effects. There is only one terpene that is able to bind to the cannabinoid receptors. However, as I mentioned, terpene use can still have an impact on your mood. As an example, essential oils, which are loaded with terpenes, are used for aromatherapy and can help to elevate mood or promote relaxation. Many people use terpene isolates such as linalool in bath bombs or gels because it can cause therapeutic effects. When you cook, you can smell a mixture of terpenes, which will usually cause people to feel energized and happy.
So, while terpene use cannot cause you to feel high, they can have a major impact on your interactions with the world around you and your mood in general. As an example, limonene can be very energizing and uplifting, while myrcene has sedative and relaxing properties. So, people who aren’t looking for the psychoactive effects of marijuana can use terpenes to promote relaxation, boost their mood, and even increase their energy.
The Effects of Terpenes on Different Strains
A strain of cannabis is categorized as sativa or indica based on the terpenes in it. Some types of terpenes will bring you down while other types will bring you up. Other terpenes can fight against the elevating qualities of THC while some will work with it.
Cannabinoids and terpenes produce what is called the entourage effect, which means when combined, they interact in a unique way that’s more intense than the effects they cause when used alone.
As an example, cannabis with a high THC content will bring you up, since it’s the effect of the THC that makes you feel energetic, engaged, and high. If you use certain types of sativa terpenes in the cannabis then you’ll feel even higher, depending on the terpenes you add, or you may feel more focused or more euphoric based on the types of terpenes you choose. However, if you add indica terpenes to the same cannabis then those will work against the elevating effects of the THC and can make you feel more sleepy, sedated, and relaxed. Again, this will ultimately depend on the specific terpenes you add.
While terpenes have not been as well-studied as cannabinoids, we do know a lot about the effects of many of them. Below you’ll find a list of the most common terpenes in cannabis:
- Limonene: This type of terpene will cause a stative-like effect and will leave you feeling stress and anxiety free, uplifted and happy. It features a bold citrus smell and can work to naturally combat depression.
- Pinene: This pine-scented terpene also possesses sativa effects and can leave you feeling more focused and alert. It can counteract some of the sedative effects of THC and can make you feel more productive.
- Myrcene: This is an indica terpene and it’s often associated with the classic high feeling that leaves you very relaxed and calm. The addition of this terpene is perfect for people who are experiencing anxiety and stress. It also contains medicinal properties that can help to fight inflammation or provide instant pain relief.
- Linalool: This terpene counteracts the up effect of THC. The floral sweet smell can leave you feeling sedated and relaxed and works well to calm both the mind and body.
A Natural Brain Boost
Typically, indicas contain a high content of myrcene, while sativas are often saturated with limonene. In terms of mood, terpenes have been used in aromatherapy for centuries as a way to promote relaxation or elevate mood. Researchers are now closely exploring the role of terpenes and their physical and mental effects when they are combined with cannabinoids such as THC. The combination of terpenes you use will be the key to the type of effects you’ll experience. Remember, without the cannabinoids, terpenes alone are not enough to help you achieve a high. However, when used alone, terpenes can still promote a relaxed or elevated mood. It’s all a matter of the type of terpenes you use and their freshness and potency.
What Do Terpenes Do?
Terpenes are essential oils that live in the same glands as cannabinoids. They’re also what gives food its flavor and aroma and they’re responsible for the flavor and aroma of weed. But terpenes also have medicinal properties and can actually affect how long a high lasts, the strength of weed, and the effects.
What Does Terpene High Mean?
Terpene high refers to the effects terpene will have on your high. As we mentioned, the type of terpenes you use can affect your high in terms of whether the high brings you up or down. Generally speaking, terpene use can make your high more powerful, but the specific types of terpenes you add can have a direct impact on whether you feel more focused and energized or whether you feel sedated and very relaxed. To learn more about the different effects that terpene can have on your high, click here to read my terpenes buyer’s guide.
Does CBD Oil Get You High?
No. Even the top-selling CBD oils will not produce the same type of high effects that you’ll experience when you smoke weed because it does not contain THC. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound. While there are many health benefits associated with CBD use, including reduced inflammation and pain relief, you will not experience that type of euphoric effect that you will when you use products that contain THC. To learn more about the benefits of CBD oil and how it’s used, click here to read by CBD oil buyer’s guide.
Can Terpenes Relieve Pain?
Yes. Powerful terpene profiles such as Strawberry Banana Natural Terpene Blend can help to reduce pain and minimize inflammation. However, while alone terpenes can help to provide much-needed pain relief, in severe cases, you would benefit more by adding terpenes to your preferred strain of cannabis. This will boost the strain’s potency and can also allow the effects to last for a much longer period of time.
What are CBD Terpenes?
These are often terpene profiles that have been mixed with CBD oil. Many major CBD oil manufacturers now offer this type of blend because it’s believed that the addition of terpenes can make the CBD oil more effective and can allow the effects to last longer. Before you buy a CBD oil and terpene blend, make sure you do your research. Look for the types of terpenes that have been added and the percentage. There are many different types of terpenes to choose from, each of which can add their own unique health benefits. As an example, if you’re suffering from joint pain, then you will need terpenes that can help to reduce inflammation and provide pain relief. To learn more, click here to read my article on Does CBD Get You High, What Does CBD Feel Like?
Can terpenes get you high? Terpenes are not psychoactive, so they cannot get you high. However, they can help to boost the effects of weed, allowing for a more intense, powerful, and longer-lasting high. The type of terpenes you add to weed will depend on the type of high you’re after, whether you’re looking for a more relaxed high or you want to feel more focused and energized. And because alone, terpenes can still provide desired effects such as an elevated mood, pain relief, and stress reduction, you don’t have to smoke or vape to enjoy the many benefits that terpenes have to offer.