THINGS TO KNOW
Cannabis is usually categorized into three categories—Sativa, Indica and Hybrid—whereby Sativa is stimulating, Indica is relaxing and Hybrid is somewhere in between. While it’s easy to categorize cannabis this way, it only describes the plant’s phenotype. In recent years, researchers have developed a more complete understanding of cannabis, particularly the terpenes that give cannabis its medicinal properties.
Terpenes—also known as essential oils—are found in all fruits, vegetables, and spices in nature. Cannabis produces over 200 of these terpenes, but only 30 are found in significant quantities. The most dominant terpenes are myrcene, caryophyllene, limonene, pinene, and terpinolene—while rarer terpenes include linalool, ocimene, and humulene. Each terpene produces unique physical and medicinal effects, giving each strain its distinct character.
With this in mind, it’s important to consider a strain's entire terpene profile, not just the phenotype. For instance, a patient suffering from fatigue or depression may use pinene and limonene dominant strains, while a patient treating hyperactivity and insomnia may use myrcene and linalool dominant strains. High CBD strains are often preferred by patients treating seizures, anxiety, and pain—as they offer relief with little to no psychoactive effect.