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All About Cannabinoids & Terpenes

We encourage all of our customers to refer to this page to reference basic cannabis information, common terms, and other quick facts.


Most discussions about the effects of cannabis start and end with “indica, sativa, or hybrid?” Supposedly, indicas are sedating while sativas are uplifting. However, the differences between indica and sativa cannabis plants are physical. Indicas are short and squat and supposedly come from the mountains of Pakistan. Sativas are tall and thin and supposedly come from the tropics. But according to Ethan Russo, a board-certified neurologist and one of the country's leading cannabis researchers, these outward physical attributes have little to do with predicting what kind of high you will get.

Even Leafly is straying away from the outdated indica v. sativa classification. Just recently, they’ve built their own classification system based on cannabinoid profiles, terpene profiles, and customer reviews.

Terpene: Myrcene. High levels of myrcene are what cause that sedating “couch lock” effect.


As an example, it’s been found that a cultivar’s level of the terpene myrcene is more indicative of its sedating effects rather than whether or not it’s an indica or sativa.

In reality, it’s not as simple as “indica vs. sativa.” Cannabis contains hundreds of compounds—cannabinoids and terpenes—that contribute to its effects. Thus, it makes more sense to classify cannabis based on the chemical composition of each individual cultivar. This, combined with your method of consumption, environment, mood, and unique body chemistry is the best way to predict the effects of a particular cultivar.

Entourage Effect

The entourage effect is a proposed mechanism by which cannabis compounds act together to modulate the overall effects of the plant. This is why whole plant medicine can often be more effective than simply consuming isolated THC and/or CBD.

Cannabinoids and terpenes work together—kinda like magic— to create unique effects.


Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds in cannabis that act on our cannabinoid receptors to provide therapeutic effects. The most common (and most researched) are THC and CBD. These two cannabinoids work together to provide therapeutic effects, and CBD tends to mitigate some of the negative side effects of THC.

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)

May help treat:

CBD (cannabidiol)

May help treat:

CBG (cannabigerol)

May help treat:

Other properties:

  • Anti-bacterial
  • Some hypothesize that it may assist with bone growth

CBN (cannabinol)

Interestingly, checking CBN is a good way to verify the freshness of cannabis flower. Over time, light can cause THC to degrade into CBN. However, CBN still has some therapeutic uses. It may help treat:

  • Insomnia

Other properties:

  • Anti-bacterial
Find What Works For You. We all have different needs and lifestyles, so it’s important to experiment and discover what works for you. We’re here to help.


Terpenes are fragrance molecules found in all plants — including cannabis. Different terpene levels contribute to the wide variety of smells and tastes found in different cannabis cultivars. Terpenes work together with cannabinoids and other phytochemicals in cannabis to create the so-called entourage effect of cannabis.

Checkout our terpene table to learn more! Click or tap on a terpene for more in-depth information.


These terpenes are important, because combining a strain’s terpene profile with its cannabinoid profile can help you reliably predict its effects. As the cannabis industry develops we hope that more cultivators, product manufacturers, and dispensaries will incorporate cannabinoid and terpene profiles into their education plans.

So far we’ve learned about the entourage effect, cannabinoids, and terpenes; let’s learn about how to actually consume cannabis.

Smoke? Vape? Eat? Different consumption methods have different effects and are suitable for different lifestyles.

Consumption Methods

There are many different ways to consume cannabis. Here is a brief overview of the most common methods:


  • Onset: Within seconds
  • Peak Effects: ~30 minutes
  • Duration: 1-3 hours
  • Pros: Full combustion delivers cannabinoids to your system with maximum efficiency.
  • Cons: Smoke can be irritating, not discrete


  • Onset: Within seconds
  • Peak effects: ~30 minutes
  • Duration: 1-2 hours
  • Pros: No smoke, clean & efficient, minimal odor
  • Cons: Generally weaker. If using concentrates, be sure to only use high quality concentrates.


  • Onset: Depends, between 15 minutes and 2 hours
  • Peak effects: ~2 hours
  • Duration: 3-5+ hours
  • Pros: Long lasting, extremely discrete, can taste good
  • Cons: Not good for immediate relief, easier to over-consume

Tinctures (Alcohol-based & Glycerin-based)

  • Onset: 15-30 minutes
  • Peak effects: ~45 minutes
  • Duration: 1-3 hours
  • Pros: Very discreet, flexible dosing
  • Cons: Some are formulated with alcohol. Light, heat, and oxygen can degrade tincture if not properly stored.

Further Reading

We’ve assembled a small database with quickly accessible information you can view here.