Let’s Talk Science,
Arlo’s best subject.
We here at Friendo feel that knowing the science of cannabis is just as important (maybe even more so) than enjoying the effects of it. Don’t worry, we’ll keep it simple and fun.
Flower is the most straightforward product that comes from the cannabis plant. It is the smokable part of the plant (aka the nug) and it requires very little processing after harvest. It is just simply trimmed of the excess leaves and slowly cured of some of its moisture to avoid you opening up a moldy jar.
That was pretty easy so far, right? Now let’s get into the science.
Strap in folks.
Once the flower is trimmed and cured, it is tested for its phytocannabinoid and terpene content. Don’t worry that big word scared us at first, too! Let’s break it down a little more. Phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids that are found in plants (“phyto” = plant) like cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). You’ll recognize those terms from the testing listed on your jar of flower. On the jar they are expressed in percentages. For example, if a jar of cannabis says it contains 12% THC that means that there are 120 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol per gram of flower. (Whoops! A little math snuck in here, too!)
Now get ready for the craziest part. The human body produces its own type of cannabinoids! They are called endocannabinoids (“endo” = internal). If you’re thinking you might’ve missed that day in science class so did we.
The endocannabinoid system is a vital human biologic system that aids in things like sleep, memory, pain modulation, mood, and digestion. When CBD and THC enter the body they bind with the cannabinoid receptors and trigger a chemical flow that stimulates the production of dopamine, a brain chemical that plays a role in how we feel pleasure.
Simply said, the cannabinoids found in cannabis play nicely with the endocannabinoid system found in our bodies and join together to make us feel good and “high.”
Cannabinoids are not the only thing affecting us when we smoke. The terpene content of a flower is very important not to overlook (that is why you can also find its percentages listed on the jar.) Terpenes are the organic compounds that give the flower it’s scent and flavor. They, like cannabinoids, are formed inside the cannabis trichomes and are highly effected by the environment in which the plant is grown.
Terpenes do not just produce the different tastes and smells, but they also support the other molecules in cannabis and effect their potency and effectiveness. This is known as the entourage effect. Evidence suggests that terpenes can both moderate the effect of THC as well as engage with phytocannabinoids in a way that increases their therapeutic value. So, understanding the levels of all these things will give you a better idea of the type of high you will experience.
Wow! Our brains are tired from all that science. We’re gonna go find Arlo and see if he has any Phytocannabinoids on him.