We’re all about accurate information and customer/patient education at Pharmhouse Wellness and we’re serving as cannabis Mythbusters with this blog. We hear the myths quite often at the shop and we want to set the record straight.
Number #1 The Myth Indica vs. Sativa
Every day, without fail someone will ask about indica vs. Sativa. The only difference between the two cannabis plants is how they look and how fast they grow. For real.
Indica plants are shorter and have thicker leaves; Indica plants grow best in mountain environments, like Pakistan, where the plant originated. Sativa, like most plants in the tropics, grows tall and has thin leaves. So what’s the difference between indica and Sativa? The answer is in the genetics, how the strain is bred and worked for the desired outcome. With hundreds, maybe even a thousand different cannabis strains, you just can’t put the effect, the high in one of three categories—indica, Sativa, or hybrid.
The high you get and how you feel is in the terpenes of each strain.
We talked a little about terpenes in a previous blog, but we want to recap, because terpenes are truly the heart of cannabis. Each terpene in cannabis has a different smell, taste, and effect, and there are more than 150 different terpenes among all cannabis plants.
Knowing a thing or two about about terpenes will make you a smarter cannabis consumer!
If you’re a fan of something that’s uplifting ask for something with limonene, rather than simply asking for a Sativa. If you want a strain that relaxes you, ask for something that’s strong in myrcene or linalool.
At Pharmhouse Wellness, we work hard to carry flower that is grown with a focus on terpenes—look for products on our menu that are produced by Real Leaf Solutions, Old Dune, Michigrown and HOG—these brands work tirelessly to grow cannabis with distinct terpene profiles.
Myth #2 If you work in the cannabis industry, you must be high “all the time.”
Having ready access to cannabis is a perk of the job, but our myth-buster for this one is store owner Casey.
“I love cannabis. I love to smoke cannabis, but I’m also responsible for 20 individuals’ livelihoods, am the father of a young child (soon to be two kids), and I’m inundated daily with tracking, monitoring and reporting in what is a highly regulated industry. So, truthfully, I consume cannabis moderately in my time off, to wind down at the end of the day or for sleep at night. But not all day every day.”
Myth #3 The higher the THC, the better the cannabis
For some people, it’s all about the THC. But dude, THC is only one part of the consumption experience.
We’re around some of the most enthusiastic cannabis consumers in West Michigan; between our customers, our employees, and the growers we choose to work with, we see strains from 15 percent THC to 30 percent come into our inventory, and most all of it is good. Casey, our owner, is a fan of Lilac Diesel, a strain that’s in the 22 percent THC range. For him, it’s not just the THC, but the overall effect of the product. Michigrown’s very popular Apple Fritter is 17 percent THC, and can’t be beaten for taste and its relaxing high. The terpenes we talked about above have a heavy influence on the effect of the flower, as does the CBD and other parts of the plant.
Cannabis affects everyone differently and we encourage you to try different THC levels on your cannabis journey. Prerolls are great for experimenting with different THC levels and you might find that the difference between 15 and 20 percent doesn’t matter much to you, or that you truly need 25 percent to obtain the desired effect.
Myth #4 THC distillate carts give you different types of highs
People love vape carts for a variety of reasons—they’re not as messy as using raw flower. More discreet than a pre-roll and easy to grab and go, but they’re all the same. Yep.
Sure they’re flavored differently, but they’ll get you high, but they don’t have the terpene profiles that provide the differences in cannabis strains. This is because all of the terpenes are cooked out of cannabis in the distillation process—all that remains is the THC. Now, there’s nothing wrong with this cannabis option, but if you’re looking for a specific medicinal effect or a certain kind of high, you’ll need to look at live resin carts. Live resin carts are more like a flower-consuming high, where you’ll notice the differences in how you feel because the terpenes are still present. It’s made most often with flash-freezing which preserves flavor and terpene integrity.
Myth #5 Cannabis is More Potent Now Than 40 Years Ago
Maybe so, maybe so.
A lot has changed in cannabis growing, cultivation, and consumption from the 1970s, and yes, it’s no myth that cannabis is more potent, but we also know much more about it.
When you buy cannabis in a licensed provisioning store you know what you’re buying—so no surprises.
Edibles are labeled with THC potency and you can buy a package of 20 gummies that are .5mg each—which is the maximum potency allowed by law in Michigan. As we mentioned above, cannabis comes in a variety of THC potencies, so there’s no reason to “accidentally” overconsume. Think back to 1977, 1986 or 1992—you never really knew what you were getting when it came to cannabis, nothing was tested or regulated. So yes, cannabis is likely more potent than it was in the good old days, but you know exactly what you’re getting into!