THC is the main compound in the cannabis plant, responsible for feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and many of the other effects of cannabis.
Cannabinoids and terpenes are the main compounds in the cannabis plant that get you high or provide medicinal benefits. The two main cannabinoids are THC and CBD. People consume both cannabinoids for medicinal benefits. Most strains you buy at the dispensary will be high in THC, and some will be high in CBD or have a balance of the two.
Terpenes are weed’s scent compounds, giving the plant its complex aromas. Hundreds of terpenes are found in trace amounts in the plant, and there are eight main ones:
Cannabinoids and terpenes work together synergistically through a process called the entourage effect, and they interact with and activate the body’s endocannabinoid system, a cellular system which maintains balance in your body. This is how you experience symptom relief or other effects of cannabis.
Strains are different variations of the cannabis plant. Each strain has a unique chemical profile, a mix of different cannabinoids and terpenes. If you like the taste, smell, and effects of a certain strain, you will likely enjoy another strain with a similar chemical profile. Indicas are thought to be calm and sedating; sativas, energetic; and hybrids, a mix of the two. These terms refer to the plant’s physical structure, not its effects. A strain’s effects are a result of its chemical profile (its mix of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds). That chemical profile will also interact with each person’s body in a different way.