Cannabinoids, shatter?: Marijuana terms explained
Not sure about the difference between terpenes and cannabinoids? Cannabis expert Max Montrose from Denver’s Trichome Institute explains some of the essentials
June 5, 2017
Cannabinoids — One of three compounds found in cannabis, these chemicals determine the intensity of any psychoactive high. The two most common are THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol). There are 60 to 100 different cannabinoids in any single cannabis strain.
Terpenes — These might not be the most well-known compounds in cannabis, but they're easily the most psychoactively important. Terpenes largely determine the type of high users experience, from stoned to euphoric. There are 30,000 known terpenes in the world, with 200+ that are common in cannabis. These also help determine the smell, like D-Lemonene which is a citrus flavor that produces a stimulating effect.
Flavonoids — The final compound in cannabis is found in almost every fruit and vegetable on the planet. These chemicals give plants color. Unlike terpenes and cannabinoids, there are only about 12 flavonoids.
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Shatter — A concentrated THC extract from cannabis plants with a clear appearance and thin, brittle texture. Most manufacturers use the "sugar trim" (trichome-rich leafs trimmed off the bud) and extract the THC by processing it with butane or other chemical and non-chemical solvents, like butane and carbon dioxide. The end result is a powerful marijuana product of up to 80-96 percent THC, compared to 20-25 percent for most raw flower.
Wax — Another concentrated THC extract from cannabis plants, this one with an opaque color and sticky texture. Wax is a combination of THC and plant waxes, such as paraphin and cutin. At Bolder Extracts in Boulder, wax is made by "whipping" oxygen into batches of shatter.
Live resin — A relatively new extracting process that replaces dried and cured bud with "fresh frozen" bud, meaning manufacturers freeze the plant and then process it as usual. The idea, according to Spencer Uniss of Bolder Extracts, is to protect terpenes typically lost when drying and curing for a more flavorful, brighter high.
Terp juice — Also known as terp sauce, these extracts are high in terpenes and can produce a different, more intense high than traditional shatter or wax (which are pretty intense in the first place).
Sources: Trichome Institute; Bolder Extracts.