For the marijuana novice, weed is just weed. But for the cannabis connoisseur, there’s a whole world of flavours, scents and effects – and it goes beyond just different types of strains.

The next frontier of curating a cannabis experience, experts say, lies not in a strain of the plant – the Sour Diesels and Pineapple Kushes that your dispensary will surely have on its menu – but in harnessing the terpenes within cannabis.

“Terpenes are essential oils found in different botanicals and plant matter. They’re why lemon has that citrusy smell, why pine needles smell like pine,” said Seth Yaffe, operations manager at Ermont Inc., a nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary in Quincy, Mass.

Terpenes are mostly known for giving plants their unique aroma, which is why there are essential oils of lavender and eucalyptus. But when they work in conjunction with cannabinoids like THC and CBD, “it’s an entourage effect,” Yaffe said, meaning terpenes can actually change or heighten the therapeutic effects of marijuana.

To take advantage of terpenes, many labs isolate them when they process the cannabis into a concentrate.

“Most people processing for THC strip out the terpenes and other minor cannabinoids to get to a clear product,” explained Norman Olson of High Tech Extracts in Maine. “Then to get flavour and aroma, you add the terpenes back. That’s the sommelier art of it.”

Speaking of wine, Yaffe actually worked in the restaurant industry for 25 years, where he wrote wine lists. He’s seen how people can smell a certain strain and know right away what it is, “just like a sommelier would be able to blind smell wine.”

But with terpenes, his role goes above and beyond suggesting flavours and scents someone might like. It’s about the kind of high these terpenes bring with them, too.

“It might be the same level of cannabis, but by adding in different blends of terpenes, we’re able to promote specific effects … like promoting more relaxing sleep,” Yaffe said. “The four major effects of the line we carry are concentration, helping sleep, anti-anxiety and the ability to have more energy.”

This is the customisation that is taking over the business side of cannabis, Yaffe said. People aren’t necessarily looking just for certain strains anymore, but for a curated high, and terpenes help achieve that.

Still, terpenes are “new to the game” in terms of what we know, Yaffe said. Though there hasn’t been a lot of scientific research around cannabis and all its components yet, experts in the industry hope that with its acceptance – like the legalisation in Massachusetts – comes more knowledge about it.

“Regardless of medical or recreational, a tremendous amount of people are cannabis users that are really looking for an effect,” he said. “It’s the importance of those terpenes and how we understand them, how we move forward with science to be able to manipulate and safely add them, that will allow for the creation of new products.”

Source: September 18 – Metro US

A new poll finds that a large percentage of Canadians say that they will smoke cannabis once the drug is legalised recreationally throughout the country. A whopping 4 out of 10, or 39% of individuals, say they will be cannabis consumers if the Prime Minister’s plan comes to pass (which it almost certainly will).

The poll was conducted by Oracle poll in conjunction with cannabis marketing consultant Colin Firth for their publication Canadian Cannabis Report: What’s the Buzz? The collaboration identified a number of interesting public sentiments from the 5,000-person sample size that is representative of Canada’s geographical and provincial makeup. They claim it is “the most detailed, comprehensive and unbiased consumer market research study ever performed for the emerging cannabis sector.We recognised a significant lack of data for this emerging industry. To date, there has not been a study of this magnitude of the Canadian people’s thoughts of the cannabis industry, both on the medical and recreational fronts,” report co-author Colin Firth said in a press release.

The poll also determined that 57% of Canadians support the Prime Minister’s cannabis law changes. Previous polls have generally shown a consistent pattern for the support of legalising marijuana, with most polls indicating that just slightly over half of all Canadians are in favour. -More interesting, a large percentage of current and potential users, 24%, believe they will replace alcohol with cannabis when it becomes legalised.

Some other interesting findings came out of the report. A vast majority of Canadians, 72%, believe that the federal government should pardon and eliminate previous convictions for simple cannabis possession. If the federal government wanted to follow one policy that has high support, pardons for simple possession would be one of them.
77% of respondents say they will buy from licensed growers, but it’s unclear how many know that it would be illegal to purchase from an illicit dispensary. It will be interesting to see just how compliant individuals will be with the new legislation, and if there will be enforcement against individuals who do not purchase from within the system.

The poll found that 63% of respondents preferred the retail model for recreational sales, and 30% prefer online shopping. Both sets of survey respondents will be happy to know that both retail sales and online sales will be permitted by Ontario and the province’s Liquor Control Board, which is controlling sales.
-The results of the poll generally find that Canadians are not unified on all aspects of legalisation—more than half want it to happen, but the figures suggest there may not be one-hundred percent compliance with the new legislation.

Source: September 14 –