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Watson tested his hypothesis in an experiment that compared the subjective effects of 100 percent THC to lesser amounts in terpene-infused cannabis resin. The consensus among Watson and several associates: Terpene-infused resin with 50 percent THC was more potent by dry weight than an equivalent amount of pure THC.



http://hightimes.com/read/talking-terpenes
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In 2008, the Swiss scientist Jürg Gertsch documented beta-caryophyllene’s binding affinity for the CB2 receptor and described it as “a dietary cannabinoid.” It is the only terpenoid known to directly activate a cannabinoid receptor (which is one of the reasons why green, leafy vegetables are very healthy for people to eat). The dual status of beta-caryophyllene as a terpenoid and a CB2 activator underscores the synergistic interplay between various components of the cannabis plant. There are over 400 chemical compounds in marijuana, including cannabinoids, terpenoids and flavonoids (which give fruit skin its color). Each has specific medicinal attributes, which combine to create a holistic “entourage effect,” so that the therapeutic impact of the whole plant is greater than the sum of its parts.

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Flyinstringbean

 

The point in the article was that the terpenes and flavinoids, and I'm assuming essential oils, made the effect better. So yes good smelling and tasting buds are probably a great indicator of potency. I smoked buds that were tested at incredibly high levels of THC that didn't do any more for me than lower tested buds.

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Back in the day when it was ALL black market I looked for ripe full trichromes, heavy resin(not wet!), then taste followed by smell. At this point I think its pretty clear that the combined aspect of the plant is far greater than just the THC. This is also why synthetic THC/CBD is not as preferred as the real thing.

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