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Benjamin M. Adams, High Times

Cannabis provides an entourage of useful compounds and while THC remains king, terpenes are coming for the crown.

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the principal psychoactive compound found in cannabis. Prohibitive cannabis laws define the plant based on THC levels, and in the United States, cannabis with less than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis is non-psychoactive and therefore considered hemp.

Until recent years, consumers at the dispensary counter were primarily only concerned about jockeying for the cannabis and concentrates with the maximum amount of THC. Today, they’re smartening up and asking more about terpene and other cannabinoid content. THC, however, remains the most crucial compound overall in terms of the plant’s psychoactive high.

When we look at these different events—High Times Cannabis Cups and The Emerald Cup—the winners usually don’t have any higher THC percentage. They almost always have a greater average terpene concentration. What consumers should be looking for is the terpene concentration of the products they’re buying.

Josh Wurzer, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, SC Labs

There are multiple reasons for seeking high-THC levels in products beyond shooting for the most potent effect. One benefit of high-THC products for medical patients, for instance, is that high-THC products can provide…