health & Wellness

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When it comes to cannabis strains, the options are just about limitless. There are a bunch of varieties of indicas and sativas, and hybridization has increased those options tenfold.

Some marijuana strains are popular or easy to find, such as:

  • Blue Dream
  • Pineapple Express F
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However, there are many lesser-known strains that offer benefits beyond cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Most folks know about the primary cannabinoids—THC, the main psychoactive chemical in cannabis that helps relieve pain, and CBD, a cannabinoid prized for its anti-inflammatory properties.

And yet, cannabis boasts several other cannabinoids that also come with health benefits. These include:

Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV): Psychoactive with anticonvulsant and neuroprotective properties, THCV is a cannabinoid that can be hard to find.
Cannabigerol (CBG): Mildly psychoactive, CBG boasts anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits.
Cannabichromene (CBC): While it doesn’t produce a high like THC can, folks like CBC because of its antibiotic and pain-relieving properties.
Cannabinol (CBN): This cannabinoid, which is mildly psychoactive, can act as an antiemetic (meaning anti-nausea) and a sleep aid. THC turns into CBN when exposed to prolonged UV light and air.
These cannabinoids often take a back seat to the superstars THC and CBD—. But you shouldn’t overlook them. since each of these lesser-known cannabinoid offers additional therapeutic benefits . Although they’re not always available in isolated form, you can still reap their benefits directly from the cannabis flower.

Here are four cannabis strains that offer higher percentages of some of these unique cannabinoids.

RELATED: BEYOND THC & CBD: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CBC, CBN & CBG

1) Doug’s Varin Boasts High Levels of the Appetite-Killing Cannabinoid, THCV If your cannabis sessions leave you invading the fridge time and again you may want to swap out your usual flower for Doug’s Varin. This marijuana strain is most famously known for its high levels of THCV, the cannabinoid known to curb food cravings.
THCV is also what makes Doug’s Varin unique, as THCV is currently the only cannabinoid that’s more psychoactive than THC is, but for a shorter period of time. So, take care when trying this strain—start low and go slow. Doug’s Varin is a very rare strain with an unknown lineage, but research confirms it’s a pure sativa strain. This strain’s buds, which are neon green with long gold hairs, offer a nice pine scent with a mix of citrus that you can taste when smoking.
True to its sativa nature, Doug’s Varin will leave you feeling uplifted and energized, making it a great daytime cannabis option
THCV is also what makes Doug’s Varin unique, as THCV is currently the only cannabinoid that’s more psychoactive than THC is, but for a shorter period of time. So, take care when trying this strain—start low and go slow. Doug’s Varin is a very rare strain with an unknown lineage, but research confirms it’s a pure sativa strain. This strain’s buds, which are neon green with long gold hairs, offer a nice pine scent with a mix of citrus that you can taste when smoking.

True to its sativa nature, Doug’s Varin will leave you feeling uplifted and energized, making it a great daytime cannabis option.

2) Three Kings Has a Good Amount of Pain-Relieving CBC
Three Kings, which is sativa dominant, comes from combining the three revered cannabis strains:
Headband OG Kush Sour Diesel Because this strain has indica and sativa characteristics, you can consume it for a variety of conditions. Part of this versatility is thanks to the high percentage of CBC. Similar to CBG and CBN, CBC contains antibiotic and neuroprotectant properties. And when you combine CBC with THC, it can help reduce inflammation.
Three Kings flowers are often bright green with frosty trichomes. With a strong earthy smell reminiscent of the outdoors, you can expect flavors of pine and a hint of tart citrus when smoking

Offering a nice cerebral high, Three Kings can improve mood, leaving you feeling happy and focused, and making it a great option for folks struggling with fatigue.

3) Magic Jordan Is High in CBG, Which May Outperform CBD as an Anti-Inflammatory
Another rare strain with an unconfirmed lineage is Magic Jordan. While the breeders of this cannabis strain have kept its parents a secret, there’s speculation that it’s crossed with a strain of Hawaiian lineage.
This indica-dominant hybrid not only offers high levels of THC, but is rich in CBG, the precursor to CBD, CBC and THC.
Because CBG turns into THC, CBD and CBC as a cannabis plant matures, not many strains typically offer large amounts of CBG—since growers harvest mature marijuana plants. This is why CBG is more commonly found in hemp.
But Magic Jordan is the exception to the rule.
With a name blending two basketball legends—Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan—this strain is said to be a slam dunk when it comes to flavor profile and effects. Magic Jordan offers large buds with a strong skunky smell, while the flavor is similar to a mint lemonade.
When you consume Magic Jordan, you may notice a quick burst of energy that eventually subsides into full body relaxation. This makes it a good choice to wind down after a long day
4) Ace of Spades Is Rich in CBN, Making It Ideal for a Good Night’s Sleep When it comes to a deck of cards, the ace of spades can represent transformation, luck or even death. But when it comes to cannabis, Ace of Spades isn’t so much a wild card as the name suggests.
This indica-dominant cross between the cannabis strains Black Cherry Soda and Jack the Ripper offers elevated levels of the cannabinoid CBN. CBN has milder psychoactive effects than THC does and has sedative effects.
Ace of Spades flowers come in a range of colors, from light green to dark purple, with a healthy coat of crystals. The buds are dense, and smell like citrus and pine with a little berry taste as well.
Much like indicas in nature, Ace of Spades consumers can expect a deep, full body relaxation followed by sedation, thanks to the CBN. Although a burst of creativity may occur, be sure to take advantage of those creative juices before couch lock sets in.

Terpenes in Cannabis explained

Myrcene

Myrcene is the most abundant terpene in cannabis, which is where it’s mostly found in nature. In fact, one study showed that myrcene makes up as much as 65% of total terpene profile in some strains. Myrcene smell often reminds of earthy, musky notes, resembling cloves. Also, it has a fruity, red grape-like aroma.
Strains that contain 0.5% of this terpene are usually indicas with sedative effects. It has also been reported that myrcene is useful in reducing inflammation and chronic pain, which is why it’s usually recommended as a supplement during cancer treatments.
Strains that are rich in myrcene are Skunk XL, White Widow, and Special Kush. Bonus tip: If you want to experience a stronger buzz from marijuana, get yourself a mango and eat it about 45 minutes before smoking.
Mango contains significant amount of myrcene, so eating it before consuming cannabis will strengthen the effects of THC and increase its absorption rate

Limonene

Limonene is the second most abundant terpene in all cannabis strains, but not all strains necessarily have it.
As its name says, limonene gives strains a citrusy smell that resembles lemons, which is no surprise as all citrus fruits contain large amounts of this compound. Limonene is used in cosmetics and also in cleaning products.
For therapeutic purposes, limonene is known to improve mood and reduce stress. Researchers also found it to have antifungal and antibacterial properties and one research even found it to have a role in reducing tumor size.
Strains that have “lemon” or “sour” in their name are usually rich in limonene. High levels of limonene can be found in strains like O.G. Kush, Sour Diesel, Super Lemon Haze, Durban Poison, Jack Herer, and Jack the Ripper.

Linalool

This terpene is the most responsible for the recognizable marijuana smell with its spicy and floral notes. Linalool is also found in lavender, mint, cinnamon and coriander. What’s interesting is that just like those aromatic herbs, it has very strong sedative and relaxing properties.
Patients suffering from arthritis, depression, seizures, insomnia and even cancer, have all found aid in this amazing terpene. Some well known linalool strains are Amnesia Haze, Special Kush, Lavender, LA Confidential, and OG Shark.

Caryophyllene

Alpha-pinene and Beta-pinene
These two cannabis terpenes smell like pine trees and that’s also where they can be found in large amounts. Other plants rich in pinene include rosemary, orange peels, basil, parsley and cannabis of course.
Like many other, pinene terpenes have an anti-inflammatory effect on humans. But more importantly, they help improve airflow and respiratory functions, while also helping to reduce memory loss related to THC. I know that this can sound weird because we’re talking about cannabis, but if the strain is rich in alpha and beta pinene, it can actually help with asthma.
Pinene also helps patients with arthritis, Crohn’s disease and cancer. You can find pinene in strains like Jack Herer, Strawberry Cough, Blue Dream, Island Sweet Skunk, Dutch Treat and Romulan.

Alpha-bisabolol

Alpha-bisabolol (also known as levomenol and bisabolol) has a pleasant floral aroma and can also be found in chamomile flower and candeia tree. This terpene found its use primarily in the cosmetics industry, but lately it has caught the attention of researchers since it showed medical benefits, especially in cannabis.
Alpha-bisabolol proved to be effective in treating bacterial infections and wounds and is a great antioxidant with anti-irritation and analgesic properties. It can be found in strains like Harle-Tsu, Pink Kush, Headband, OG Shark, and ACDC.

Eucalyptol

Also known as cineole, eucalyptol is the primary terpene of the eucalyptus tree. It has recognizable minty and cool tones in its smell but most cannabis strains do not contain large amounts of it. It usually makes up around 0.06% of a strains complete terpene profile.
This terpene has been used in cosmetics as well as medicine. When it comes to its medical value, eucalyptol relieves pain but also slows the growth of bacteria and fungus.
Although it is still in the early stages in research, this terpene has shown some promising effects on Alzheimer’s as well. Eucalyptol can be found in Super Silver Haze and Headband.

Trans-nerolido

This one is a secondary terpene found mostly in flowers like jasmine, lemongrass, and tea tree oil. The smell of trans-nerolidol reminds of a mixture of rose, citrus and apples and can be described in general as woody, citrus and floral.
Trans-nerolidol is best known for its antiparasitic, antioxidant, antifungal, anticancer and antimicrobial properties. Strains like Island Jack Herer, Sweet Skunk, and Skywalker OG are rich in nerolidol.

Humulene

Humulene was the first terpene found in hops. Its aroma contains earthy, woody and spicy notes.
Besides cannabis, it can be also found in clove, sage, and black pepper. It has a variety of medical properties. Early research has shown humulene to be anti-proliferative, meaning it prevents cancer cells from growing. Also, it proved to be effective in suppressing appetite, making it a potential weight loss tool. Furthermore, like many other cannabis terpenes mentioned above, it also reduces inflammation, relieves pain and fights bacterial infections.
You can find humulene in strains like White Widow, Headband, Girl Scout Cookies, Sour Diesel, Pink Kush and Skywalker OG.

Delta 3 Carene

This terpene is found in a number of plants like rosemary, basil, bell peppers, cedar and pine. Its aroma is sweet and resembles the smell of cypress tree. When it comes to the medical side of carene, it seems to be mostly beneficial in healing broken bones. That gives hope to patients suffering from osteoporosis, arthritis and even fibromyalgia.
What is also interesting about this terpene is that it stimulates our memory and helps memory retention. This is a major point in finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

Camphene

The best way to describe the smell of camphene is fir needles, musky earth and damp woodlands. Camphene aroma is often mistaken with myrcene, which is that trademark marijuana smell as most of us know it. From the medical point of view, camphene has great potential. When mixed with vitamin C, it becomes a powerful antioxidant.
It is widely used in conventional medicine as a topical for skin issues like eczema and psoriasis.
Its greatest potential lies in its ability to lower the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, further lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Camphene is present in Ghost OG, Strawberry Banana, Mendocino Purps.

Borneol

Borneol, with its herbal minty scent, can be found in herbs like rosemary, mint and camphor.
This terpene is a good natural insect repellent which makes it great in preventing diseases like the West Nile virus, being passed by ticks, fleas, mosquitoes etc. One study found that borneol kills breast cancer cells. It’s also widely used in Chinese traditional medicine, in acupuncture to be precise. Strains high in borneol are Amnesia Haze, Golden Haze, K13 Haze.

Terpineol

The aroma of terpineol can be best described as floral-like, reminiscent of lilacs, apple blossom, and a little bit citrusy. Terpineol tastes like anise and mint. Terpineol has a pleasant scent, similar to lilac, and is a common ingredient in perfumes, cosmetics, and flavors.
It relaxes heavily and it’s usually the one responsible for the notorious couch lock effect. Medical benefits of terpineol also include antibiotic and antioxidant properties. It can be found Girl Scout Cookies, Jack Herer, and OG Kush strains

Geraniol

Besides cannabis, geraniol can be found in lemons and tobacco. Its smell reminds of rose grass, peaches and plums. It’s usually used in aromatic bath products and body lotions. Geraniol has shown a lot of potential as a neuroprotectant and antioxidant.
It is present in strains like Amnesia Haze, Great White Shark, Afghani, Headband, Island Sweet Skunk, OG Shark and Master Kush.

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