What are terpenes, and why are they important?

by Blaze Ridcully and DGO Pufnstuf

Hello out there! This is Blaze and Puf, your two friendly neighborhood potheads. This is round three of our semi-new column magazine called, well, “Ask a couple of potheads.” We’ve been stoked with the amount of feedback and questions we’ve received over the last few issues, so please keep ’em coming! We freaking love talking to you guys about pot.

And, if you’re new to this column, here’s the deal. Because we keep getting texts and emails asking us about cannabis-related things, we decided to turn it into a Q&A session. Apparently we’re your safe place for answers on all things pot, and while we never mind chatting about the devil’s lettuce, we would appreciate you asking the questions sometime BEFORE midnight.

So, if you have questions, we want ’em. We want to know your deepest, darkest queries that you sit up at night thinking about. No question is too basic or noob for us! Send them our way, whether it’s something like, “How much THC is too much THC?” or “What is this that I’m vaping?”

You can ask us ANYTHING YOU WANT TO in here. There are no rules. You can even email us at 4 a.m. on a Tuesday if you want to. The world is your freaking pothead oyster!

Come one, come all with your silly, embarrassing, or just plain weird questions about weed. You can send them over to us at [email protected] and someone will eventually send them our way. Once they do, we’ll do our best to answer them in the best way possible. And here we go.

I’ve been hearing that something called “terpenes” is important to cannabis users. Usually, when someone brings it up I just nod my head and go along with it, but now I got to ask: What are terpenes, and why are they important?

Blaze: As Puf well knows, I too am guilty of pretending like I know what other people are talking about, so I feel you on this! So, terpenes, or “terps” if you’re real cool, are the oils, or compounds, found in cannabis plants. However, you won’t find them in just cannabis. Many plants have terpenes, though cannabis terpenes are probably the best well known.

While many growers and users are mainly focused on THC levels, terpenes also play an important role in your marijuana experience. Terpenes are what give that extra “oomph” of flavor. They’re what makes your marijuana nugs smell or taste piney, earthy, floral, cheesy, sweet, stinky, and so on. The way I see it, it would be like eating apple pie without the apples. Ok, maybe it’s not as dramatic as that, but still! They’re important.

Puf: Ooooh, OK. I’ve got this one on lock. You know what essential oils are? And no, not the ones being schlepped by an MLM. We’re talking real essential oils — the ones that come from actual plants and aren’t synthesized in a lab. Well, that’s basically what terpenes are. They are what give your weed that stanky, skunky, piney, insane smell and flavor. These aromas don’t just make your weed staaaaaank, though. They also help to ease your body and mind when you ingest cannabis products. What’s funny, though, is that terpenes weren’t developed for your pleasure. As with most other strong-smelling plants and flowers, the terpenes in cannabis were developed to repel predators and lure pollinators. In other words, the plant ain’t tryna be messed with by outsiders, and the terpenes kept them away. These days, though? Well, they attract that predator known as a pothead. Those scary beasts love the terpenes in their weed, and so do we. So. Do. We.

I’m thinking about growing a couple of marijuana plants in my home. What do I need to do or know in order not to kill them off?

Puf: Umm, OK well you’re asking this of someone who has, I shit you not, killed almost every plant known to man. Not for lack of trying! I love plants! But I also suck at plants. That said, I have successfully grown some jalapeño and tomato plants recently thanks to an indoor hydroponics kit I bought. So if you must try to grow your own weed, you may want to start with one of those? Hydroponics are the way.You’re going to need a ton of equipment and some clones or seeds to start. Lots of dispensaries offer clones to customers for purchase, so see if you can nail one of those down so you don’t have to start from scratch. And, once you have that clone in your hot little hand, you may want to consult the professionals online or at the pot shop and not us. I can’t say for sure that Blaze is also a plant killer, but I can actually say that for sure. This is someone who can’t even walk up the stairs without a serious injury occurring. Do you really want advice from that fool?Luckily, the internet knows all, so there are some bomb ass resources you can consult instead of consulting these two asses, minus the bomb. Take it away, Blaze.

Blaze: Wishing you lots of luck because I, for one, can’t even keep a cactus alive. There’s quite a lot to growing marijuana, but if you’re looking to grow marijuana, growing indoors is the easiest way to do that as it is the easiest way to control your plants’ living conditions. Depending on how many plants you want to grow, you’ll definitely need the right type of lighting, a hydro system, healthy soil, and perhaps even a tent.

You’ll want to start off with either seeds or clones and research the type of environment it’ll need to thrive. Once you get your seeds or clones, you’ll want to plant them and carefully water and feed them as over or under-watering, and feeding a cannabis plant (or any plant for that matter) is a great way to kill it.

I found out recently that I am eligible to get my medical marijuana card. How do I get my medical marijuana card and is it worth it?

Blaze: If you have one of the following ailments, you can qualify for a Colorado medical marijuana card:

– Autism Spectrum Disorder

– AIDS

– HIV

– Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

– Cachexia

– Seizures

– Muscle Spasms

– Cancer

– Glaucoma

– Severe Nausea

– Severe Pain

If you fall under any of these categories, you’ll need to visit your health care provider, fill out an online application (you’ll have to pay a $25 fee), and submit it to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Once you turn in your application, it’ll take anywhere from one to three business days. Once you’re approved, you’ll be able to access your card through your CDPHE account.

Puf: Heeeeeey! Finally a question I can freaking answer this round! Y’all are making this fool feel even more space-case than usual. So, you want to get a medical marijuana card, eh? You’re in luck because it’s super freaking EASY. If you are over the age of 21, have one of the qualifying conditions that Blaze so helpfully listed above, and you are a Colorado resident with proof of residency, like a license or ID card, all you have to do is head over to a medical marijuana doctor who can give you a certification that refers you for a card. Once you’ve got your rec in hand, check the list of required documentation to make sure you have all the required information before applying for your card. It’s important to note that applications must be submitted by the patient or the patient’s legal representative, so make sure you’ve got that lined up too. If everything is in order, you can fill out that handy dandy form at https://cdphe.colorado.gov/apply-colorado-medical-marijuana-card and pay your $25 to get your card issued to you. Super freaking easy. That said, I don’t know if you’re an adult, so I’m also going to include information for minor patients. According to the powers that be, minor patients must see two providers and submit two physician certifications. If the minor patient has a disabling medical condition, which includes Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorders, and any condition for which a physician could prescribe an opioid, and the recommending physician is not the patient’s primary care physician, the physician should review the records of a diagnosing physician or a licensed mental health provider acting within his or her scope of practice. For more information please refer to C.R.S. 25-1.5-106 and House Bill 19-1028.

I’m a regular user of cannabis (basically using it on a daily basis at this point) and am going to have to do a drug test for a new job in a few weeks. How long will it take for marijuana to leave my system?

Puf: Child. We are not scientists. But we are good Googlers, so I guess we can help! Short answer: There is no set time frame you can rely on to know when marijuana leaves your system for good. That said, as a chronic smoker, you’re probably going to need some extra time to let that THC drip from your body — at least compared to an occasional smoker. Chronic smokers tend to have THC show up on drug tests for a lot longer than someone who smoked once or twice this month. But, that’s not a tried and true answer for everyone, cause there are other factors at play, too. So vague, I know! Ultimately, how long you need to wait will depend on your body composition, how your metabolism works, whether you get out and get active or sit on the couch and eat Doritos, and a ton of other things. If you want to clear the THC from your system, don’t drink those gnarly ass detox drinks. They rarely work and they’re hella foul. Give it time, stop smoking or ingesting, and maybe like, start sweating or something to help move the process along. It can’t hurt to try. And, if it doesn’t work, well, you’re in the same spot you would have been before you did a bunch of lunges in the garage, I guess. Only difference is sore thighs.

Blaze: Unfortunately, there’s not a clear answer on this which sucks because I would also love to know! It can range from just a few days to a few weeks. The amount of time it stays in your system entirely depends on how often you ingest marijuana, the type of test you have to take, your metabolism, and the amount of body fat you have. It also can depend on how often you exercise because you burn more fat when you exercise regularly (the more body fat you have the longer THC stays in your system). Guess that means I better get to exercising!

Blaze Ridcully and DGO Pufnstuf

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