The Nose Knows: A Crash Course On The Science Of Good Weed

A rule of thumb when making a purchase is to go with what smells best to you. Whether it’s your first time stepping into a legal cannabis establishment or you’re a connoisseur of sorts, the rule still applies. It can be overwhelming having access to a large variety of cultivars—a plant variety that has been produced in cultivation by selective breeding—especially if you’re used to getting what you get from your around-the-way dealer.

“The Nose Knows” philosophy that applies to essential oils, aromatherapy candles, and just about anything else we use our nose for, also applies to cannabis! It’s usually a strong indicator that you’ll enjoy the physiological effects. Why? Because the aromas coming from the flowers you’re smelling are known in the cannabis community as terpenes. They onset certain effects when consumed and are primarily responsible for determining if the experience will be sedative or energizing or somewhere in between, not whether a strain is categorized as Indica or Sativa.

Often times people depend on their budtenders, their dealers, or someone else to tell them what they're getting is gas or top shelf. Everyone can agree, there are times when you’ve smoke something you expected to be flight only to feel underwhelmed. An easy way to avoid having this experience is by trusting your body to make the decision simply by letting your nose do the work.

Terpenes influence your mood and add to the overall medicinal potential of the herb, and to that extent your body is intuitively relaying to the brain what your body needs. The truth is, “good weed” is generally about personal preference. It’s the reason why two people could smoke the same weed and one person could find it impressive while the other thinks its trash.


Take limonene for example, this terpene is the major component of citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges and is accompanied by energizing and uplifting effects. It’s no wonder that it can be found in strains like Super Lemon Haze or Sour Diesel. The terpene linalool on the other hand is found more in purple strains, and is stress-relieving and sedative in its response.