Selecting a Cannabis Vape: Terpene Profile vs THC Level
Choosing the best vape option is no longer limited to THC percentages, as companies now offer live resin and full spectrum options that provide a wider range of terpenes and cannabinoids. - Written by Randy Villarba
Since the legalization of medical marijuana, consumers have become well versed in considering THC and CBD percentages when selecting their vapes. With advances in lab testing, however, the recreational market has driven the evolution toward the education and understanding of the cannabis oil extraction process.
Choosing the best vape option is no longer limited to THC percentages, as companies now offer live resin and full spectrum options that provide a wider range of terpenes and cannabinoids. As production labs continue to perfect their extraction processes, the industry and consumers alike have expanded their overall understanding of the organic compounds, cannabinoid and terpene percentages of cannabis extracts.
Symbiosis of Cannabinoids and Terpenes
Most people are familiar with the cannabinoids THC and CBD, but they are only two of over one hundred identified cannabinoids. Other common cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant are THCV, CBDV, CBG, CBC, CBN, THCA, CBDA and CBGa.
While these cannabinoids are listed in some Certificates of Analysis or COAs, the individual cannabinoids are rarely listed on packaging. As understanding of cannabinoids becomes more common knowledge, it would be beneficial to list cannabinoid testing levels on products. It would allow consumers to zero in on cannabis products that offer a fuller spectrum of cannabinoids, or in the least, a more targeted combination of the effects they desire.
When it comes to terpenes, there are over 400 different identified terpenes found in cannabis. Visibility of terpene profiles on product packaging is also starting to become more common practice.
“Terpenes are the primary constituents of essential oils and are responsible for the aroma characteristics of cannabis,” according to Luca Valgimigli, Academic Editor at the National Library of Medicine. Cannabinoids working in conjunction with terpenes have a synergistic relationship with the body known as the entourage effect.
From terpene hunters to THC chasers, you can always find the right vape cartridge and disposable vape pen if you know what to look for. Let’s take a closer look at the different terpene rich cannabis vape options now on the shelves of March and Ash.
Live and Cured Resin Vape Test Results
For vapers looking for a solid balance of THC and terpenes, companies like Alien Labs, Connected, ColdFire and Raw Garden offer some of the cannabis industry’s best cartridges and disposable vape pens.
ColdFire Extracts is well-known for their focus on terpene content and collaborations with California’s legacy farmers. They have extracted flower from cultivators like Blem, Blueprint, Fresh Baked and No Till Kings for use in their 510 thread cartridges. Their latest Cold Fire Triple Lindy Juice Cartridge offers 11.02% terpenes. Its top terpenes are limonene 30.46 mg, caryophyllene 24.71 mg, nerolidol 22.03 mg and humulene 10.01mg. Triple Lindy tested at a THC level of 87.74% and 90.14% cannabinoids.
Alien Labs / Connected
The well respected Alien Labs and Connected have long been known for their high quality vapes. Their cured and live resin vape oil is extracted from their proprietary line of cannabis strains. Biskante Live Resin Vape recently tested at 8.37% terpenes. Its dominant terpenes are limonene 27.82 mg, caryophyllene 25.53 mg, humulene 9.38 mg, and myrcene 8.51 mg. Biskante also tested at a THC level of 67.91% and 71.25% cannabinoids.
Raw Garden is another extraction company that made a name for themselves with their Refined Live Resin technology. Their latest Raw Garden Mandarin Mist Vape Cartridge offered a terpene percentage of 7.75%, with its top terpenes being myrcene 22.07 mg terpinolene 21.46 mg and pinene 12.40 mg. Mandarin Mist had a THC level of 81.82% and 85.97% cannabinoids.
ABX Farmers Reserve
The master extractors at AbsoluteXtracts have been leveling up the quality of their live resin vapes with their new Farmer’s Reserve vape cartridges. ABX has been revamping the diversity of their flower selection and improving their extraction process. The new live resin sauce cartridges focus more on cannabis terpenes rather than THC levels. This process provides flavors and effects that are more true to the essence of the cannabis flower.
The diversity of their terpene profiles is backed by their COA results. The Glazed Apricot Farmer’s Reserve Sauce Cartridge tested an impressive 14.96% in terpenes. Its list of terpenes tested huge with terpinolene 54.57mg, caryophyllene 23.66mg, myrcene 19.54 and limonene 16.74mg. Glazed Apricot also tested a THC level of 71.44% and 75.71% cannabinoids.
Which Vape Has the Highest THC?
Are you looking for the vapes with consistently higher THC levels? Here are four vape brands that March and Ash customers love.
Stiiizy and Lil Stiiizy
Stiiizy’s proprietary vapes have a well established reputation in the cannabis industry with their disposable pods and Lil Stiiizy disposable vape pens. The Stiiizy OG Kush disposable pod tested 93.21% in THC and 97.66% cannabinoids.
Stiiizy's COA's don't provide visibility of their terpenes, but they do include their cannabinoids. Their OG Kush cannabinoid levels tested at THC 93.21%, CBG 2.57%, CBC .79%, CBN .48%, THCV .36% and CBD .23%.
Heavy Hitters consistently hit THC numbers out of the park with their vape oil cartridges. Their Heavy Hitters Sour Diesel vape tested 89.59% in THC with 94.67% cannabinoids. Visibility of their terpene profiles are not disclosed on lab results.
Jeeter’s Horchata Liquid Diamonds Cartridge is another example of a production lab flexing high THC and cannabinoid levels. Their latest batch of Blueberry Kush Liquid Diamonds tested at 96.61% THC with 97.29% cannabinoids. Jeeter’s COA provides a terpene percentage of 3.8%. Its top terps were limonene 9.01mg, linalool 7.04mg, caryophyllene 6.47mg and terpinolene 4.06mg.
Companies like Kurvana have mastered the craft of CO2 extraction. Their product line consistently offers strain specific vapes testing consistently in the high 80’s and mid 90’s in percentages. Kurvana’s High Fashion vape oil tests 89.59% in THC and 94.67% in cannabinoids. Its terpene content includes caryophyllene 14.15 mg, limonene 3.72 mg, and humulene 3.51 mg totalling 3.00% terpene content.
Solventless Cannabinoid and Terpene Levels
Solventless vapes hit the market in a bigger way this year, which is good news for people with an aversion to solvents. Solventless vapes are made from live rosin that is extracted using ice and water, or a dry sift method. Once the right viscosity is achieved through the extraction process, solventless cartridges and pods deliver the true essence of the plant from first hit to last.
Let’s take a look at Jetty Extracts and 710 Labs, two of the leaders in award-winning solventless vape cartridges.
Jetty Extracts recently took 2nd place in the 2022 Emerald Cup with their Fatso solventless cartridge. Their GMO Solventless Vape Cartridge tests at 5.57% in terpene content. Its top terpenes are caryophyllene limonene 16.77 mg, caryophyllene 15.38 mg, myrcene 8.54 mg. GMO had a THC level of 85.43% and 90.70% cannabinoids.
Industry favorite 710 Labs have carved a niche for themselves with their proprietary pods. Their pods are available in live resin cartridges, solventless first press and Persy Pods. 710 Labs COAs didn't test for terpene levels, but they do disclose their cannabinoids.
Their 710 Labs Durian #11 Persy Pod Live Rosin Pod - Tier 3 tested at a THC level of 86.30% and 91.02% cannabinoids. Durian #11 Persy Pod tested THC 86.30%, THCa 6.65%, CBG 2.27%, CBC .90%, CBGa .75%, CBCa .25%, THCV .37% CBD .15% and CBN .11%
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