At Origins, we take health, lifestyle, and science seriously! When we embarked on building the Origins Brand, we found that due to years of misinformation (or lack of information), most consumers don’t fully appreciate the complexity of cannabis.

Everyone knows what THC is, but cannabis is much more than a single compound. In fact, there are hundreds of natural components in cannabis that influence its holistic and lifestyle effects. Many of these ingredients can be classified as cannabinoids or terpenes. Scientists have identified more than 100 cannabinoids (113 at last count) and dozens of terpenes.

Given how many different active ingredients there are in cannabis (with varying ratios and content levels from strain to strain), and the sheer volume of different strains, choosing the right strain to achieve desired effects can be overwhelming (even for a scientist). That’s precisely why we developed the Lifestyle Spectrum. We want to take the mystery out of cannabis while helping consumers choose the best strain to fit their lifestyle.

Mapping Cannabinoid Ratios and Terpene Content to Desired Outcomes

In developing our Lifestyle Spectrum, we worked with scientists and cannabis experts to correlate our products (based on cannabinoid ratio and terpene content) according to desired outcomes.

The cannabinoid ratio measures the ratio of THC to CBD+CBG+CBN+CBC. Origins believes the cannabinoid profile is the most accurate way to identify and recreate your desired experience. The ratio acts as a marker and will hold true across cannabis strains and products. Similarly, terpenes (which are often overlooked) influence the effects and notably the taste of cannabis. (We’ll dive deeper into what cannabinoids and terpenes are later in this article.)

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Want to challenge your mind? Is introspection important to you? No problem. Navigate the slider on our menu to filter all the products we carry we classify as Self-Discovery.

Are you looking for natural healing? Big Pharma’s not your thing? Filter by Holistic to find the best products to treat your ailments.

Looking to let go of reality for a bit? Try our Party Go-Er products.

Our Lifestyle Spectrum makes it easy to find any cannabis strain or product to match your lifestyle. In fact, we’ve segmented our menu by six categories. (See the spectrum below.)

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Moving Beyond THC: Cannabis is a Highly Complex Plant

The long-held “conventional wisdom” is that most strains can be classified as either Indica or Sativa. Sativa strains are uplifting and stimulating; Indica strains are sedative (couch lock anyone?). No doubt, there’s truth to this notion. However, due to years of hybridization and crossbreeding, classifying cannabis as Indica or Sativa is a gross oversimplification.

Moreover, most people place too much importance on THC, which is understandable. Since 1964 when Israeli scientist, Raphael Mechoulam, first isolated THC, it’s been the primary focus of cannabis research. Also since THC is the primary ingredient behind marijuana’s psychoactive effects, people assume higher THC neatly translates to higher potency (or, gasp, better quality).

But, the fact is THC is a single compound. And, no matter whether you find it in an Indica-dominant, Sativa-dominant or hybrid strain, the chemical is exactly the same. It’s chemical, and its chemical structure is always the same (otherwise, it wouldn’t be THC). However, cannabis is a highly complex plant with hundreds of constituents that work synergistically with each other. The other components (such as cannabinoids and terpenes) are present in levels that can vary significantly from strain to strain, or from producer to producer (hence why we created standards with our Origins Certified™ designation).

What Are Cannabinoids and Terpenes?

Let’s start with cannabinoids. What are they? Cannabinoids are a diverse class of chemical compounds that act on cannabinoid receptors. Working independently (if isolated) or together (synergistically), cannabinoids influence the effects of cannabis.

The two most prominent (and widely studied) cannabinoids are THC and CBD:

THC (Delta-9–tetrahydrocannabinol): The most prominent cannabinoid in most strains of cannabis is THC. THC is responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis, but other compounds in the plant interact with THC synergistically to potentiate or otherwise alter its effects (e.g., myrcene, a terpene found in high levels in many Indica-dominant strains unlocks the sedative properties in many Indica-dominant strains).

CBD (Cannabidiol): Cannabidiol—CBD—is a cannabis compound that has significant medical benefits, but does not make people feel “stoned” and can actually counteract the psychoactivity of THC.

While there are more than 100 cannabinoids , we’re only just starting to learn about all of them. Below is a list of some of the most researched cannabinoids:

Terpenes are a critical component of cannabis that are often overlooked. Terpenes influence how THC and other cannabinoids are delivered. They are also a source of flavor and the aromatic experience. High-quality strains are rich in a full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes.

A few of the most interesting terpenes are:

Borneol: A spicy terpene with hints of menthol, borneol produces calming and sedative effects.

Carene: A pungent and sweet terpene with a cedar aroma.

Caryophyllene: Often described as spicy, sweet, warm and woody. May produce anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. You can also find caryophyllene in black pepper, cloves, hops, lavender, rosemary, and oregano.

Eucalyptol: A spicy, almost minty terpene, eucalyptol can produce effects described as centering, balancing and stimulating.

Limonene: Sour and citrusy, limonene can produce refreshing and uplifting effects.

Linalool: Sweet, flowery, citrus flavors. Linalool is uplifting and sedating. May help with anxiety and elevate the mood.

Myrcene: Myrcene is a sweet, fruity, earthy terpene found at high levels in many indica-dominant strains. Many scientists theorize myrcene is responsible for activating the sedative properties of indica-dominant strains. It can also be found in mango, hops, lemongrass, thyme, and guava. (Note: It’s likely myrcene — not THC — that’s responsible for the most pronounced psychoactive differences between indica-dominant and sativa-dominant

Pinene: Just as the name suggests, this terpene is piney, producing effects that can enhance mental focus, alertness, memory. Evidence suggests that it may counteract some of the effects of THC.

Terpineol: Sweet, with a floral and citrusy aroma, terpineol can be strongly physically relaxing. Like myrcene, it could contribute to the “couch lock” effect of some strains.
Cannabis Terpene Wheel

The Entourage Effect

Dr. Ethan Russo developed the theory of the “entourage effect.” Essentially, Russo explains, the effects of cannabis are influenced mainly by the variable combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes working together.

The effects you’ll feel from a particular strain will be primarily influenced by your physiology, and you react to the ratio of these various compounds that vary from strain to strain.  For example, if you don’t like a “heavy high” or potent psychoactive effects, you may prefer strains with higher levels of CBD. (CBD can produce calming anti-anxiety effects.)  If you’re suffering from chronic pain or insomnia, you’ll likely do better with an Indica-dominant strain high in myrcene.

Sure, that may have been a lot of science. But, don’t worry. Again, we developed the Lifestyle Spectrum so you don’t have to remember each and every cannabinoid and terpene. Use our Lifestyle Spectrum to find your ideal strain. And, if you’re so inclined, check out our lab testing which we make available to our customers for every strain we sell (all lab certifications are accessible from the menu or via the Origins Mobile App). You can try out different products, see how they affect you, while you learn more about each cannabinoid and terpene.

Remember, our cannabis products are carefully sourced to be free of any additives and byproducts. When you’re searching for the best strain or product, use our interactive menu: Origins Lifestyle Spectrum.