The Connoisseur’s Guide to Weed Flavor Profiles

The delightful range of flavor profiles in marijuana plants is one of the things that cannabis enthusiasts love most about weed. The search for the best flavor profiles is also the “holy grail” that keeps growers on the hunt for new phenotypes and unique-tasting cannabis cultivars. If you’re new to the cannabis plant, being aware of the primary flavors—and the chemicals behind them—can help you to find cannabis strains you love.

Top Weed Flavor Profiles

While some people are looking for particular benefits associated with the terpenes themselves, others are looking for specific weed flavor profiles that match their personal preferences regarding taste.

Legal cannabis buds, vapes, and pre-rolls in Seattle and other legal markets typically feature several of the most popular flavor profiles to cater to a wide range of customers.

Sweet Flavors

Candy

If you love candy, indulge your sweet tooth with these sweet-tasting marijuana strains:

  • Biscotti

  • Cookies and Cream

  • Gelato Runtz

  • Sherbet

  • Trophy Wife

  • Wedding Cake

Fruity

Mix up an inhalable fruit salad with fruit-tasting weed strains, featuring apple, banana, berry, cherry, grape, and grapefruit flavors:

  • Apple: Apple Fritter, Apple Runtz

  • Banana: Banana Cake, Banana Zkittlez

  • Berry: Blue Dream, Willie’s Blueberry, Haze Berry, Blueberry Muffin

  • Cherry: Cherry Pie, Cherry Cookies, Cherry Vanilla Cookies

  • Grape: Grand Daddy Purple, Grape Ape, Grape GMO

  • Grapefruit: Grapefruit Romulan, White Grapefruit Cookies, Purple Punch

Floral

Smell the roses with these marijuana strains, featuring a fresh flower scent:

  • Charlotte’s Web

  • Death Star

  • Kraken Koffee

  • Lavender

  • OG Kush

Sour Flavors

Any strain with “lemon” or “sour” in the name is a sure bet if you want something to make you pucker:

  • Lemonder

  • Pink Lemonade

  • Sour Diesel

Earthy Flavors

Take a walk in the forest with these earthy, piney, and skunky strains:

  • ATF

  • Fire OG

  • Jack Herer

  • Grape Ape

  • Kraken Koffee

  • Lavender

  • OG Kush

  • Original Glue

  • Purple Punch

  • Silver Haze

Spicy Flavors

Treat the senses to a bouquet of spices with:

  • Bubba Kush

  • Jack Herer

  • Miracle Alien Cookies (MAC)

  • Jack Herer

  • Lavender

  • Pink Cookies

Nutty Flavors

For a nutty flavor profile, try Kraken Koffee—seriously, it’s amazing! It’s also the perfect cannabis strain for a rainy day.

Minty Flavors

Need a breath mint? Freshen your breath with these refreshing strains:

  • Animal Mints

  • Gorilla Mintz

  • Menthol Haze

  • Wonka Mints

Chemical Flavors

Inhale the aroma of fuel—minus the carbon monoxide—with these chemical-flavored strains:

  • Gorilla Glue #4 (GG#4)

  • Jet fuel

  • OG Petrol

  • Sour Diesel

  • StarDawg

  • Sunset Petrol

Behind the Flavor: Cannabis Terpenes

The chemicals responsible for weed flavor profiles are terpenes—naturally occurring aromatic compounds that are present in large amounts in cannabis flowers as well as in other plants with a strong aroma and taste, like citrus fruits, fragrant flowers, pine trees, spices, and pretty much anything else that has a smell.

On the plant, terpenes work to attract insects and repel predators. When smoked, they interact with cannabinoids like THC and CBD in the body to create a unique experience through what is known as the “entourage effect.” Even small differences in the levels of cannabinoids and terpenes from one marijuana strain to another can result in different physical and psychological effects.

Major Terpenes (Aromas & Effects)

Studies have shown that terpenes—the main compounds in essential oils as well as fragrant plants—don’t just tickle the taste buds and nose. They have therapeutic qualities, too. Understanding how the distinctive aromas of terpenes and their therapeutic properties go hand in hand could help you pick out the most appropriate cannabis strains for your needs.

Myrcene

Myrcene and beta-caryophyllene are two of the most abundant terpenes in cannabis. Myrcene, which is also found in hops, lemongrass, and mangoes, has earthy, spicy, fruity, musky, and herbaceous notes and has been associated with anti-inflammatory effects. You can find high amounts of myrcene in the OG Kush, Girl Scout Cookies, and Grape Ape marijuana strains.

Caryophyllene

Caryophyllene, or beta-caryophyllene (β-caryophyllene) has a peppery, spicy, and woody aroma and can be found in rosemary, cloves, oregano, and black pepper. According to research, caryophyllene has “antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, organoprotective, and antihyperglycemic properties” and may be beneficial for diabetes patients. Marijuana strains that are high in beta-caryophyllene include Girl Scout Cookies, Cookies and Cream, and Original Glue.

Limonene

Limonene, as the name suggests, is responsible for the citrusy flavors of citrus fruits and ginger. In cannabis strains, it delivers the same kinds of citrusy aromas that it does in fruit. According to research, limonene may increase the production of antibodies in the spleen and bone marrow, making it a useful terpene for boosting the immune system. Do-Si-Dos and Wedding Cake are high in limonene.

Other Terpenes

Aside from “the big three,” there are at least eight other terpenes that contribute to the unique flavors and effects of distinct cannabis strains. In alphabetical order, they are:

  • Borneol – minty and metallic notes. Borneol is found in Haze Strains and has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

  • Eucalyptol – minty and menthol-like aroma. Eucalyptol is found in Girl Scout Cookies and ACDC and has antibacterial and antifungal properties.

  • Geraniol – floral aroma. Geraniol is found in Tahoe OG and Purple Punch and has antibacterial and antifungal properties.

  • Humulene – spicy and herbal notes. Humulene is found in Gelato and Sour Diesel strains and has anti-inflammatory and appetite-suppressing properties.

  • Phytol – floral notes. Phytol is found in Blue Dream, Sour Diesel, and Cheese and has calming, anti-inflammatory, and sedative properties.

  • Pinene – pine, forest-like aromas. Pinene is found in Blue Dream, Haze Berry, and OG Kush and has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and bronchial dilating properties.

  • Linalool – floral and citrus-like tones. Linalool is found in Grand Daddy Purple, Do-Si-Dos, and Lavender and has calming and soothing properties.

  • Sabinene – spicy, peppery, forest-like aromas. Sabinene is found in Super Silver Haze and has anti-bacterial, antioxidant, and digestion-promoting properties.

Explore the Wonderful World of Weed

With just this brief overview of weed flavor profiles, you can see that there’s so much more to marijuana than a classic, skunky weed taste.

As you try out different hybrid, sativa, and indica strains and experience the layers of aromatic pleasure, you might fall in love with a particular strain or come up with unique combinations that are more delicious than any given strain alone.

If you’re ever craving a specific taste or want a particular therapeutic effect, don’t hesitate to ask your local budtenders to recommend a cannabis strain to try.