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The Difference Between CDTs, HDTs, and BDTs

There are a lot of different terpenes out there, all derived from different places. Sometimes terpene companies have very overblown statements about how effective they are at steering the high in a certain direction (Ex: “Indica” branded terpenes). However, using terpenes to try and steer your blend is like trying to blow on a sailboat's sail to make it go faster. Using other minor cannabinoids will always produce far more of an appreciable difference than terpenes.


For example, to make a blend feel more sedating I would add CBN or CBNo, not “indica” terpenes. Because of this, in my opinion you should be adding whatever terpenes taste and smell the best to you. If you don’t want to, you don’t even need to add terpenes - you truly are not missing out on much other than flavor and smell.


With all that said, let's go over the types of terpenes and their strengths and weaknesses.


Botanically Derived Terpenes (BDTs)

  • Distilled from various botanical sources - could be flowers, veggies, anything really.

  • Best for “fake” or “candy” flavors like Blue Raspberry or Strawberry Shortcake.

  • Typically tastes more like vape flavoring than cannabis.

  • Usually more fragrant than HDTs or CDTs

  • Usually the cheapest option

  • Usually bad at strain flavor recreation


Hemp Derived Terpenes (HDTs)

  • Distilled from hemp

  • Best for “natural” flavors such as lavender, hay, grass, etc.

  • Often fails at creating “dank” smells

  • Seems to be the most hit-or-miss kind of terpene

  • Usually cheaper than CDTs but more expensive than BDTs

  • Usually the least fragrant compared to CDTs and BDTs

  • Usually just ok at strain flavor recreation


Cannabis Derived Terpenes (CDTs)

  • Distilled from cannabis

  • Best for “dank” flavors and accurate strain flavors.

  • Varies wildly in quality and price

  • Most expensive

  • Usually more fragrant than HDTs but less fragrant than BDTs

  • Bad for “fake” or “candy” flavors.


Not Using Terpenes

  • No viscosity change

  • Most cannabinoids have a subtle flavor of rubber and hay

  • 5 more percentage points to play around with in your blend

  • Least expensive option

  • Not ideal for making carts

  • Can make telling blends apart harder

  • Not as much fun

  • Feels less authentically like weed, if that’s something that matters to you.


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