In a recent review, I wrote about the revelation that most CO2 oil in pre-filled cartridges uses a process that eliminates or minimizes terpene content. The staff at my dispensary kept reminding me that most oil in cartridges were basically just THC and other cannabinoids, without the entourage effect of terpenes enjoyed when smoking flower. Terpenes, an increasingly sought after element in the world of cannabis, are thought to be responsible for a wide range of the beneficial and therapeutic effect of cannabis. In particular, variation in terpene content is thought to account for the different benefits of various strains. For example, strains with high pinene content offer anti-inflammatory properties, can improve airflow to the lungs, and can improve alertness – pinene is thought to temper the short-term memory loss from THC.

I love pre-filled cartridges for their convenience and relatively mellow effect on my lungs, and I haven’t yet had the chance to invest in a good vaporizer for flower – so my dispensary had to tell me a few times before I was willing to accept the fact that I’d been missing out on all the benefits of terpenes.

Photo by: Leafly

Photo by: Leafly

As you can imagine, I was excited when I found out a new brand of cartridges was being offered that reintroduces terpenes to their CO2 oil after the process. Lola Lola cartridges come from cannabis grown in Mendocino County. The brand is known for their eye-catching, approachable packaging design - which has art that reminds me of a happier, peaceful, non-disturbing version of a Hieronymus Bosch painting - but my interest revolves around the “first generation, single-origin terpenes” the brand reintroduces to their CO2 oil. Their cartridges also use what they call their “Signature Series Gold & Bright™ Oil,” a clear, golden oil which my dispensary told me would be smoother on the throat than the standard, darker oils.

This cartridge I bought uses oil from the Sunset Sherbert strain, an indica-hybrid in the same family as Girl Scout Cookies. The strain is a cross of a Girl Scout Cookies variety with an indica strain called Pink Panties. The package prominently features a label indicating the most prominent terpene in the strain – caryophyllene. Caryophyllene is a terpene found in black pepper, cloves, and cinnamon. Like pinene, the terpene offers anti-inflammatory as well as analgesic (pain-killing), anti-cancer, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressant properties. The package rates the THC content at over 70 percent, putting it on the high-end of average in my experience. According to the packaging, “this sweet tasting strain is known for its powerful body effects followed by cerebral jolts of energy.”

The first thing I noticed was the sweet, light floral taste, subtle yet more distinct than most other CO2 cartridges. Caryophyllene is known for a spicy aroma, but the sweetness and berry notes overpower any spiciness here.

The effect takes hold slowly, with a nice mixture of body buzz and mood lifting properties. There is a quality to this cartridge that more closely resembles smoking than normal vaping – perhaps this is the terpene presence. As with any vaping, it takes a bit longer to kick in, but once it does, the effect is less in the background than with other C02 oil, with more of an in-your-face effect, one that I normally associate with smoking. The body effects are relaxing while the cerebral end is content and laughter-inducing. As an indica dominant strain, nap-inducing and muscle relaxing properties are definitely present, though not overwhelming.