HTFSE – What are High Terpene Full Spectrum Extracts?

It seems as though there are more and more cannabis abbreviations and acronyms being used every day, including well-known examples, like CBD and THC, as well as lesser-known terms, such as HTFSE.

HTFSE, also known as high terpene full-spectrum extracts, is an acronym used to describe a full-spectrum extract with a high terpene content. While these cannabis extracts might not be as well known or as popular as BHO concentrates, they’re a unique offering within the cannabis space and offers consumers a tasty consumption experience.

In this guide to high terpene full-spectrum extract (HTFSE), you’ll learn all you need to know about this distinct and specialized cannabis concentrate group. We’ll explore what HTFSE is, the varieties available for purchase today and why they’re so unique. 

Let’s discover what they are together!

What is HTFSE?

what is htfse

The HTFSE acronym stands for high terpene full spectrum extracts. HTFSE is used to describe the high terpene portion of a full-spectrum cannabis extract that’s split into two distinct parts.

In the context of cannabis extracts, full-spectrum describes a cannabis concentrate product that retains the full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes and other active compounds found within unprocessed cannabis flower. Full-spectrum extracts are a combination of high terpene full-spectrum extract (HTFSE) and high cannabinoid full-spectrum extract (HCFSE) components.

The unprocessed full-spectrum extract has a viscous, sauce-like texture that consists of THCA, terpenes and other cannabis compounds. Over time and in the right environment, the cannabinoids will separate away from the mixture and form the HCFSE portion of the full-spectrum extract.

Due to its crystal-like appearance, HCFSE can also be known as cannabis diamonds or THCA diamonds. THCA is the acid form of THC and won’t induce a psychoactive high until it undergoes decarboxylation.

Once the THCA and the majority of the cannabinoids are separated from the full-spectrum mixture, the leftover terpene-rich sauce, or the HTFSE, is packaged and prepared for consumption. Sometimes known as terp sauce, HTFSE consists primarily of cannabinoids and other cannabis compounds suspended in a terpene-rich sauce.

What’s Unique About HTFSE?

Aside from its unique texture, HTFSE also contains considerably more terpenes than cannabis flower and BHO concentrates such as shatter, wax, and budder. In addition to providing users with an elevated aromatic and flavour profile, this pairing of terpenes with cannabinoids is theorized to deliver an enhanced effect.

The psychoactive experienced from cannabis is a result of the interactions between cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids and our endocannabinoid system (ECS). While the cannabinoids THC and CBD are responsible for the majority of cannabis’ effects, research has shown that other cannabis compounds, such as terpenes, can also play a role.

This interplay between cannabinoids, terpenes and other cannabis compounds and the effects they have on our ECS is known as the ‘entourage effect.’ Cannabinoids and terpenes, in particular, are hypothesized to produce an even stronger synergistic effect when they are combined together.

In a journal authored by Dr. Ethan Russo titled “Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects,” the neurologist and pharmacologist list many theorized synergistic effects from combining terpenes and cannabinoids. For example, combining caryophyllene and CBD together could help treat addiction while combining limonene with CBD could alleviate anxiety.

While this theory is still in its infancy, anecdotal accounts and preliminary studies seem to support this hypothesis. However, more research is needed before anything conclusive can be determined.

Types of HTFSE

There are several different varieties of high terpene full-spectrum extracts.  Depending on the extraction and refining process, a particular cannabis extract may or may not be considered an HTFSE product. While the following types of extracts are generally considered to have a high terpene content, they may not contain the full spectrum of cannabinoids found within cannabis flower.

To confirm whether or not a particular extract is an HTFSE or not, always refer to the cannabis packaging. A product is not an HTFSE product unless it is explicitly stated as such.

Live Resin

what is live resin

Live resin is a unique extract that uses freshly harvested, flash-frozen cannabis flower that has not been dried or cured. This special process preserves more of the source flower’s terpene and cannabinoid profile and creates a fresh, ‘raw’ taste that can’t be replicated by other extracts.

Live resin is created by combining the raw, flash-frozen plant matter with a solvent, most commonly butane, and processed. The cannabinoids, terpenes and other cannabis compounds are extracted while the undesirable plant material, including leaves, waxes, and lipids, are removed. 

live resin

Due to its production process, live resin has an aroma and flavour that’s uniquely its own. The flash-freezing process preserves more of the plant’s original terpene and cannabinoid profile, producing an experience that comes as close as possible to fresh cannabis.

Terp Sauce

terp sauce

Terp sauce is the most recognized extract falling under the HTFSE category. As noted above, this extract is a viscous, terpene-filled syrup that may or may not contain THCA crystals, depending on the producer. Terp sauce often comes in shades of golden brown to bright yellow and is incredibly aromatic and flavourful due to the high presence of terpenes.

While terp sauce may be high in terpene content, it’s not always guaranteed to be an HTFSE extract. This designation depends on the production, extraction and refinement process. When in doubt, always refer to the cannabis packaging to confirm.

HTFSE – A Full-Spectrum Potent Package

Arguably the key component to highlight in high terpene full-spectrum extracts is in the name – terpenes. 

These tiny features may not seem all that important, but they provide a vital element to the overall desired effects of cannabis that make it much more comprehensive. 

Many users appreciate HTFSE products for this exact reason. They supply an all-inclusive selection of ingredients, including all the cannabinoids and terpenes present in the starting plant material, to provide a diverse range of aromas and flavours without sacrificing potency. 

However, due to its sheer strength and potency, consumers should exercise caution when smoking or vaping HTFSE. 

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