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Cannabis Terpenes

Added 20 February 2020

What are Cannabis Terpenes?

Cannabis users place a lot of importance on how buds smell. And, rightly so. Whether it’s stinky cheese or fruity strawberry or pineapple, the aroma is extremely important. There’s nothing as beautiful as the fragrance of fresh raw mangoes when you open a box of, say, Green Crack. It’s amazing and you brighten immediately. But, what determines the fragrance of the buds? Well, it’s all in the terpenes, and by the end of this article, you’ll know a lot more about cannabis terpenes and the role they play.

A few years ago, cannabis was all about sativa or indica or how it makes you weak in the knees. Nobody bothered about terpenes. However, as cannabis companies realized that they were used even in the aromatherapy business, focus shifted to the terpenes. Thus, when you see cannabis advertised for its relaxation or stress-relieving abilities, know that the company is actually talking about terpenes.

Wait a minute! Terpenes are associated with fragrance, isn’t it? Yes, they are. But, that’s not the only role they play. There’s a lot more to terpenes than you can imagine. Read on, and you’ll find out…

What are cannabis terpenes?

Imagine a world where all cannabis buds felt the same. Imagine there was no difference in the taste or the aroma, and every hit felt exactly the same as the last one. How boring would that be? Thankfully, the reality is different. Cannabis strains are very different from each other whether you take the flavor, aroma or the texture into account. And, terpenes contribute a lot in this department.

Cannabinoids like THC and CBD are unique to cannabis alone, but terpenes, on the other hand, are present in most fruits and even vegetables. Imagine a freshly cut lemon, for instance. The citrusy fragrance is enough to make you think about summery afternoons where you relax with a lemonade in hand without a worry in the world.

Fragrances play a powerful role on your subconscious and also affects the way you perceive things. Whether it’s a juicy pineapple or a lemon, the terpenes magically make everything smell unique and vivid.

Coming to cannabis, terpenes are present in the trichomes. Now, what in the world are trichomes? Well, grab a microscope or a jeweler's loupe. Zoom in on the buds and you’ll see small hair like structures with tops resembling mushrooms. Powerful microscopes will give you a detailed look and you’ll be able to look at these structures that are concentrated on the buds and sugar leaves as well. They look like sugar from a distance, but they are nothing but the trichomes.

This is also why growers call small leaves poking out of buds as sugar leaves. They are studded with so many trichomes that they look like crystals of sugar. These trichomes aren’t present for aesthetic purposes. On the contrary, they act like the plant’s defense mechanism and are adept at repelling any animals that love to chew on some leaves.

These trichomes also contain wonderful terpenes that offer a distinct aroma to every cannabis strain. They also ensure that the strains taste different. For example, a hit of California Snow will be very much different compared to, say, Girl Scout Cookies. While California Snow tastes like fresh apples, GSC smells and tastes like freshly baked cookies right out of the oven.

Thanks to these wonderful terpenes, your nose will be able to differentiate between several strains. Terpenes are basically essential oils present in the cannabis plant.

Terpenes and benefits

A single cannabis plant contains over 100 terpenes. However, some cannot be identified because they are present in minute quantities. Some terpenes dominate over the others. For instance, Limonene – a terpene present in lemons and strains like Bluedream dominate over the other terpenes. Thus, you’ll find that Bluedream smells like citrus fruits.  

1. Limonene

Generally found in the rinds of citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, limonene is also present in many cannabis strains. Also present in herbs like oregano and spices like clove, it reminds you of fresh lemons. It’s also used in aromatherapy to relieve stress.

According to research, limonene possesses qualities that can cure tumors. In another study, limonene is found to have the ability to even prevent cancer! Since it prevents inflammation, a range of diseases can be stopped from spreading.

2. Myrcene

Found predominantly in fruits like Mango, myrcene is commonly found in many cannabis strains. If you find buds that smell like mango, it’s due to myrcene emanating its beautiful fragrance. Also found in beer and hops, myrcene has many medicinal benefits that go beyond fragrance alone. According to research, myrcene works very well as a pain killer. Due to its ability to relax muscles and its sedative qualities, it helps relieve pain to a great extent.

3. Pinene

Found in pine trees and many cannabis strains, pinene is an exceptional terpene that is meant to help you stay alert. Contrary to myths that marijuana makes you sluggish and lazy, there are several strains that actually help you become more focused and alert. It also helps with clarity, not to mention a good boost to your creative juices. What more, pinene is known to counteract the negative effects of THC including paranoia. It also helps increase memory and reduce pain among other positive effects.

4. Linalool

Found in flowers like Lavender and many cannabis strains, linalool reminds you of fresh flowers. In fact, linalool is also used in commercial products to lend its wonderful fragrance. Used commonly in soaps and perfumes, it works as a wonderful alternative to scent products rather than using dangerous chemicals.

5. Humulene

Ever smelled a cannabis bud reminding you of spice or musk? Yes, that’s humulene doing its job for you. Found in ginseng, ginger and herbs like sage, humulene is also present in hops. It provides a wonderful musky aroma that’s hard to beat. Used as medicine for centuries by the Chinese, humulene works as a natural anti-inflammatory agent.

Why use terpenes

If you understand the concept of the entourage effect, terpenes will make more sense to you. Most people believe that CBD-rich strains are the magical cure to all problems, but research suggests that cannabis is more effective if you consume the plant as a whole. It simply means that you’ll receive more benefits if you consume oils containing THC and CBD along with the terpenes.

Instead of singling out the cannabinoids, it makes more sense to enjoy all the medicinal benefits the plant has to offer. Additionally, when you consume all the cannabinoids of the plant, they work in synergy to reduce the adverse effects of cannabinoids like THC. For example, if you smoke a strain with a lot of THC, you may feel nervous and jittery in a while. However, if you consume all the cannabinoids including terpenes, they reduce the negative effects to a great extent.

To use terpenes for medicinal purposes, go for full spectrum oils instead of broad spectrum or CBD isolates. While isolates contain nothing other than CBD, broad spectrum oils contain only CBD and a few terpenes. However, full spectrum oils comprise of all cannabinoids including CBD and THC. Note that you will not get high if you ingest full-spectrum oils since the amounts of THC present in the oils are very low. Most oils contain less than 0.3% THC. However, remember that they might show up in drug tests at times although it doesn’t happen all that often.






Comments

DoctorPhilgood
DoctorPhilgood

Terpenes and terpinoids have been on my mind a lot in the past year. Thanks for the article. Caryophyllene is also a big one to note:

https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/caryophyllene-terpene

KrautFabrik
KrautFabrik

Really nice article :clap:

Vincent11
Vincent11

Great Information

Thanks GD

Wachsemilian
Wachsemilian

Informative ,easy to read , wonderful :+1::hearts:

Removed
Removed

LIKE:heart:

guspirinhes
guspirinhes

fantastic information

Korfer
Korfer

:+1:

TheBelgian
TheBelgian

Interesting, brings in a new dimension of personal research for me to perform and experiment onto, to find that one personal strain for me to smoke em all!

ThePhattKidd
ThePhattKidd

Fantastic read & great information ! Thank You for posting.

CannaCrew420
CannaCrew420

Pleasant read and a must know :star:️

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