What are terpenes?

What are terpenes?

Terpenes are chemical compounds in plants and even in some animals. They are the reason behind the aromas, flavors, and even colors associated with different crops. When it comes to Cannabis, terpenes make certain strains smell or taste different from others. It plays a vital role in distinguishing the effects of different strains of Cannabis. Some terpenes will help you relax and relieve any stress, while others can promote concentration and alertness. Thus, terpenes are viewed by most consumers as a way to classify cannabis products and predict their effects, scent and flavor. 

How to pollinate cannabis?

Why does the plant produce terpenes?

Plants produce terpenes to protect themselves from herbivores, insects, and other environmental hazards. Its existence in Cannabis helps the plant repelling predators. In addition, they are also responsible for regenerating and supplying oxygen to a plant. 

What terpenes can be found in Cannabis?

There are primary and secondary terpenes that can be found in Cannabis plants. The primary terpenes in Cannabis have the most significant influence on the plant’s appearance, taste, and aroma. The secondary terpenes are not as striking as the primary ones in Cannabis, but they still play a role in the strain‘s effect on humans.

Common Primary Terpenes

  1. Myrcene. This terpene is known for overall body relaxation and releases a flowery, spicy, and earthy smell. It is found out to be analgesic, antibiotic, anti-inflammatoric and is known to induce sleep. Strains high in myrcene are:
    1. OG Kush
    2. Girl Scout Cookies
    3. Grape Ape.
  2. Limonene. With its fresh spice and orangey scent, the aroma of this terpene can lighten up your mood, loosen from stress, depression, and anxiety. Also, it can treat acid reflux, serve as an antioxidant, and aid indigestion. Strains high in Limonene are:
    1. Wedding Cake
    2. Quantum Kush
    3. Berry White
  3. Pinene. Like other terpenes, it has an exquisite earthy, pine herbal, and spicy aroma. Pinene is evident to be anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and it helps you be alert and makes your memory sharp. Aside from that, it acts as a bronchodilator which allows more air into your lungs. Strains high in Pinene are:
    1. Haze Berry
    2. OG Kush
    3. Blue Dream
  4. Humulene. Humulene is another terpene that provides a woody, spicy and herbal aroma. Two of the most notable medicinal use of Humulene are as an appetite suppressant and as an anti-inflammatory. It is also said to have the potential for the prevention of allergic reactions and asthma. Strains high in Humulene are:
    1. Gelato
    2. Atlantis
    3. Sour Diesel

Common Secondary Terpenes

  1. Borneol. This terpene has a minty aroma and a hint of rosemary. Some of its known benefits are anti-inflammatory, and it has analgesic effects. Strains high in Borneol are:
    1. K13-Haze
    2. Golden Haze
    3. Amnesia Haze
  2. Eucalyptol. As it depicts in its name, Eucalyptol provides a refreshing scent of mint and menthol. It has antifungal and antibacterial properties. Strains high in Eucalyptol are:
    1. Girl Scout Cookies
    2. AC/DC
    3. Headband
  3. Phytol. This terpene provides the consumer a feeling of relaxation through its sedative and antioxidant properties. It has a floral aroma that will give off a sense of leisure in mind. This terpene is evident to the following Cannabis strains:
    1. Sour Diesel
    2. Blue Dream
    3. Cheese
  4. Sabinene. Some of the known medicinal benefits of this terpene are it aids digestion, relieves arthritis, and soothes skin conditions. Sabinene gives a woody, spicy and peppery aroma. It is most prominent in the strain Super Silver Haze.

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Where can we find terpenes in a cannabis plant?

If you take a closer look at your Cannabis, maybe you have noticed the tiny glandular hairs that surround the area of the cannabis plants, which gives crystalline shine and a sticky feel. We call this part trichomes which are responsible for the production of terpenes. It contains resin glands that produce terpenes.

Do terpenes make you high?

Terpenes cannot cause delusions, paranoia, drowsiness, and other psychogenic effects. In short, it would not make you feel high. Instead, terpenes are known for their medicinal use, especially in mitigating hypertension, diabetes, and depression.

How do terpenes differ from Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are known chemical compounds that are found in Cannabis. Cannabinoids, like THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, stimulate receptors in the endocannabinoid system of our body. Thus, resulting in the "high" effect that users may experience, such as delusions, paranoia, drowsiness, etc.

However, not all Cannabinoids stimulate a "high" feeling. Cannabidiol or CBD is another type of Cannabinoids that is popular because of its medicinal use. Though CBD acts on some of the same receptors in our endocannabinoid system, it does not create any euphoria.

On the other hand, terpenes are responsible for the smell and aroma produced by Cannabis. It makes certain strains smell or taste different from others. Both Terpenes and Cannabinoids act in our endocannabinoid system. People believe that terpenes provide an entourage effect or enhance a person’s "high" feeling from using Cannabis. In short, it improves or alters the effects of THC and CBD when intake by our body.

How do terpenes affect the human body?

One of the notable effects of terpenes on the human body is it helps the person’s mood and stress levels. The vibrant smell terpenes produce eventually becomes the basis of many essential oils aroma to alternative therapies such as aromatherapy. In addition, terpenes can also lessen the effect of a person who gets "high" from using Cannabis. This is known as the entourage effect. It implies that terpenes can alter the impact of Cannabinoids which is the chemical compound responsible for the "high" influence of Cannabis when consumed.

How to maximize the benefits of terpenes?

With the known benefits of terpenes, especially their therapeutic properties, you have to make sure that you maximize the advantages you are getting from them when you purchase Cannabis products.

  1. Check the Label. Laboratory-prescribed Cannabis brands include terpene profiles. Usually, they print the three most prevalent terpenes and the concentrations of the product. By checking the label, you can know what terpenes are found in the product, making you aware of the effects it will bring to you once consumed.
  2. Figure out its Freshness. To check for the freshness of your Cannabis, look for products that have a recent packaging date. After two months, the concentration of terpenes may decrease.
  3. Keep a Journal. As you try cannabis products with different terpene profiles, be aware of your ingestions and how you feel after your consumption. Taking notes will help you determine the best effect you are looking for and what terpenes you favor.

Conclusion

Terpene is the compound that provides the aroma and scent of your Cannabis. It helps your Cannabis for adaptive purposes to survive. Terpenes hold therapeutic properties that are beneficial to your body. Researchers must explore more of the potential medicinal uses to widen the understanding of terpenes.

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