Cannabis Terpenes: Everything you need to know!

There’s a lot to love about cannabis — the way it looks, the way it makes you feel. But, much like other types of plants and flowers, perhaps our favorite attribute is its iconic smell.
3 minute read

 

Cannabis Terpenes… Everything you need to know!

 

There’s a lot to love about cannabis — the way it looks, the way it makes you feel. But, much like other types of plants and flowers, perhaps our favorite attribute is its iconic smell. Skunky. Sweet. Makes your eyes roll back and your body tingle.
While cannabis has distinct characteristics, different varieties and strains have their unique smell, be it pine, musky, or citrus, that triggers the senses. Terpenes are the reason for these aromas and flavors. Terpenes themselves can also promote specific effects on the mind and body. Think about lavender’s soothing effect, or how palo santo gives you a cozy feeling.

 

So, What Exactly Are Terpenes?

 

To date, more than 200 different types of terpenes identified in cannabis alone. However, many are present in such minuscule amounts that they are often undetected even when tested at a lab. 
Terpenes are oils secreted from plant trichomes and are what give plants their unique fragrance, including cannabis. Terpenes act as protectors for the plant. The strong scents repel predators, such as insects, animals, and other hazards found in the natural world. Various factors play a role in the development of terpenes in the plant, such as temperature, sunlight, fertilizer, and soil type. 
Broadly, terpenes can be broken down into four flavor categories: sour, sweet, spicy, and bitter. Besides delivering delectable bliss to your nose and palate, terpenes also contain energizing, anxiety-reducing, and sedative effects.

 

Which Terpenes Should You Look Out For?

 

The right blend of terpenes can enhance aspects of your cannabis experience — a heady high or reducing pain sensations. Terpenes have a lot to do with the unique experience of each strain. Here are a few terpenes we felt deserved some spotlight:

 

Linalool
The terpene linalool — found in lavender — helps promote a peaceful state. Due to its rich tranquilizing effects, linalool works well together with cannabinoids and can increase sleep and relax your body. Linalool helps:

 

Reduce anxiety and manage stress
Promote relaxation and is deeply sedating
Manage pain

 

      Myrcene
      Myrcene is found in several aromatic plants, including eucalyptus, some citrus fruits, lemongrass, wild thyme, mangos and more. Aside from being highly aromatic, myrcene helps with:

       

      Reducing inflammation
      Relieve muscle tension
      Has a soothing effect
      Increases the effects of THC

       

          Caryophyllene
          Caryophyllene is the only known terpene that mimics cannabinoids like CBD. Mostly found in cinnamon, cloves, and black pepper, caryophyllene helps with: 

           

          Manage the symptoms of arthritis
          Reduce inflammation
          Combating stress
          Promoting sleep
          Gastrointestinal issues

           

              Limonene
              Limonene is what gives citrus fruit its burst of flavor. It’s commonly found in fruit rinds and peppermint, and helps:

               

              Enhance mood
              Reduce heartburn
              Acts as an antifungal and antibacterial agent
              Treats gastrointestinal complications and heartburn
              Helps with depression

               

                Pinene
                Commonly found in pine needles, rosemary, and basil — pinene gives you a bright, fresh whiff of the outdoors. Pinene helps:

                 

                Increase alertness
                Improves memory retention
                Counteracts some THC effects

                 

                  Terpenes & Cannabis: Working Together

                   

                  Terpenes, much like cannabinoids, have therapeutic properties. From assisting with healthy brain function to helping balance your ECS — terpenes can work with cannabis to help you feel more in check.
                  Regardless of how you choose to consume cannabis, understanding the different chemical compounds can enhance your experience can help you find your perfect terpene profile. Experiment. Have fun. Enjoy.

                   

                   

                  References:

                  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00421-005-1402-8

                  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17559833

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                  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22867633

                  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24210682

                  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22867633

                  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11418-012-0732-1

                  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24455984

                  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25622554

                  https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1081/IPH-120020476?journalCode=iipi20&

                  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/

                  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6334252/

                  https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/terpene

                  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5877694/

                  https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/caryophyllene


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