What Are Terpenes: Definition
Many cannabis users select specific flavours. Ever wondered why different cannabis strains have different scents? It’s because of terpenes. These are aromatic compounds that naturally occur in cannabis and many other plants such as lavender and rosemary.
Terpenes come from the same glands that produce cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. You may have heard the word terpenoids. Well, they’re not the same thing. Terpenes represent the natural form. When cannabis undergoes oxidation (the drying and curing process), terpenes change to terpenoids.
Researchers believe that terpenes are vital components in plants. In some plants, they’re instrumental in attracting pollinators such as bees while in others, they serve as a repellent to harmful predators. Aside from that, they play a vital role in the immune system of some plant species by getting rid of germs.
Marijuana usually has high levels of these chemical compounds. It’s no wonder there are numerous flavours like mint, berry, and citrus. Let’s now look at terpenes found in cannabis.
List Of Terpenes
Scientists have been able to identify more than a hundred terpenes. More interesting is the fact that various terpenes have been found to induce different effects. Here are some well-known terpenes.
Myrcene: This type is also found in plants such as mango, thyme, and lemongrass. Myrcene could be the most common terpene in commercial hemp. Studies have found it to have anti-inflammatory properties and it could be used in the treatment of osteoarthritis. Further reading.
Limonene: Its name says it all. Produces a scent similar to those of citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges. Provides multiple health benefits, for instance acts as an antioxidant and can be used for diabetes treatment.
Humulene: Is also found in the hop, ginger and clover plants. Has anti-inflammatory effects-could be used to treat asthma and allergic reactions. Find out more.
Linalool: Also a component in birch bark and lavender. This terpene is better-known for causing a relaxing effect. Studies have revealed that it has medicinal properties and is vital in the treatment of cancer, anxiety and inflammation.
Pinene: A common terpene found in a significant number of plants, for example pine needles, basil, and rosemary. It’s known to destroy inhaled germs, allow more air into the lungs and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Beta-caryophyllene: Also in black pepper and cloves. According to some studies, this terpene can significantly reduce nerve pain and pain resulting from inflammation. Click here for more information.
Terpinolene: Found in a few cannabis strains and plants such as nutmeg, cumin and lilacs. It is known to have an energizing effect.
Terpenes are just as important as other compounds found in cannabis. And they offer several benefits. To start with, terpenes have been found to enhance the effects of cannabinoids such as THC and CBD.
Cannabinoids attach to cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to cause various effects. The ECS brings about balance in the body by regulating processes such as metabolism and mood. For example, CBD is the compound associated with therapeutic effects felt after ingesting a cannabis product. Therefore, products with more linalool are more effective in the treatment of anxiety.
Secondly, they are instrumental in bringing about the ‘entourage effect’. This is a phrase coined by scientists to mean that when phytocannabinoids and chemicals such as terpenes and flavonoids are taken together, they produce a better effect. This synergistic effect has been found to be crucial in the treatment of inflammation, depression, pain, anxiety, bacterial infections and seizures. Learn more.
Do Terpenes Get You High?
No, they won’t. The compound in cannabis that gives people a high is known as THC. This uplifting effect that some users crave may help with tasks requiring creativity and could also treat mental disorders such as anxiety and PTSD. Terpenes are hydrocarbons responsible for giving different cannabis strains their unique aromas and flavours.
Although terpenes won’t get you high, they usually work alongside cannabinoids such as CBD and THC and other chemicals and enhance their effects. When people look for strains with richer terpene profiles, they usually want to experience the entourage effect.
More research is being done to discover their effects and how strains with more terpenes can be developed. To get the full effects of weed products, always look for those with more terpenes.