The wonderful world of terpenes. Terpenes are getting a lot of attention these days so we’re gonna give you a rundown on how these affect weed and why it matters. What we already know is that they contribute to the flavour and smell of your go-to strains. But what we’re finding out now, is that they may even contribute to the high; some people are calling this the “Entourage Effect.”
Terpenes also have specific medicinal values and can play a crucial role in finding a cannabis strain that suits your body perfectly.
What are Terpenes?
On a basic level, terpenes are essential oils (aromatic organic compounds) of a plant, and sometimes even insects, which give them flavour. For example, the most commonly found terpene in cannabis is myrcene which has an earthy, musk-like aroma. But each terp has their own distinct scent and may help produce their own unique high.
a. Myrcene: Found in high concentrations in many cannabis strains, myrcene is known for its earthy, herbal aroma. It is associated with sedating and relaxing effects, potentially contributing to the "couch-lock" sensation often experienced with indica strains.
b. Limonene: As the name suggests, limonene offers a citrusy aroma and is commonly found in strains like Lemon Haze. It is believed to possess mood-enhancing and energizing properties, as well as potential anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory effects.
c. Pinene: Found in pine trees and various cannabis strains, pinene is characterized by its fresh, pine-like scent. It may have anti-inflammatory properties and is believed to enhance focus and alertness. Pinene is commonly associated with sativa strains.
d. Linalool: With a floral and lavender aroma, linalool is known for its calming and relaxing effects. It may have potential anti-anxiety and analgesic properties, making it a sought-after terpene for managing stress and promoting sleep.
What is the Entourage Effect?
During a study in 2006, Dr. Ethan Russo, MD, Director of Research and Development at International Cannabis, found that CBD has a completely different effect than THC. He also found that other cannabinoids can work with THC to significantly improve the cannabis effects. This synergy was termed as the entourage effect.
As he went on to research the entourage effect of terpenes, it was found that “the terpenoid content offers complementary pharmacological activities that may strengthen and broaden clinical applications and improve the therapeutic index of cannabis extracts.” In other words, the combination of different cannabinoids and terpenes is more beneficial than isolating certain compounds, the plant matter just works better. The question now is, what terpenes, cannabinoids, etc. can successfully synthesize into treatments for pain, depression, anxiety, addiction, etc.
Terpene Chart Explained
Terpenes not only influence the effects of cannabis but also play a significant role in product selection and consumption preferences. Understanding the terpene profile of a strain can help consumers choose products that align with their desired experiences and therapeutic needs.
Some consumers may prefer strains rich in myrcene for relaxation, while others may seek strains with high limonene content for a mood boost. Moreover, terpenes have led to the development of specialized cannabis products such as terpene-infused oils, concentrates, and vape cartridges.
These products allow users to experience specific terpene profiles independently or in combination with cannabinoids, providing a more personalized and tailored cannabis experience.
The key takeaway here is that THC is no longer the only thing should care about (for a long time, THC was believed to be the only psychoactive chemical in cannabis).
For example, various research has found that terpenes play a crucial role by interacting with cannabinoid receptors to improve or hinder the effects of cannabinoids. Moreover, myrcene can cause high sedative effects, while limonene will leave you energetic. Other terpenes like Beta-Caryophyllene, humulene, and pinene have been found to have anti-inflammatory effects. As a result, more growers and extractors are actively working on preserving the terpene levels of cannabis to enhance the flavour, because extracts with a healthy spectrum of terpenes will produce more benefits/effects than just isolated cannabinoids.
We don’t really know a lot, but scientists are definitely onto something.
What will cannabis synthesize into the future?
Can we expect some crazy pain or mind-altering substance that frees people from their illness?
It all depends on the limits of research, and where we can take this.
Terpenes are not mere contributors to the aroma and flavor of cannabis. Their role in the entourage effect highlights their significant impact on the overall cannabis experience. By understanding the diverse profiles of terpenes and their potential therapeutic properties, consumers can make informed choices when selecting cannabis products. As research on terpenes continues to advance, we can expect a deeper understanding of their individual effects and how they interact with cannabinoids, paving the way for more targeted and personalized cannabis therapies in the future.