Terpenes are organic compounds that are produced in a variety of cannabis plants. Essentially they are aromatic oils that give cannabis the colour varieties and distinctive flavours like citrus, berry, minty, and earthy. Not unlike other plants with distinct smells, terpene began as a defence mechanism to repel predators, bacteria, insects and birds.
Of course, they also play a crucial role in differentiating the effects of various cannabis strains that combine with the cannabinoids.
While Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been heavily studied, many of the other cannabinoids, terpenoids, and flavonoids in a marijuana plant — facts that play a significant role in how weed tastes, smells, and interacts with your body.
While taste and smell will enhance your enjoyment of cannabis, a fascinating characteristic of terpenes is their ability to interact with other compounds in the plant, especially with cannabinoids.
How do Terpenes Work?
Each terpene is associated with a unique effect. The profile of any given terpene may change based on the presence of other chemical compounds within the canabis. The differences between terpenes can be subtle, and not as well known as other aspects of cannabis. What is indisputable is that terpenes add great depth to the experience of a cannabis patient. Most importantly, terpenes can offer additional medical value as they mediate our body’s interaction with therapeutic cannabinoids by speeding up the entrance of the cannabinoids into our bloodstream.
There are many factors that influence a plant’s development of terpenes. Climate, weather, age and maturation, fertilizers, and soil type all give each plant a distinctive and unique quality.
When choosing a terpene, keep in mind that different harvests may have different qualities due to various growing techniques. Unfortunately, the only way of knowing the true terpene’s potency is to test it in a lab. The type of terpene you choose will be largely based upon your personal preference.
If you’re using cannabis for medical purposes, it is an important component of the overall effect because different terpene profiles will help with different aspects. For example, some are perfect for pain, others for inflammation and others for reducing symptoms of arthritis.
There are over 200 terpenes in cannabis, but, you generally only hear about six or seven. These terpenes are pharmacologically active and have many mental and physical benefits. If you’re planning on increasing your cannabis knowledge past the usual talk about THC/CBD and Indica/Sativa strains, you will want to learn more about terpenes – giving you a sophisticated edge over your friends.