What are terpenes?

Terpenes are a natural oil or organic compound produced in plants, including hemp. There is nothing better than coming home and smelling something delicious in the kitchen. Majority of the time, what you are inhaling are the lingering aromas from terpenes.  Since the popularity of Cannabidiol (CBD), the cultivation of hemp is on the rise again, noted in the 2018 Farm Bill.

So whether you’re smelling the roses, drinking some tea, misting the room with essential oils, or wearing mosquito repellent, you’ve encountered terpenes already. It is a natural component of the plant that you can smell and/or taste.

Terpenes are not in an exclusive relationship with just the cannabis plant. There are approximately 200,000 terpenes in all types of plants, 100 of which can be identifiable in the cannabis. Humidity and sunlight can become a major stress factor. Much like any plant, the atmosphere around us can impact the growth of the terpenes in the cannabis plant. Growth conditions are of a particular concern for licensed producers, as it will dictate the medical strains yielded.

Therapeutic Profile

Over the past several years, an assortment of cannabis has been bred to include greater levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – a crystal-like compound found to be the main ingredient in cannabis. Consequently, CBD has dropped to trace amounts.

As cannabis offers a robust therapeutic profile, an alluring fact about CBD is its non-addictive characteristic. Both THC and CBD are two of more than a hundred phytocannabinoids. However, unlike THC, CBD doesn’t cause you to feel woozy or intoxicated – this is due to the fact that each phytocannabinoids acts separately on different receptors of the body and brain. This concept is why most believe terpenes influence the effects of the cannabis strains. Basically the strain will determine which gives you a burst of energy, while the other works as a sedative.

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You can’t have Terpenoids without Terpenes

Often confused for one another, the terpenoids and terpenes do vary in definition. Terpenes are defined by a natural formation of hydrogen and carbon. Whereas, terpenoids are a chemically modified version of terpenes. After the drying and curing process has taken place, the terpenes become the terpenoid. During this process, the level of oxygen is altered. Terpenoids are used more as an extract to create perfumes and essential oils. Modification to the cannabinoid strains can help create balance from negative effects.

In cannabis, terpenes are produced in the trichomes of the plant. If you look closely at the plant, you’ll see prickly little hairs with a crystal clear color. These fragments cover the leaves and buds of a plant. Trichomes have a relatively important role, acting as the protector of the plant from predators, while the aroma of the terpenes lures in the right attractants for cross-pollination.

Performing the proper procedures for trimming, drying, and curing can preserve the length of trichomes. Therefore, these techniques will enhance and sustain the life of cannabinoids and terpenoids. Growing cannabis is an evolving science with learning curves. The duration of harvesting can vary among breeders. They will emphasize on the trichomes development, whether longer or shorter timeframes. Practice does make perfect. It is encouraged for breeders to keep with the same practice, strain, and genetics for favored products.

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Sugar, Spice, and Everything Extra Nice

Ask yourself the big question, which cannabis is right for you? Would you rather have a hallucinogenic high or a calm euphoria? The decision is easy once you know the characteristics of terpenes.

Terpenes can be categorized with four of the five basic tastes: sweet, sour, spicy, and bitter. The most popular terpene strain blends consist of limonene, myrcene, pinene, linalool and caryophyllene. The higher the dose, the more potent it will be.

To begin, much like its name, the profile palate of limonene reflects a citrusy lemon fragrance that yields a boost of energy and relieves stress. While on the other hand, myrcene can relax you into a deep sleep. If you’ve ever tried a sleepy time tea, you already gotten the gist for myrcene, as myrcene is found in one of the main ingredients, lemongrass, which has a rather earthy scent. Myrcene also has the bonus effect of antibiotic properties.

Follow Your Nose

Does it smell like the winter holidays? Pine trees are one of the most popular holiday tree’s as it produces the terpene, pinene. This distinctive scent promotes alertness and energy. Medically speaking, pinene can improve a person’s short-term memory loss, which was commonly found in greater concentrations of THC.

As pinene is a derivative of the pine tree, a frequently asked questions concerns those with tree nut allergies. Typically, people with pine allergies are allergic to the release of pollen in the spring time, or to the physical pine nut. Neither of these should impact your ingestion of pinene, however, if you are concerned please speak with your doctor about an allergy sensitivity test.

Linalool is commonly found in lavender, it allows you to feel relaxed and calm. Hence why it is commonly used in aromatherapy, bubble baths, and other spa treatments. With that being said, there are also many benefits to CBD oil massages.

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Photo: Terpenes found in Cannabis

Medical Benefits

Unlike the other terpenes, caryophyllene has a unique quality similar to cannabinoid CBD expressed in the central nervous system. Caryophyllene has the power to reduce pain and inflammation in the body, while also decreasing a person’s stress level.

Whether through cross contamination, the common medical attributes found among the terpenes profiles are anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, anti-depressant, and pain relief. For patients suffering from a variety of ailments, medical cannabis can be tailored for each individual’s treatment. The greater the market becomes; the more options consumers will have in the future.

Transforming Experiences

Companies are exploring several product options to achieve the most commonly desired moods. To date, some dispensaries will divide vape pens into two categorizes based on preferred feelings: energized or tranquil. In turn, this is the better solution for customers with specified effects.

Now you can transform your experience with cannabis. Let your nose lead the way and give your taste buds a delicious flavor, while you enrich your medical benefits and mood.

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