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Everything You Need to Know About Terpenes: Cannabis’ Essential Oils
If you’re a cannabis consumer, then you’ve probably heard the term “terpenes.” But what are they, and why do they matter?
In this blog post, we will discuss terpenes in depth. We’ll explain what they are, give some examples of different terpene profiles, and talk about the benefits of terpenes. If you’re interested in learning more about cannabis’ essential oils, then this blog post is for you!
Image Source: Leafly
What are terpenes?
Terpenes are organic compounds that are produced by a variety of plants, including cannabis plants. All plants create terpenes. They are responsible for the distinct aromas (aromatic compounds) of different plants, and they can also have medicinal benefits. There are over 100 different terpenes that have been identified in cannabis, each with its own unique aroma and potential benefits.
Terpenes are sometimes referred to as bioactive compounds and they are the fundamental building blocks of essential oils. When you smell a plant, you are actually smelling the terpenes. For example, the citrusy smell of lemons comes from the terpene limonene, and the floral smell of lavender comes from linalool. Essential oils have been long used for medicinal purposes but the same terpenes play a major role in cannabis products, hemp essential oil, CBD oils, and more.
Different cannabis strains can have different terpene profiles, which is why some strains smell and taste citrusy while others are more earthy. The ratio of different terpenes can also affect the effects of a strain. For example, a strain with high levels of the terpene myrcene may be more sedating than a strain with lower levels of myrcene.
So, why do terpenes matter?
Well, for one, they can affect the smell and taste of cannabis. But more importantly, terpenes affect and influence the effects of cannabis. Different terpenes can provide different benefits, such as reducing stress or promoting focus. When you know which terpenes are in a particular strain, you can better predict the effects that strain will have based on the role terpenes play.
Image Source: MJ Brand Insights
What are the different types of terpenes in cannabis?
There are many different types of terpenes, but some of the most common ones found in cannabis include myrcene, limonene, and pinene.
Let’s take a look at the main terpenes found in cannabis plants:
- Myrcene, which is also present in hops, is one of the most popular terpenes found in cannabis plants. It has a heady scent with undertones of balsam and bay leaves, which may help you relax and unwind. Pink Kush (such as Flowr BC Pink Kush Indica) has citrus notes while Shishkaberry (such as Redecan Shishkaberry Indica) is known for its mild, relaxing qualities, with sweet berry-like notes.
- Linalool: This floral-scented terpene is also found in lavender and mint plants. It has a sweet, woody aroma and can provide relaxation and stress relief. Some popular strains that contain linalool include Amnesia Haze (such as Green Society Amnesia Haze) and LA Confidential (such as Gage Cannabis Co. LA Confidential), and Gabriola (Frost Monster) by Broken Coast is an Indica dominant hybrid with linalool terpenes.
- Limonene: As its name suggests, this citrusy-smelling terpene is also found in lemons and other citrus fruits. Limonene can provide an uplifting and energizing effect, making it a great choice for daytime use. Some strains that contain limonene include Super Lemon Haze (such as MedReleaf Super Lemon Haze) and Sour Diesel (such as Aurora Cannabis Sour Diesel), both of which have citrusy, diesel-like aromas.
- Pinene: This terpene is also found in pine needles and rosemary, and it has a woody, earthy aroma. Cannabis consumers that like this aromatic compound profile should try strains like Cannatonic, Grape Ape (Indica), and Harlequin (high THC, cannabis Sativa-dominant.)
- Terpinolene: This terpene has a floral, herbal aroma and is found in lilacs, apples, and cumin. It can provide relaxation and sedation, making it a good choice for nighttime use. Some strains that contain terpinolene include Blue Dream (such as Aurora Cannabis Blue Dream), Ultra Sour, and Rio Bravo.
- Caryophyllene: This terpene has a woody, peppery aroma and is found in black pepper, cloves, and cinnamon. It can provide a calming effect and is a good choice for those looking for relief from anxiety and stress. Some cannabis Sativa strains that contain caryophyllene include Master Kush, Original Glue, Candyland, and Sour Diesel.
Whether you’re looking for recreational cannabis or medical cannabis, you can use these profiles to help find strains that you’ll like. Terpenes contribute to the taste and smell of cannabis. You can use your taste preferences to identify which terpenes might be a good match for you.
If the idea of these cannabis compounds is completely new to you, you can use flavors you like, essential oils you particularly enjoy, or other plants that contain these terpenes to give you a starting point.
You can also choose terpenes based on their medicinal properties, effects they may have on the human body, and potential health benefits.
What are the potential health benefits of terpenes?
The potential health benefits of terpenes are vast and varied. Some terpenes are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, while others are known for their ability to help improve mood and reduce anxiety.
Some of the potential health benefits associated with terpenes include:
- Reduced inflammation
- Pain relief
- Anxiety relief
- Neuroprotective effects
- Improved mood
- Stress relief
Essential oils are long-studied and believed to have many therapeutic properties and potential health benefits. They interact with the human body in different ways and have been used in many medical applications. These naturally occurring compounds have long been used in natural folk medicine.
Cannabis consumers can select their terpenes based on their therapeutic benefits. Terpenes in the cannabis plant may help increase blood-brain barrier permeability and many terpenes enhance how THC binds to cannabinoid receptors. Some studies suggest that certain terpenes react with the human body in beneficial ways, specific to medical conditions such as anxiety, diabetes, and cancer.
For example, one study found that limonene’s anti-inflammatory properties reduced free radicals in leukemia cells and reduced inflammation. The same source shares that limonene terpenes interact to help reduce appetite, reduce stress, and support proper digestion in the human body.
Limonene appears to alter the way certain immune cells in the body behave, which may protect the body from a range of disorders. In one study, limonene helped to increase the production of antibody-producing cells in the spleen and bone marrow, which are used by the immune system to identify and neutralize pathogenic bacteria and viruses.
Other terpenes like myrcene also have anti-inflammatory properties. Mycrene chemical compounds also have a sedative effect and can help cannabis users relax and stay asleep longer.
The therapeutic and medicinal uses for terpenes are vast and continue to be researched. As the legal landscape for cannabis and the cannabis industry changes, we will likely see more studies on the potential health benefits of these essential oils.
Elevate your cannabis experience with these important compounds
Take full advantage of all the benefits the cannabis plant has to offer with CannaMax in Augusta, Maine. We are your one-stop shop for medical cannabis in the Augusta, ME area.
We can help you select cannabis strains and other products that cater to your terpene preferences. We can help you discover which cannabis terpenes you may enjoy.
Our knowledgeable staff can also help you understand how these essential oils found in cannabis might interact with your body and what possible benefits they could offer.
CannaMax makes it a priority to always carries a strain featuring your favorite terpene! We have them all and we’re ready to guide you to your new favorite strain.
Stop by our convenient location today or contact us to learn more about how we can help you get the most out of your cannabis experience.