Whether you’re a medical or recreational cannabis user, you know that it’s the unique compounds found in hemp that make it have such a potent effect on your body and mind. But there are also unique compounds that give cannabis its distinctive aroma and scent. They’re known as terpenes.
What Exactly Are Terpenes?
Terpenes are organic compounds found in almost all plants. You’ll find them in lavender, peppermint, roses, lilies, and of course – cannabis. To date, over 150 unique terpenes have been identified in cannabis.
Their role is to protect the plant and ensure its survival. They act to deter herbivores that can harm the plant and to attract pollinators and potential predators that can eliminate the herbivores and parasites.
Terpenes are what give each plant its unique smell. So, when you enter a place where cannabis is grown or used, the scent you’ll notice is that of terpenes.
Terpenes Vs. Cannabinoids
Of course, it’s not only terpenes that you’ll find in cannabis. The plant has other compounds, namely flavonoids and cannabinoids. Flavonoids are responsible for a plant’s color and taste, while cannabinoids have a different purpose.
They provide hemp with most of its therapeutic benefits.
The most popular, and not to mention the most abundant cannabinoids in cannabis are THC and CBD. THC is known for its potent psychoactive effect, while CBD can offer many medicinal benefits without having intoxicating properties.
Although flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids play different roles and shape cannabis in different ways, they work together to enhance and modify each other to deliver the entourage effect we value in cannabis.
The Most Common Terpenes Found in Cannabis
As mentioned, there are over 150 identified terpenes in cannabis and we can buy weed online easily. Not all of them are equally distributed, and not all of them will have an identical effect on your body and mind. Some will be more energizing, while others more calming.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common cannabis terpenes and see what they can do.
Limonene, as its name would suggest, is commonly found in citrus fruits (primarily in their rind). However, it’s a common terpene in cannabis as well. It has a lemony smell, and it was determined to have uplifting and energizing effects on our bodies.
Limonene is said to be stress-relieving, relaxing, and beneficial for the treatment of anxiety and depression.
Pinene is one of the most abundant terpenes found in nature. You’ll find it in – you’ve guessed it – pine trees, as well as parsley, rosemary, basil, and other herbs and plants. Its scent will likely remind you of Christmas.
Pinene has the power to counteract the effects of THC. So, a cannabis plant with high concentrations of Pinene could help medical users who want to avoid psychoactive effects.
This terpene tends to be more calming, and it can help with memory retention. Cannabis high in pinene is said to aid in the treatment of anxiety, asthma, and inflammation.
One of the most common terpenes in cannabis, Myrcene, is also found in plants such as thyme, lemongrass, and even mango. It’s calming and sedating, helping you feel more at ease.
It will have a musky smell, and it will be most useful to those suffering from pain, insomnia, and inflammation.
Myrcene is said to have a synergistic effect with THC, enhancing it and making it more impactful.
You can find Terpinolene in cannabis, cumin, nutmeg, apple tree, and tea tree, among other plants. It has an herbal aroma and will make you feel uplifted.
Terpinolene’s potential therapeutic benefits lie in its antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antioxidant properties.
Caryophyllene is a unique terpene that can, at times, act as a cannabinoid, activating your endocannabinoid system. It can be found in cinnamon, black pepper, and cloves, and often has a sweet, woody smell that’s instantly recognizable.
It can act as an excellent stress-reliever, helping you alleviate chronic pain, anxiety, and depression.
Different Cannabis Strains Have Different Terpenes
It’s important to keep in mind that not all cannabis plants will have the same terpene profile. Some will boast higher concentrations of Myrcene; others will be abundant in Caryophyllene. So, when choosing your strain, it’s always a good idea to take a look at which terpenes are present in it.
The Bottom Line
Terpenes can play a crucial part in enhancing and modifying the effects of cannabis. They won’t only provide a unique scent and aroma, but they’ll impact how cannabis interacts with your endocannabinoid system.
Keep an eye on which terpenes are present in your favorite cannabis strain, and always go for the same ones to ensure consistent results.