Cannabis comprises hundreds of fascinating phytochemicals with the most notable being THC. However, terpenes, a previously overlooked cannabinoid, work behind the scenes to produce the tantalizing tastes and refreshing scents of cannabis strains. Not only that, but research is suggesting that they may even influence moods!
What are terpenes exactly, and what role do they play? Read further to discover what researchers have found so far.
What Are Cannabis Terpenes?
Cannabis terpenes are the aromatic oils produced in the same glands as THC and CBD. They give the plant its distinctive aroma and flavor. For example, they can influence a strain to taste fruity or minty. They can also give a strain an earthy or citrusy aroma.
Like other cannabis ingredients, terpenes play a role in the unique effects of marijuana. Nevertheless, it is not until recently that they received attention in the form of commercial interest and federal funding. Based on current research, there is a strong possibility that terpenes can largely affect one’s mood. Interestingly, they are classified by various types.
Types of Cannabis Terpenes
While the known figures are inconclusive, there could be 200 or more strains of terpenes. Researchers have already discovered about 150 terpenes in cannabis alone. In a study on the interaction between cannabinoids and terpenes published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, Ethan Russo profiled the following terpenes:
- Caryophyllene: It has been studied for its anti-malarial properties. Caryophyllene is famous for its peppery, woody, spicy smell. It is a great pain reliever.
- Linalool: It has been studied for its anti-depressant properties. Linalool is famous for its lavender aroma. It is related to lavender and will likely make you feel more relaxed.
- Myrcene: It has been studied for its sedative, muscle-relaxing, and pain-reliving properties. Myrcene is famous for its earthy and herbal fragrance. It is partly found in hops.
- Pinene: It has been studied for its anti-inflammatory properties. Pinene is famous for its pine smell. It is present in pine tree leaves and can make you feel energetic, happy, and alert.
- Limonene: It has been studied for its anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Limonene is famous for its citrus aroma. It is ideal for elevating your mood and reducing stress levels.
It is vital to know the role that terpenes play if you intend to understand the effects that each strain will have on you. The terpene profiles typically range from calming indica strains to energizing sativa strains.
Having an in-depth understanding of how terpenes work is key to personalizing your next toke.
How Do Cannabis Terpenes Work?
Have you noticed that two different strains with the same THC level tend to produce different experiences altogether? This is because cannabis terpenes function in myriad ways. Aside from injecting exceptional tastes and aromas into the cannabis experience, these compounds play a significant role in the effects of each strain.
Researchers have discovered an interplay between cannabinoids and terpenes whose molecules appear to collaborate to produce improved benefits. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as the entourage effect. For instance, terpene strains such as pinene, caryophyllene, and limonene work closely with THC to produce additional benefits. Likewise, linalool and CBD also depict a unique synergistic relationship.
In addition, cannabis terpenes produce effects independently. Different studies and research show the amazing effects of these molecules in isolation.
Do Terpenes Get You High?
Terpenes do not necessarily make you feel “high” in a traditional sense. However, some strains are considered psychoactive since they tend to affect your brain differently.
While terpenes are not intoxicating independently, it is likely that they impact the effects of THC as mentioned above. THC is the cannabinoid responsible for consumers feeling “high.” In order to attain a desired effect, cannabis experts recommend that consumers focus more-so on specific terpenes profiles rather than THC content.
Terpenes have the potential to drastically change the cannabis industry. Manufacturers are beginning to create customized blends that harness the entourage effect’s power to provide immense relief.
With a proper understanding of terpenes, you can personalize your next cannabis experience for optimal benefit from this compound. Visit our store in Washington, DC, to check out the strain-specific terpenes on our ever-growing menu.