We, as humans, love various fragrances, and many of these smells do much more than draw us in for another whiff. Terpenes, aromatic compounds found in some plants, are responsible for some surprising effects.
Terpenes are found in many plants, including cannabis. In fact, cannabis has a higher concentration of this compound compared to what’s found in other plants. Not only do terpenes give cannabis its unique smell, but it also affects how we feel when we experience the euphoria when inhaling or enjoying edibles.
Terpenes are responsible for the intoxicating smell of lavender and the strong citrus scent of orange peel. But these smells aren’t just to tempt or soothe us, they are also used to ward off germs and grazing animals. The mixture of terpenes present in a plant is combined to protect and retain the vitality of the plant. Rosemary is also another plant rich in terpenes.
When it comes to cannabis sometimes terpenes can smell funky, or close to the smell emitted by frightened skunks. The aromas of cannabis can vary quite a bit. This is one reason it’s such an interesting plant. The terpene profile of a particular strain of cannabis is the specific combination of the terpenes that are present. The terpene ‘Linalool’ is a more pleasant smell, close to lavender, while Limonene smells curiously close to citrus.
If you think THC is the powerhouse that creates that extraordinary feeling when vaping or trying edibles, you’re halfway right. Terpenes also have an influence on your cannabis trip. THC without terpenes does not produce the same effect, and you will notice the difference.
The reason for this is interesting. It pertains to how terpenes interact with our endocannabinoid system, which assists the entourage effect. Although the euphoric effects achieved with THC are strong, cannabis connoisseurs sometimes prefer a strain that is high in terpenes. Different experiences come from different combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes. Cannabis is an intriguing plant, to say the least.
Like cannabinoids, terpenes are thought to have positive effects on health. Some terpenes can be uplifting while some reduce inflammation. It’s thought that terpenes are what help us relax the most.
-Terpenes have medicinal properties of their own like cannabinoids. Some are uplifting, some may help with inflammation, and some relax us. Remember, everyone reacts differently to cannabis. It seems that terpenes also help with symptoms of epilepsy, as the combination of CBD and terpenes may be more effective.
Vaping seems to be a popular way to enjoy cannabis. Some vape cartridges have added terpenes, much more than what’s found in raw cannabis flower. This makes vaping cannabis a great way to experience terpenes without ash which can mask the flavor or aroma.
If the statement, “live terpenes” is listed on the cartridge, this means the terpenes in the product were not cured or dried. Live terpenes produce a stronger, much bolder scent with elevated effects. Different effects, tastes and smells are present depending on whether the terpenes are “live” or cured.
Also, terpenes can be found in tinctures for added benefits. These are strain and effect specific properties that prove helpful for several needs and issues.
Although there are many different types of terpenes in our world, scientists have only begun to scratch the surface. There are studies being conducted on only a few types yet. Let’s look at a few examples.
This is one of the most abundant terpenes found in cannabis. Myrcene is also found in fruits such as Mango, and it has a musky or earthy scent. This terpene has the tendency to make you feel sleepy, and there’s even a story behind this belief.
In fact, if you eat a Mango before enjoying cannabis, these relaxation effects can be stronger. And this is true! This is because the Myrcene in the Mango combined with THC can be quite powerful. It’s said that there are health benefits like anti-inflammatory properties, tumor growth inhibitors and sedatives present within Myrcene.
The terpene, Linalool, is also found in lavender, sweet basil, coriander and more. It can also be found in certain hygiene and cleaning products as well — usually in 60 – 80% of these products. But the best part is this terpene is found in cannabis as well and can have beneficial antifungal and antimicrobial properties.
Caryophyllene, found in rosemary, hops, carrots, and other similar plants, has a more peppery /spicy earth smell. This terpene found in some cannabis strains is what’s responsible for the pungent smells that resemble skunk or diesel gas. There are several potential benefits including anti-cancer properties, help with multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s symptoms, and pain relief. This terpene can also help elevate the mood.
To produce the entourage effect, CBG, CBD, and Caryophyllene bind with the CB2 receptor. These CB2 receptors are found primarily in the immune and gastrointestinal systems, and many health issues are controlled by these systems. So, it’s without being said that cannabinoids working together with terpenes causes a much greater effect than when working alone.
There are many terpenes — more compounds called terpenoids, flavonoids, and cannabinoids than we could ever imagine. It can truly be an overwhelming discovery, as new cannabis compounds and interactions are experienced all the time.
However, the more we fight the stigma of cannabis, the more we get to learn and appreciate it. At Lucida Club, this is part of the mission. With further legalization and education about all the incredible compounds like terpenes, along with effects and interactions, cannabis may soon become a common substance in the home. It may be just as desirable as a nice hot cup of tea. Let’s hope so.