How We Start With Terpenes
Everyone loves the distinct smells that cannabis gives off from the sweet fruity aromas to the gassy skunk smells but there is more happening under your nose than you are probably aware of. These flavorful bouquets that you are smelling are actually called terpenes and they are one of the most important parts of cannabis.
So you’re probably wondering, what are terpenes? Terpenes are aromatic oils that give each cannabis variety its own distinctive smells and tastes such as citrus, berries, mint, pine, lime, cheese and more.Terpenes are secreted in the same glands of the cannabis plant that produce cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. Over 20,000 different terpenes have already been identified across a series of plants and flowers. The cannabis plant contains over 100 terpene compounds, however this is a debate amongst cannabis enthusiasts. While some say that there are around 120 terpenes present in cannabis, others say it could contain anywhere from 140 to 200 or more.
In the same fashion as other strong smelling plants and flowers, the development of terpenes in the cannabis plant began for survival and adaptive purposes. Terpenes help repel predators and attract pollinators. Lots of different factors go into the development of a plant's terpenes including weather, climate, fertilizers, different soils age, maturity and even the time of day can impact a plants terpenes.
Studies have shown that terpenes could also play a huge role in the differentiating effects of various cannabis strains. For instance, myrcene is a monoterpene that is found in several plants including cannabis & hops that is thought to provide relaxing effects while terpinolene, a monoterpene that is found in plants such as cardamom and marjoram, is thought to provide uplifting and active effects. Cannabis utilizes a variety of terpenes dependent on strain including limonene, pinene, linalool, ocimene, humulene and more. This means that some terpenes may be the culprit that promotes relaxation and stress relief while others could potentially promote focus, clarity and intellectual acuity. This is a big debate as well amongst cannabis enthusiasts when it comes to the pronounced strain effects of sativa and indica varieties.
Terpenes add a very important depth to the art of cannabis selection as well as the connoisseurship of cannabis. These therapeutic aspects are also thought to play a big role in the medicinal properties that cannabis provides, with each strain producing different terpene bouquets. With terpenes being so prevalently acknowledged, professional testing will surely open scientific and medical playing fields for cannabis research in the future and could further our understanding of the cannabis plant as a whole.