For the last decade we have heard many different things related to cannabis, but it was only two years ago that we started hearing about cannabis terpenes and the role they play in cannabis. This is mostly because the discussion has been monopolized from THC and CBD, the most widely known compounds of cannabis.
What you might not know is that terpenes are the substance responsible for giving cannabis special characteristics including its taste and fragrance. Cannabis terpenes are chemical compounds within cannabis – over 100 different terpenes are produced by the cannabis plant. Of course, terpenes can be found in other plants, not only cannabis. Terpenes are the reason that many plants have their “natural” scent and flavour. These fragrances act as natural guide for cannabis users to discover which cannabis strains they are more likely to enjoy.
Experienced cannabis users know that the first step to testing a product is to smell the bud. This is so that they can distinguish the cannabis terpenes and the quality of the product. Bud tenders and cannabis users are specialists in identifying the terpenes in each cannabis strain.
More Than Just Smell
Cannabis terpenes provide a crucial support to the primary healing role that other cannabinoids play. They tend to interact with other components of the plant and change or lower the intensity and duration of effects in a way that boosts the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids as the THC and CBD. This is called as the “entourage effect”. What happens is that terpenes work together to assist cannabinoids to pass through to our bloodstream. Each of these compounds has its own medicinal properties. From stress to muscle strain and asthma to depression there are a lot of medicinal properties and applications for cannabis terpenes.
The relevant research is still under progress but hopefully soon we will be able to understand the many ways that terpenes have been providing medical relief for thousands of years.
The specifications of each of those terpenes combined with the other component of each strain are responsible for making each cannabis strain special.
A List of The Most Important Cannabis Terpenes
- Limonene carries a lot of beneficial effects for our health. It is a major antiseptic that can be used to treat gastrointestinal problems and can boost immune systems. It can ease stress, anxiety, and elevate mood. One of the most characteristic fragrances is this fresh citrus aroma which can be found also in oranges, and of course lemons, and limes. Limonene can be found in OG Kush and Lemon Haze strains.
- Pinene is another basic terpene with the earthy smell of a pine tree. It’s been known to counter short-term memory loss from THC, improve airflow to your lungs, and promote alertness. Pinene is found in pine trees and improves focus. It can make for a creative high and can be found in Jack Herer, Blue Dream, and Trainwreck.
- Linalool has candy-like aroma, and it helps in pain, seizure and relieves inflammation. Its anti-inflammatory effect allows linalool to help those with Alzheimer’s Disease by restoring cognitive and emotional functions. Linalool can be found in Amnesia Haze, Lavender and LA confidential.
- Myrcene can be found in big quantities in every cannabis plant. It contains a taste of citrus and mint. Many Indica strains have high levels of myrcene, which contribute to the heavy stoned high effect. Moreover, myrcene can help with heart conditions. Blue Dream is a popular strain with strong myrcene aroma but this terpene can be found also in strains like Pure Kush and White Widow.
Less Well-known, Yet Important Cannabis Terpenes
- Borneol, with its distinct minty aroma, has been used in traditional medicine before (mostly in Chinese traditional acupuncture). This terpene is a good natural insect repellent. It is yet another terpene that can act as an anti-inflammatory, particularly for lung inflammation and neuropathic pain. Borneol can be found in K13 and Sour Diesel among others.
- Beta Caryophyllene gives a peppery, spicy taste and is found in cloves, cinnamon leaves and black pepper. Studies show that it can help treat anxiety and depression. Beta Caryophyllene, or BCP, is proposed as a novel compound that has beneficial pharmacological effects over existing benzodiazepines and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). BCP can be found in strains like Super Silver Haze and skywalker.
- Cineole brings a minty spicy flavor and is also known as Eucalyptol. This is due to cineole being commonly found in the eucalyptus plant. is found also in rosemary and eucalyptus. It stimulates the brain and works well in conditions of neurological deficiencies. Strains with strong cineole presence are Super Silver Haze and Girl Scout Cookies.