What Are Terpenes?
What Are Terpenes?
There’s nothing quite like the smells and tastes that the cannabis plant brings. Depending on what strains are being utilized in your cannabis products, each product is going to emit its own unique scents and flavors that make every experience different from the last. But, if all cannabis products are made from the same thing--cannabis--how do each one taste and smell so different?
The answer: terpenes. Along with the other complex layers the cannabis plant has, terpenes are an incredibly important component of this novel plant variety, allowing it all the incredible aromatic hints that you know and love. But, despite popular belief, they’re far more just components that smell and taste good. So, what exactly are the roles of terpenes, and why are they so cherished in the cannabis community?
Terpenes: What are They?
Let’s start with the basics. Terpenes can be defined as aromatic oils that certain plant varieties excrete either naturally or as a defense mechanism. In the cannabis plant, these oils are produced alongside your favorite cannabinoids like CBD, creating an aromatic and potent experience.
Terpenes emit scents ranging from citrus to herbaceous to floral to pine and everything in between. Currently, new terpenes are still being discovered, each one emitting a completely unique profile of scents and flavors that make no two terpenes alike. Though the community is familiar with about 200 or so terpenes that the cannabis plant can produce, more is being learned about these aromatic oils each and every day. Along with their unique smells and tastes, science seems to point towards terpenes impacting the effects of cannabis, bringing not only a novel profile, but a novel experience, too.
Terpenes have a direct relationship with your body, though it is one that scientists are still looking into. Some believe that terpenes have the potential to help specific cannabinoids bind to specific receptors in order to create targeted, precise results. With the chance that terpenes could help your body to absorb more cannabinoids, it is clear that there is some unprecedented relationship occurring between your body and these plant-based essential oils.
The Benefits of Terpenes
You can think of terpenes similarly to aromatherapy. When you inhale the natural scents of these oils, your body is receiving a boost of wellness typically followed by waves of relaxation. Often, even just a whiff of your cannabis or your cannabis product can produce feelings of calm, so having terpene-heavy cannabis strains may be the key to having an ideal experience.
There’s been a lot of talk lately surrounding a phenomenon regarded as the “entourage effect,” pertaining to individuals’ cannabis experiences. The entourage effect refers to this idea that, when your cannabis product has fuller ranges of cannabinoids and terpenes, you will experience a more potent, beneficial adventure. Typically, you’ll see the preference of full-spectrum extracts over isolate extracts, as these full-spectrum ones contain full-plant components--like cannabinoids and terpenes. With the synergistic properties of these components, combined, they create effects that you may have otherwise never experienced. While this is all conjecture, this idea is strongly supported, leaving many to draw towards the collaborative combination.
Again, each terpene is different in the way they produce effects within your body, and they’re completely non-intoxicating on their own.
Most Popular Terpenes and Their Properties
While there are hundreds--probably more--of terpenes found within the cannabis plant, there are a few that are quickly making a name for themselves due to their delicious profiles and novel properties.
Myrcene is an uber-popular terpene that is usually found in things like hops, mango, thyme, and, of course, cannabis. This particular terpene is typically found in indica-dominant strains and is known for sedative, anti-inflammatory properties. If you’re looking to totally decompress, myrcene is the one to do it.
Linalool is yet another well-sought after terpene, typically found in floral plants like lavender which adds to its gentle flowery scents. Linalool is a terpene that popular in more than just cannabis, as it is frequently used in essential oils for their de-stressing, anti-anxiety properties that give you a dose of calm.
Pinene gives you the uplifting effects of your classic sativa while also divulging in its anti-inflammatory properties. The tropical yet herby flavors of this terpene pair perfectly with your pineapple, lemon, or other citrus-based cannabis products.
Caryophyllene is known for its notable anti-inflammatory properties and strong pain relief. Ideal in high-CBD strains, this herbal-peppery terpene is quite pungent, but one you’ll grow to love once you experience effects.
Limonene is frequently found in lemon and orange rind, as well as herbs like juniper. Typically, this terpene is associated with strong scents of bright citrus followed by anti-anxiety and stress-relieving properties.
Find Your Favorites
With so many different terpenes found within the cannabis plant, it may feel overwhelming trying to find the ones that you enjoy the most. However, all you have to do is try! Every terpene is totally safe to enjoy and only adds a unique experience to your cannabis enjoyment. Pay attention to the terpenes utilized in the products you enjoy and make note of the ones that give you the best experience. This way, you can easily decipher which terpenes used you like the most and which you’d rather ignore.
Here at TerraVita, we utilize only the highest-quality full-spectrum extract available, allowing you to enjoy not only the benefits that CBD brings you, but the benefits that terpenes (paired with cannabinoids) have the potential to bring. We want you to have the fullest, most wholesome experience possible; for that, we rely heavily on our premium full-spectrum extract. After all, the entourage effect does show some exciting promise.
As the cannabis community continues to discover more about the myriad of terpenes found in this special plant variety, more information will continue to be divulged and you’ll likely start noticing terpene profiles on your cannabis products more frequently than before. But, for now, take a deep inhale and just enjoy all the scents and tastes that these incredible aromatic oils can provide.