Terpenes – What’s In Your Flavor?
Terpenes have come under recent serious study and discussion among extract makers and smokers. We want to know exactly what terpenes are, so we are taking a deeper look into terpenes and what their role is in cannabis.
What Are Terpenes?
Terpenes are a large class of organic hydrocarbons produced by a wide variety of plants, including cannabis. They are usually referred to as terpenoids after a flower or plant has been denatured by oxidation, which is when a flower has been dried and cured. They are also known as the main building block of plant resin and contribute to the scent, flavor and color of resin. Terpenes are responsible for the aromatic compounds in cannabis.
They are also known to interact with cannabinoids to produce a range of effects. Terpenes are also known to provide the plant with natural protection from bacteria, fungus, insects and even environmental stresses. There have been over 200 terpenes reported but there are endless combinations of cannabis genetics making terpene profiles are immeasurable. A study done by the Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture in 1997 revealed that there are 16 terpenoid compounds in the essential oil of different cannabis strains.
What Are The Most Common Terpenes and What Are Their Benefits?
Alpha and Beta Pinene
This terpene produces an aroma similar to pine. It is said to increase mental focus and energy. It also acts as an expectorant, bronchodilator and topical antiseptic. It is known to have been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years to retain and restore memory. This terpene can be found in abundance in Jack Herer, Chemdawg, Bubba Kush, and Trainwreck.
This one produces a citrus aroma. It is known to have relaxing effects. It also works as an antibacterial, antidepressant, and anti-carcinogenic. Because of its anti-carcinogenic effect, many people believe that this terpene is what protects smokers from any carcinogens in cannabis smoke. This terpenes is said to quickly penetrate cell membranes, allowing other cannabinoids to be absorbed more effectively. Limonene can be found in OG Kush, Super Lemon Haze and Lemon Skunk.
Myrcene produces a musky aroma as well as earthy, herbal aroma with noted of tropical fruits. This terpene is mainly found in sativa. Myrcene is a building block for menthol and citronella. It is known for working as a muscle relaxant, anti depressant, anti inflammatory, and analgesic. Myrcene also affects the permeability of cell membranes in the body and allows more cannabinoids to be absorbed. This terpene is found in Pure Kush, Himalayan Gold, and White Widow.
This terpene produces a spicy or woody aroma. Caryophyllene is known to activate the CB2 receptors and acts as an anti-inflammatory. It is found in many legal herbs and spices and contributes to the spiciness of black pepper. Caryophyllene is an FDA approved additive which means it is the first dietary cannabinoid. It is found in abundance in Hash Plant.
Linalool offers a floral and candy-like aroma. It known for relieving anxiety and its sedative properties. Linalool also works as an anti-convulsant, antidepressant, and anti-acne. It is found in G-13, Lavender and LA Confidential.