Like many other herbs and flowers, cannabis has a distinctive scent. If you’re well-acquainted with the plant, you’ll know that different strains have noticeably different aromas. You might pick up notes of citrus, lavender, pine, or musky scents when you sniff your favourite strain.
Terpenes are responsible for this variety of aromas and flavours, and they may also have an impact on how the weed affects your body. Learning more about them can help you discover your favourite flavours and strains! Here’s what you need to know about the benefits of weed terpenes.
What Are Weed Terpenes?
Weed terpenes are the chemical compounds in cannabis that cause it to smell a certain way. Much like how cannabis plants produce THC and CBD, they also produce a variety of terpenes.
Unlike THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids, terpenes aren’t necessarily unique to weed. The same aromatic compounds can be found in a variety of herbs, flowers, fruits, and trees. In fact, terpenes are so plentiful that they are actually one of the most commonplace compounds in nature! When terpenes are isolated, they are often used for fragranced products like perfumes, beauty items, and even food.
Different strains will produce different amounts and types of terpenes. So far, more than 200 different terpenes have been identified!
Terpenes are currently being studied to discover what effects they add to the cannabis plant. Thanks to recent research, it’s becoming clear that cannabinoids aren’t the only active cannabis compounds that affect the brain and body of users. Terpenes play a role, too.
While some people use the terms terpenes and terpenoids intermittently, this isn’t accurate. When a plant dries and cures, the terpenes in the plant will oxidize. This creates terpenoids.
Why Do Plants Produce Terpenes?
Plants produce terpenes as a way to naturally protect themselves by deterring predators and pests. They also attract pollinators and help plants with processes that are vital to their survival including oxygenation and regeneration. They serve as the plant’s immune system, fighting off germs that could cause unwanted infections.
While there are already so many terpenes in nature, they are only becoming more diverse with time. Some people believe this could be nature’s way of strengthening its defence against common enemies like predators and infections as they too become stronger. However, it’s also possible that more terpenes are developing with time due to cultivation and breeding practices.
Although most people think of terpenes as being exclusively in plants, they are also found in animals. Some animal terpenes help them with essential metabolic processes.
How Do Terpenes Interact with our Bodies?
Terpenes are bioactive meaning that they interact with your body, just like cannabinoids do. Every person may be affected slightly differently depending on their own health as well as the concentration of terpenes in whatever cannabis product they are taking. Different terpenes also produce different effects.
While research is still ongoing, users have reported the following positive effects from cannabis terpenes:
- Calming effect. Many strains of weed have a calming effect when used. While this is due to a combination of factors, certain terpenes are likely to play a supporting role in this effect.
- Anti-inflammatory. Since cannabis interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the body, which directly links to the nervous system, cannabis can have anti-inflammatory properties that are likely boosted by the presence of terpenes.
- Mood boost. Sativa strains especially are believed to create an uplifted mood. Many people report a happier, more focused, energized mood, although results can vary from user to user. Like with other effects, terpenes are likely to increase the mood boost!
- Immunity boost. Just as terpenes protect plants against germs and infections, they can also strengthen your immune system. They are anti-fungal and antibacterial. Strengthening your immune system is important to decrease your chances of getting sick and helping you heal faster if you do come down with an illness.
- Appetite suppressor. Some terpenes found in weed can help with suppressing appetite. This may make cannabis helpful if you’re trying to manage your weight.
Many people believe that cannabis has a more powerful effect on the user when all the terpenes are included. The phenomenon of all the plant’s cannabinoids and terpenes working together is known as the entourage effect. Not only do you get to experience the benefits of every individual compound when you’re consuming a cannabis flower, but as all the compounds interact, they also become stronger.
Although isolating terpenes is possible, many opt for consuming whole cannabis flowers to reap the rewards of all the plant’s components including terpenes.
Common Weed Terpenes
There are many different weed terpenes, but not all of them are well-studied yet. However, some of the more prevalent ones have lots of research behind them and we are constantly discovering more about their properties. Terpenes that you can commonly find in cannabis strains include:
- Myrcene: Myrcene is the most common terpene in cannabis and is also a prominent terpene in lemongrass, thyme, hops, and some fruits. Many people enjoy the herbal, earthy, relaxing aroma it provides. Myrcene can increase the calming effect of weed and is found in popular strains such as Purple Urkle.
- Limonene: If myrcene is the most common terpene, then limonene is a close second. Limonene is found in many different strains of cannabis and may have anti-anxiety effects. It’s also commonly found in lemons and other citrus fruits. Strains such as Sour Diesel and Lemon Haze have high amounts of limonene.
- Ocimene: Sweet and citrusy, ocimene is another great-smelling terpene that is commonly used in perfumes. You’ll find this terpene in mint and parsley, where it lends a beautifully earthy aroma. Clementine and Amnesia strains contain this sweet and bright-scented terpene.
- Eucalyptol: The name may give it away, but Eucalyptol is a terpene that gives the eucalyptus tree its distinctive scent. Its smell is a little complex, with notes of cool mint and an earthy smell. While found in many strains, eucalyptol is usually only present in small amounts. It’s found in strains such as Headband.
- Caryophyllene: You can find this unique, spicy terpene in spices like black pepper, cinnamon, and cloves in addition to being present in cannabis. Strains like Skywalker contain caryophyllene and may provide anti-inflammatory or stress-relieving properties.
- Terpinolene: Floral and earthy-scented, terpinolene appears in a notable number of popular strains. It’s known for mood-boosting and focus and the scent is reminiscent of nutmeg or cumin. It’s also present in lilac shrubs.
- Humulene: This woody, herbal-flavored terpene is present in hops and some types of wood in addition to some cannabis strains. It might help stimulate appetite and help with stress and anxiety. This terpene is present in Gelato, GSC (Girl Scout Cookies) and Sherbert strains of weed.
- Pinenes: Piney-scented and a little bit peppery, these terpenes may have anti-inflammatory effects when they are found in cannabis. They’re only found in small amounts in weed, but they are very prominent in pine needles as well as several culinary herbs like dill, basil, parsley, and rosemary.
- Camphene: Found in strains like Ghost OG, camphene has an unusual, musky smell. Camphene is found in many different medicines, so it may have positive properties in weed as well!
- Geraniol: Found in lemons, tobaccos, and roses, this scent is often used in perfumes and fragrances. Even just the scent of this terpene is relaxing and it plays very well with citrus flavours. It may have anti-inflammatory effects.
- Other Terpenes: Since there are over 200 known terpenes, it would take quite a while to list them all. Just a few other common terpenes include phytol, terpinolene, ocimene, and geraniol.
Terpenes in Weed Concentrates
Looking to discover the benefits of weed terpenes for yourself? If you’re smoking dry herb, you’ll get some terpenes, but only the amounts that are naturally present in weed. If you really want to go all out with terpenes, you have another option: terp sauce, aka HTFSE (high terpene full spectrum extracts).
Terp sauce is derived straight from the source just like other cannabis products, but it’s extracted in such a way that there are more terpenes preserved in the final product. HTFSE can contain up to about 40% terpenes when made from high-terpene plant matter. At BC Bud Supply, we have some great HTFSE (terp sauce) options for you to try! Each has its own rich aroma and flavour and is loaded with beneficial cannabis compounds!
Start Paying Attention to Cannabis Terpenes
Cannabis is fascinating and complex. Its effects come from a combination of cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes that can vary drastically depending on the strain or the product in question. We love learning about different terpenes and the other compounds that make up the building blocks of weed!
If you want to try different flavour profiles, figure out which terpenes you enjoy and try out some new strains that have the aroma and taste you’re looking for. For high-quality cannabis flower from only the best suppliers, check out BC Bud Supply. Keywords: Benefits of weed terpenes, cannabis terpenes