Do Terpenes In Weed Play Any Role?
Smelling and enjoying the aromas and flavours of the cannabis plant is an integral part of enjoying the whole marijuana experience.
Recent research suggests that the terpenes responsible for these fragrances may have more to do with the high you get than we initially thought.
So what are terpenes in weed?
Marijuana legalization has allowed researchers to look more into the compounds inside weed and how they can be used to improve our health and wellness.
Apart from the terpenes, studies show that other cannabis plant compounds also have a part to play in how pot affects us.
While some are satisfied with the broad classification of weed – indica, sativa or hybrid, many producers are now classifying their products based on the terpenes in the strain.
What Are Terpenes In Weed?
Although you may not realize it, you have experienced terpenes throughout your whole life.
They are the compounds that give pine their unique scent, oranges their citrusy fragrance, and are even found in some animals.
Terpenes can be defined as the organic compounds (hydrocarbons) found in the essential oils of plants that determine their aroma and flavour.
In marijuana, it is terpenes that are responsible for the unique aroma of each cultivar.
Terpenes make it possible to tell strains apart by taking a sniff and, even better, enhances our experience through the aroma and flavours.
Terpenes in weed developed as an adaptive measure to repel predators such as herbivores and lure pollinators such as certain insects.
But are crystals on weed the terpenes? No, terpenes are formed in the trichomes, which are the shiny, sticky crystals covering the weed leaves and buds.
Trichomes have resin glands that secrete terpenes and cannabinoids, including THCA and CBDA, which turn into THC and CBD after decarboxylation.
Trichomes on cannabis act as a defence mechanism, and producing these fragrant terpenes repel dangers from insects and animals.
Terpenes Vs Terpenoids – What Is The Difference?
The words terpenes and terpenoids are often used interchangeably when talking about weed. However, they have different meanings.
Terpenes are the naturally occurring hydrocarbons – made of hydrogen and carbon in their natural state. But when the plant is dried and cured, the terpenes are oxidized hence chemically modified, and they become terpenoids.
Are Terpenes In Weed Psychoactive?
Marijuana users, whether medical or recreational, use it for the effects it has on the body and mind. The most popular cannabinoid – THC, causes the high associated with cannabis use. But do terpenes cause intoxicating effects as well?
No. Terpenes do not cause a high, but as it turns out, they can influence the high or different medicinal benefits you might get. .
Research suggests that terpenes are a crucial element in your experience with weed.
They may change the effects of other compounds, including cannabinoids, in a phenomenon called the entourage effect.
The entourage effect is a mechanism in which different compounds in marijuana work synergistically to provide more significant effects.
Although terpenes will not get you high by themselves, they can influence the intensity of the effects caused by cannabinoids.
How Terpenes Are Obtained
As their popularity increases, terpene preservation has never been more important. How marijuana is grown, cured and obtained affects terpene expression.
To get the perfect terpene heavy cultivar, cannabis has to be grown in the right conditions and harvested at the right time.
Although growing pot indoors gives you more control over the environmental factors, it doesn’t necessarily mean the plants will be richer in terpenes than plants grown outdoors.
Harvesting earlier means that trichomes haven’t reached full terpene and cannabinoid production, while plants harvested too late could also mean less potent trichomes, therefore weak terpene profile.
Although terpenes occur naturally in marijuana, they are usually stripped off during processing, especially if there is heat involved.
As a result, some producers save and reintroduce the terpenes at a later production stage where they won’t be vaporized or broken down.
It is also possible to obtain terpenes from other natural products such as limonene from citrus or linalool from lavender, and then adding them to the pot products.
Most weed vape cartridges include re-infused terpenes.
How Many Terpenes Are There In Weed?
The cannabis plant contains a wide variety of compounds, including hundreds of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids.
Currently there are over twenty thousand terpenes in existence; more than 100 of these can be found in marijuana.
Like cannabinoids, some terpenes occur in such meagre amounts that they can’t be isolated. In contrast, some occur in such high concentrations that they determine the main scent and flavour of a specific cultivar.
Some terpenes in weed can also be found in other plants. Here are the five most common terpenes in weed:
- Myrcene – This is the most common terpene produced by cannabis. It carries the signature earthy, musky and herbal aromas found in most cultivars. It can also be found in ripe mangoes, thyme, lemongrass, among others.
Myrcene is associated with sedating and relaxing effects. It also increases the effects of cannabinoids, which is why many claim that eating a fresh mango 40 minutes before consuming pot will result in a more intense high.
It is also a potent analgesic and has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Pinene – This terpene is responsible for the piney aroma in some strains. It is associated with alertness and anti-inflammatory benefits.
It is claimed that pinene can counter the effects of THC resulting in a milder high.
- Limonene – As the name suggests, strains high in this terpene have a strong citrusy aroma like lime, lemons and oranges. It is associated with uplifting haze and the stress relief effects in weed.
It also has potential anxiolytic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. It can be found in citrus, peppermint as well as in rosemary.
- Linalool – It is described as having a floral aroma and is often used in soaps and perfumes. This terpene is said to have pain relief, anxiolytic and sleep aid properties.
It can also be found in lavender, rose and rosewood plants.
- Caryophyllene – This terpene is responsible for the spicy, woody and peppery aroma in some strains. It is also the only terpene currently known to interact with the CB2 receptor of the endocannabinoid system.
Because it can activate the ECS, research suggests that it can help provide relief from chronic pain, especially when used together with CBD. It is also associated with stress relief.
It is also found in cloves, black pepper and cinnamon.
Where Can I find These Terpenes?
From its unique aroma signified by earthy pine undertones, this award-winning Sativa dominant hybrid is high in the myrcene terpene.
This cultivar bred from South Indian Indica and a Brazilian landrace sativa provides an intense burst of energy and uplifting euphoria that sparks conversation and keeps your creative juices flowing.
White widow has chunky and somewhat conical buds that, when properly grown, are covered with thick layers of trichomes hence its whitish-grey appearance.
Pick this bud from the BC Bud Supply online store for between $30 – $180 today!
Made using extracts from Sour Diesel, this Luxe shatter delivers a high concentration of the limonene terpene present in the legendary strain.
It is sativa leaning and contains 76.5 to 85% THC and 0.5 to 3% CBD. It provides a refreshing and energizing high that will leave you in a dreamy, warm euphoria with subtle physical relaxation.
This high-quality vape cartridge contains HTE (high terpene extract) and HTFSE (high terpene full spectrum extract) from the Blue Dream hybrid strain.
It is therefore high in the pinene terpene responsible for Blue Dream’s distinctive piney aroma.
This cart is available in 600mg and 1200mg options and is compatible with 510 thread batteries.
This vape cartridge contains no additional cutting agents such as PG, MCT or VG that may be harmful to your health.
Pick one today for $50 – $70 on the BC Bud Supply website.
What Are Terpenes In Weed – Take Away
Terpene based products are changing how pot users think about the scent of their weed.
With more research, we are beginning to understand the relationship between cannabinoids and terpenes and how they work together to produce the effects caused by weed.
Terpenes not only help us make inferences about the strain, and possibly the effects that a specific strain causes, but they also work together in synergy with cannabinoids and other compounds, influencing how the cannabis product affects you.
For the best strains and products high in terpenes, ensure you only buy your weed from reputable companies that prioritize safety and quality.