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Understanding Cannabis Terpenes: Their Role and Effects

Cannabis terpenes are a key component of the cannabis plant that every user should understand. They play a significant role in the aroma, flavor, and overall experience of cannabis. This blog post will guide you through the basics of terpenes, their effects, and how to identify them in cannabis strains.

What is a terpene?

Terpenes are a major component of plant resins that give cannabis its distinct smell and taste, while also having a wide range of physiological and therapeutic effects. The primary and secondary terpene content of a strain is what will determine if it has sativa or indica qualities. Terpenes are a significant ingredient of essential oils and can be found naturally in plants, like teas & herbs, including our favorite: cannabis!

Where are terpenes found in cannabis?

In cannabis, terpenes are located in the trichomes of female plants. Trichomes are tiny, sticky glands on the surface of the plant. They produce and hold the terpenes and cannabinoids, making them essential for the plant’s potency and flavor. Terpenes are found as tiny hairlike crystal structures on the surface of the flower. It is primarily used as a defense mechanism for the cannabis plant to defend against predators and attract insects for pollination.

Common Terpenes and Their Benefits

Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in cannabis that not only contribute to the flavor of a cannabis strain, but also offer potential health benefits. Common terpenes found in cannabis include myrcene, limonene, and linalool, each with their own unique terpene profile. These terpenes interact with other compounds in cannabis, such as THC, to enhance the medicinal benefits of the plant. For example, certain terpenes may help relieve pain, reduce anxiety and depression, and alleviate neuropathic pain. By targeting different receptors in the body, cannabis terpenes may enhance the effect of THC and improve the overall impact of cannabis use.

In the world of cannabis, the concentration of terpenes in a cannabis flower can vary, leading to a diverse range of effects of terpenes. This is why it’s important to consider the unique terpene profile of each strain when selecting cannabis extracts or cannabis products. By understanding how different types of terpenes influence the compounds found in cannabis, individuals can harness the full potential of cannabis for their health and wellness.

Whether you’re seeking relief from pain or looking to elevate your mood, exploring the variety of cannabis strains and their cannabis terpenes can provide valuable insight into the potential health benefits of cannabis use. By paying attention to the flavor of a cannabis strain and the effects of terpenes, individuals can make informed choices about their cannabis consumption and experience the full spectrum of medicinal benefits that cannabis has to offer.

  • Myrcene: Known for its sedative and muscle-relaxing effects, it is often found in strains used for pain relief and sleep.
  • Limonene: Recognized for its uplifting and mood-enhancing properties, it is commonly present in strains that help with stress and anxiety.
  • Pinene: Noted for its anti-inflammatory and bronchodilator effects, making it beneficial for respiratory issues.
  • Linalool: Often used for its calming and anti-anxiety effects, commonly found in strains aimed at reducing stress.

How do terpenes affect the human body?

Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in cannabis and other plants that play a significant role in the overall effects of the plant. In the world of cannabis terpenes, there are many terpenes that can affect the human body in various ways. Cannabis terpenes can help with chronic pain and inflammation, as well as provide relief from anxiety and depression. Some terpenes can also enhance the effects of medical cannabis by interacting with the cannabinoids in cannabis. Research around terpenes and their effects is still ongoing, but many experts believe that terpenes can also help reduce the side effects of cannabis and other medications.

Common cannabis terpenes include myrcene, limonene, and pinene, each with their own unique properties that can benefit the human body. By combining different cannabis strains that contain a variety of terpenes, patients at a comprehensive pain and addiction center may be able to find relief with fewer side effects.

Overall, the properties of terpenes make them a valuable component of cannabis and other medicinal plants. While none of the terpenes are psychoactive on their own, they can greatly enhance the therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis and help patients manage their symptoms more effectively.

How can you tell which terpenes are in the strain?

Some dab companies will list specific terpenes of the strains, which will give you a good idea of how the dab will taste and smell. With flower, the different scents that each strain exhibits will help you determine how the strain will affect you personally, as every person is different! To find a strain you like, the nose knows! If a strain smells good to you, then it’s probably going to get you pretty high!

Terpenes Vs Cannabinoids

Terpenes, unlike cannabinoids, are not psychoactive; however, they work together with cannabinoids in the “Entourage Effect” to influence the overall psychoactive effects of the plant. Cannabinoids and terpenes are both present in cannabis plants. At least 113 distinct phytocannabinoids, including THC and CBD, have been isolated from cannabis, although only four (i.e., THCA, CBDA, CBCA, and their common precursor CBGA) have been demonstrated to have a biogenetic origin. This synergy between cannabinoids and terpenes significantly impacts the effects of cannabis, enhancing its therapeutic and psychoactive properties.

Will your dab temperature affect terpenes differently?

Different terpenes and cannabinoids will combust at different temperatures. It’s always best to dab at the lowest possible temperature to ensure you’re getting the full flavor and effects of the cannabinoids. Dabbing too hot will vaporize the cannabinoids too fast for you to fully utilize it, so you may end up with wasted THC.

Remember: No Hot Dabs!

What is reclaim? 

Reclaim is the leftover resin that collects in your bong after using your dab rig for a while, which happens when the resin condenses and collects on the glass. Reclaim is activated and can be used to make edibles, however it will not have the same terpene profile as the dabs it comes from. So bakers beware, it might taste bad!

Practical Uses of Terpenes in Cannabis Products

Understanding terpenes can help users select cannabis products that best suit their needs. For instance, a strain high in myrcene might be chosen for relaxation, while one high in limonene might be preferred for its uplifting effects. Additionally, cannabis products such as oils, edibles, and topicals often include information about their terpene profiles, allowing consumers to make informed choices based on desired effects.

Key Takeaway

Understanding terpenes is essential for any cannabis user. They play a crucial role in the flavor, aroma, and effects of each strain. By learning about terpenes, you can make more informed choices and enhance your cannabis experience. Always consider the terpene profile of a strain to find the effects that suit your needs best.


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