Have you ever wondered where plants get their unique smell from? Or why does the aroma of different plants like cannabis differ from each other? It is the presence of Terpenes in cannabis that gives it the pungent, sweet, or even fruity fragrance. While you have experienced them since day 1, now is the time to look at them closely.
Terpenes: The unsung heroes
Terpenes are an extremely diverse and volatile group of hydrocarbons, which are present in a majority of plants. There are over 2,000 different types of terpenes that you can find in plants. Cannabis plants contains over 100, a few of which you cannot find elsewhere. The glands present in cannabis which produce CBD and THC also secrete terpenes. The purpose of terpenes in cannabis is to keep the predators at bay by repelling them. But, we cannot ignore that they are also the oils that make your stash of cannabis have a distinctive smell, be it of pine, berry, mint, or citrus.
While THC and CBD have made themselves a household name by now, it’s time for terpenes to get some limelight. Whether you call them terpenes, terpenoids, or even terps, these compounds constitute a major part of all your favorite plants, including cannabis. With the abundance of attention given to the cannabis industry, people are searching terpenes five times more than they were two years ago.
What makes terpenes so important?
Terpenes play a major role in giving plants a fragrance. They are responsible for giving a citrusy smell to oranges or the fresh aroma to pine trees. Are you wondering why terpenes are becoming the center of attention suddenly? The role of terpenes is much more than that of adding a fragrance. It is terpenes that make lavender good for your mind, for it has relaxing properties. Although we have always believed that it is cannabinoids that deserve recognition for making cannabis a healing plant, terpenes do a significant load of the work here.
On a chemical level one can attribute the goodness and healing of cannabis to both cannabinoids and terpenes, for those who consume flower and full spectrum oils, resins, edibles and beyond already know cannabinoids and terpenes work wonders when they work together? Scientists call it the ‘Entourage Effect,’ the real work that they perform is quite simple.
Terpenes work as an ally to cannabinoids. The first thing they do is ensure that the cannabinoids travel much faster to the affected area. They speed up the cannabinoids delivery into your bloodstream, giving you instant and intense effects. When CBD teams up with terpenes, they together can fight back the psychoactive effects of THC and also help preserve your long term memory. We like to combine the terpene profile of herbal blends with THC and CBD dominant flower to accomplish both aforementioned affects.
Like our immune system, terpenes provide immunity to plants. The primary aim of terpenes in a plant is to protect it. They are the defense mechanism that can keep all infections and pests from doing any harm to your precious weed, or Kava. The plants might also burn off when they get too much exposure from the sun or lights. Fun fact, terpenes act like a sun-block, keeping the harmful UV rays away from the budding flower and fruiting bodies of the plant.
Why terpenes become a big deal while choosing herbs?
If you are planning to buy cannabis, keeping the terpene profile in mind can add to your experience. Terpenes play a role bigger than you imagine, for it is these chemicals that determine the effect the cannabis plant will have on you. While there are a few terpenes that help you get relief from pain, there are others that can reduce your anxiety.
Here is a list of the top 6 terpenes commonly present in all plants that makes it a magical plant:
1. Myrcene: Myrcene is an important terpene among the hundreds present in cannabis. It is the presence of this chemical compound that determines whether the plant falls into the category of Indica or Sativa. If the content of myrcene goes beyond 0.5%, the plants are Sativa.
Used for: Relaxation and treating inflammation. Strains high in Myrcene: White Widow, Special Kush, Skunk XL
2. Limonene: As the name suggests, it is Limonene that gives certain fruits and also cannabis a citrus smell. It is the second-most abundant terpene, although you cannot find it in all plants.
Used for: Curing infections, fungus, reducing stress. Strains high in Limonene: OG Kush, Sour Diesel, Super Lemon Haze, Pink Kush
3. Linalool: One of the most common types of terpene, you can find linalool in over 200 species of plants. It is its presence that gives cannabis a floral, spicy aroma and anti-anxiety properties.
Used for: Treating anxiety, depression, and relieves stress
Strains high in Linalool: Amnesia Haze, Special Kush, OG Shark
4. Humulene: Humulene is a unique terpene that you can find in mint, sage, cloves, hops, and cannabis. It works to help you get control of your weight by reducing your appetite.
Used for: Decreasing appetite, curing bacterial infections
Strains high in Humulene: Sour Diesel, Liberty haze, Girl Scout Cookies
5. Pinene: Apart from protecting the plants against parasites, pinene offers a plethora of benefits to humans as well. Although there are two varieties of this terpene, you can find an abundance of alpha-pinene in cannabis, which makes it an effective anti-inflammatory agent.
Used for: Antiseptic, herbal medicines
Strains high in Pinene: Blue Dream, Strawberry Cough
6. Caryophyllene: Caryophyllene gives cannabis the woody, spicy, and earthy scent. You can also find it in cloves, lavender, hops and black pepper.
Used for: Treating depression, anxiety
Strains high in Caryophyllene: Rock Star, Super Silver Haze, Skywalker
With the recent legalization and popularity of cannabis, terpenes are getting their fair share of attention. It is giving both researchers and users a chance to experience the smell and taste of terpenes, as well as in depth observations of the health benefits they offer us. Whether strains and DROPPING SEEDS blends you decide to use, always go for its reviews and compare them from the best online resources.