What Are Terpenes and What Do They Do? Everything You Need to Know
Join us for a series of articles on cannabis terpenes and their effect on the human body.
There is probably nothing else out there that smells like cannabis. You will never confuse its aroma with anything else, right? Some strains have their unique taste and aroma, like Lemon Cap or Chocolope with its sweet coffee flavor. How does it happen and what is the secret behind it?
What Are Terpenes?
Each plant has a unique chemical combination of molecules called terpenes that are responsible for its distinct flavor and fragrance. Terpenes are also called building blocks of essential oil in the plant. In other words, terpene oil determines how things smell.
There are thousands of different terpenes that have been detected in plants, and they are responsible for the variety of flavors around us, like berry, citrus, pine, coffee, mint. This unique feature of a plant can help repel predators or attract pollinators. And it also attracts humans.
The cannabis plant contains more than 100 terpenes and thanks to that we have strains with a coffee, mint or citrus flavor.
There are a lot of aspects affecting the development of terpenes in each plant, like climate, amount of water, soil type, fertilizers. It means that cannabis plants are unique, depending on the place and conditions they grew up in. For example, Silver Stem’s flower is grown exclusively in soil and is hand-watered and hand-pruned, which has a unique effect on our plants, ensuring their quality and flavor.
And what if your cannabis has a very faint smell? It probably means the terpenes have evaporated and the effects will be minimal. In other words, the more intense the smell is, the fresher the flower.
Here is a tip on how to get the best results and get the most terpenes. Use a vaporizer with temperature control keeping in mind that each terpene has its own optimal temperature to produce the best effects and flavor.
What are the Most Common Cannabis Terpenes? What Are the Effects and Benefits of Terpenes?
Terpenes found in cannabis have a psychoactive effect. Those molecules are actually determining whether a flower is going to be a stimulant or a sedative, whether it will relax you or give you a boost.
Below is a list of common terpenes that are found in substantial amounts in the cannabis plant.
This terpene has the highest concentration in cannabis plants and could be also found in mangoes. This is the terpene that gives marijuana its peculiar smell. The concentration of Mycrene determines if the strain could be considered as indica or sativa. If it is around 0.5% the strain is considered an indica, and sativa if it is less than 0.5%. Mycrene is also known for its relaxing and calming effects. You can take a more in-depth look at Mycrene here.
The name of this terpene speaks for itself. It is found in citrus plants as well as in cannabis plants. It is famous for its extremely pleasant citrusy aroma as well as for its energizing effect. Limonene can be found in our famous pure citrus scented sativa strains like Lemon Cap or Lemon Skunk.
Linalool is known for its sweet floral scent and has the highest concentration in lavender. This is a number one aroma treatment when it comes to fighting stress and depression. This terpene can perfectly relieve anxiety which can be done by THC. If you are looking for help with managing the symptoms of depression and want to relieve tension, Linalool rich cannabis strains like Сotton Kandy Kush would be an ideal match.
This “Christmas” scented type of terpene has relaxing effects on your mind and body. It is often mixed with other terpenes. It can be found in strains like OG Kush with its unique mixture of pine and citrus aroma and a truly euphoric and relaxing high.
Do you enjoy spicy and woody scents, like cinnamon, rosemary or black pepper? If so, this terpene’s just for you. Caryophyllene is also known for its calming effects and is often referred to as a “terpene against anxiety”. It is widely used for medical purposes and is known to help with pain management and sedation. A lot of people find strains rich in Caryophyllene to be a healthy alternative to painkillers.
These are 5 most common terpenes found in the cannabis plant among over 100, and we will look at more next time.
As you see when trying to find the perfect flower for your needs, it is not just “sativa or indica” or THC percentage. There is so much more to it. The right terpenes or their combination could enhance your smoking experience and provide the most of the plant’s benefits. And we will also help you with your exploration of terpenes in the next part of our series, where we will talk about getting the most benefits from terpenes.
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All information provided in this article is based on opinions and hypothesis of scientists and researchers and has not been proven or disproven.
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