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Different Cannabis Terpenes and What They Do 

Grab a bud from your favorite strain and place it right under your nose. Take a deep breath. Smell that? Those are terpenes you are smelling and they likely tell you a lot about the taste you can expect from that certain strain. But what are terpenes and why are they important? 

 


What are Cannabis Terpenes? 

Terpenes are aromatic oils located in the same glands that manufacture cannabinoids like THC and CBD in the cannabis plant. Pine, citrus, and berry are some of the most common aromas terpenes release. But there are thousands of varieties.

citrus in cannabis

The terpenes a plant develops will depend on a number of growing factors. Climate, age, fertilizers, soil type and more all have an effect on the oils the plant produces. These terpenes do more than simply provide a great smell while smoking or vaping cannabis. They also keep predators away like slugs and other pests, while also enticing pollinators such as bees.

Today terpenes have a great effect on the cannabinoids in a plant. Due to the fact that most cannabis today is bred to increase THC levels. That leaves other cannabinoids such as CBD falling to low levels, which has led some to believe that terpenes have a greater effect on the overall plant than simply providing sweet-tasting buds.

Like the different strains of marijuana, different terpenes will produce different effects. Some are energizing and uplifting, while others provide a more calming and relaxing effect.

How Terpenes Affect the Body 

In addition taste and smell, terpenes also affect the body every time marijuana is consumed. The accepted knowledge today is that terpenes can combat the effects of THC and CBD.

While this may sound like bad news to cannabis enthusiasts, it really is a positive thing. For example, the Linalool terpene can reduce the effects of paranoia often associated with THC.

More research is always being done into the role terpenes play in the human body. We know that they have inhibit serotonin and increase dopamine. But we still don’t fully understand the full effects terpenes have on our mind, emotions, and behavior.

Researchers are also currently investigating the entourage effect, and have documented some of their findings in this study. The entourage effect happens when the profile of certain terpenes are changed, due to the presence of other compounds.

Terpenes are very safe for the human body to consume. All plants have terpenes, and they all have some sort of effect on our body. 

Different Types of Terpenes and What They Effect 

There are thousands of different terpenes found in thousands of different plant species. When it comes to cannabis though, there are some more commonly found than others. Below are the eight most common and the effects you’ll find with them.

Alpha-Pinene

Aroma: Pine.

Vaporizes at 311 degrees Fahrenheit/155 degrees Celsius.

Potential effects include alertness, memory retention, reduces some THC effects.

Potential medical value includes possible treatment for asthma, chronic pain, ulcers, anxiety, and even cancer.

Also found in pine needles and herbs such as rosemary, basil, parsley, and dill.

Myrcene 

Aroma: Cardamom, cloves, musky, earthy, herbal. Myrcene is found in the famous Blue Dream strain and Sour Diesel.

Vaporizes at 332 degrees Fahrenheit/167 degrees Celsius.

Potential effects includes sedative, relaxing, couch lock.

Potential medical value includes possible treatment for insomnia, pain, and inflammation.

Also found in Mangos, lemongrass, thyme, and hops.

Limonene

Aroma: Citrus, largely lemon. Limonene is often found in fruity strains.

Vaporizes at 348 degrees Fahrenheit/176 degrees Celsius.

Effects include uplifted mood and stress relief.

Potential medical value includes possible treatment for anxiety, depression, inflammation, chronic pain, and cancer.

Also found in citrus rinds, rosemary, juniper, and peppermint.

Beta-Caryophyllene

Aroma: Spicy peppers, woody, cloves.

Vaporizes at 266 degrees Fahrenheit/130 degrees Celsius.

Effects include stress relief.

Potential medical value includes possible treatment for chronic pain, anxiety, depression, ulcers. 

Linalool 

Aroma: Floral.

Vaporizes at 388 degrees Fahrenheit/198 degrees Celsius.

Potential effects include calming, sedative, mood booster.

Potential medical value includes possible treatment for anxiety, depression, insomnia, chronic pain, inflammation, neurodegeneration.

Also found in Lavender.

Humulene 

Aroma: Hops, woody, earthy.

Vaporizes at 222 degrees Fahrenheit/106 degrees Celsius.

Potential medical value includes anti-inflammatory properties, promotes growth of healthy cells, suppresses growth of tumor cells.

Also found in Hops, coriander, cloves, and basil.

Ocimene 

Aroma: Sweet, herbal, woody.

Vaporizes at 122 degrees Fahrenheit/50 degrees Celsius.

Potential medical value includes anti-viral, anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties. Could also be used as a decongestant.

Also found in Mint, parsley, pepper, basil, mangoes, orchids, kumquats.

Terpinolene 

Aroma: Piney, floral, and herbal.

Vaporizes at  366 degrees Fahrenheit/186 degrees Celsius.

Potential effects include sedative.

Potential medical value as full of antioxidants.

Also found in Nutmeg, tea tree, conifers, apples, cumin, and lilacs. 

As you can see, there are many different terpenes, each with a unique profile that brings on different effects. So, the next time you take in a big whiff of your favorite strain, remember that those oils are doing more for you than just providing a nice smell.

Theyre working with your body, providing many of the medicinal benefits marijuana is known to have. Theyre also counteracting THC, which can help make your high even better.  

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