Exploring the Intriguing World of Terpenes in Cannabis
Terpenes in cannabis are garnering increasing attention for their profound influence on the plant’s aroma, flavor, and potential therapeutic effects. As more people embrace the benefits of cannabis, understanding the role of terpenes becomes paramount. In this comprehensive blog post, we delve into the fascinating world of terpenes in cannabis, exploring their diverse properties, common varieties, and the potential synergy they create with cannabinoids. Join us on this aromatic journey to unravel the secrets of terpenes and their significance in the cannabis plant. The first cannabinoid isolates used for medicinal purposes was in Czechoslovakia, and CBD was fully characterized for the first time in 1963 (Sommano, Chittasupho, Ruksiriwanich, & Jantrawut 2020).
What Are Terpenes?
Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in various plants, including cannabis. They are responsible for the distinct scents and flavors associated with different strains. Over 200 terpenes have been identified in cannabis, each with unique characteristics and potential benefits. These natural compounds not only contribute to the overall sensory experience but also interact with other compounds like cannabinoids to produce the entourage effect, amplifying the therapeutic potential of the plant.
Common Terpenes Found in Cannabis
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common terpenes found in cannabis:
- Myrcene: Known for its earthy and musky aroma, myrcene is found in high concentrations in indica strains. It offers potential sedative and relaxing effects.
- Limonene: As the name suggests, limonene delivers a citrusy scent and is commonly associated with uplifting and energizing effects. It may have mood-enhancing and stress-relieving properties.
- Pinene: With a distinctive pine fragrance, pinene is found in pine trees and certain cannabis varieties. It may offer anti-inflammatory and bronchodilatory effects.
- Caryophyllene: This spicy and peppery terpene has potential analgesic properties and interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system. It can be found in various cannabis strains.
The Entourage Effect
The entourage effect refers to the synergistic interaction between cannabinoids and terpenes. When combined, these compounds work together to enhance the therapeutic potential of cannabis. For example, myrcene may enhance the absorption of cannabinoids, while limonene could contribute to their anti-anxiety effects. The specific combination and concentration of terpenes in a particular strain contribute to its unique effects and overall therapeutic profile. These natural products may be an important potential source for new medications for the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders (Ferber, Namdar, Hen-Shoval, Eger, Koltai, Shoval, Shbiro, & Weller 2020).
Harnessing the Power of Terpenes
Recognizing the significance of terpenes, cannabis cultivators and consumers are increasingly seeking specific terpene profiles. By understanding the different terpenes and their potential effects, individuals can make informed choices based on their desired outcomes. Additionally, extraction methods like steam distillation and CO2 extraction enable the isolation and utilization of specific terpenes in various products, such as essential oils and concentrates. This allows for targeted applications and personalized experiences. Researchers found that Cannabis terpenes, when used by themselves, mimic the effects of cannabinoids, including a reduction in pain sensation (University of Arizona Health Sciences 2021).
Terpenes in cannabis play a pivotal role in shaping the plant’s aroma, flavor, and therapeutic potential. As we continue to unravel the mysteries of cannabis, understanding terpenes becomes increasingly important. By exploring the diverse world of terpenes, their unique properties, and the entourage effect they create with cannabinoids, we gain a deeper appreciation for the complex chemistry of this remarkable plant. Embrace the power of terpenes and unlock the full potential of cannabis.
References & Citations
Sommano, S. R., Chittasupho, C., Ruksiriwanich, W., & Jantrawut, P. (2020).
The Cannabis Terpenes. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 25(24), 5792.
Ferber, S. G., Namdar, D., Hen-Shoval, D., Eger, G., Koltai, H., Shoval, G., Shbiro, L., & Weller, A. (2020).
The “Entourage Effect”: Terpenes Coupled with Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Mood Disorders and Anxiety Disorders. Current neuropharmacology, 18(2), 87–96.
University of Arizona Health Sciences. (2021, July 14).
Study shows Cannabis terpenes provide pain relief, contribute to ‘entourage effect’. ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/07/210714110455.htm