Terpenes play an important role in the cannabis experience, as they are responsible for the plant's fragrance and aroma. They are also building blocks for the molecular structure of cannabis and are essential in affecting the cannabis experience. Knowing more about terpenes will deepen your knowledge of cannabis, as cannabis is a lot more than just cannabinoids like THC and CBD. Terpenes work synergistically with all of the other compounds within the plant to enact something called The Entourage Effect, which increases the effectiveness of both terpenes and cannabinoids.
When purchasing cannabis, the terpene profile is something to consider. The terpene profile is essentially the mix of terpenes found in a cannabis bud, and how they all come together in harmony. Cannabis testing facilities now test for terpene levels because of new research showing just how important terpenes are in the effect you feel from cannabis.
Here are 5 terpenes to profile:
is a sedative terpene with an earthy, musky, and herbal aroma with notes of tropical fruits. It is commonly found in mangoes and is known for producing a “couch lock” effect, making you feel completely relaxed.
- Pinene: As you may have guessed from its name, pinene smells like pine and is found in rosemary, pine needles, and basil. Pinene can counteract some of the adverse effects of THC, such as paranoia. It is also the most common terpene found in nature.
- Limonene: Limonene has a citrusy aroma, like a fresh orange or a zesty lemon. It is found in rosemary, citrus fruit rinds, juniper, and peppermint, and is known for its energizing and mood-enhancing properties.
- Beta Caryophyllene: This
has a peppery and spicy aroma, similar to cloves, and is the first known “dietary cannabinoid”. It binds to the endocannabinoid system similarly to THC or CBD, by selectively binding to the CB2 receptor. Chewing or sniffing black pepper is one of the recommended ways to curb a THC high, alongside CBD.
- Humulene: This terpene is commonly found in both cannabis and hops and has an earthy, woody, and spicy aroma. It can be found in black pepper and ginseng and is an effective anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and appetite suppressant.
is not as common as other terpenes, but it still has a substantial effect.
Understanding terpenes is essential to understanding the full potential of cannabis. As the cannabis consumer becomes more aware of the importance of terpenes, terpene profiles may soon become more important than THC content. Keep these terpenes in mind when selecting your cannabis strains to enhance your cannabis experience.