What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of marijuana?
In case you haven’t guessed, we’re talking about the smell. The pungent, earthy scent that hits you as soon as you walk into a dispensary is one of the most identifiable things about cannabis culture—and it’s also one of the most misunderstood.
We know that there are hundreds of different terpenes in cannabis and that they each have their unique effects on your body and mind. But what exactly are terpenes? And why do they matter so much?
Let’s talk terpenes!
Let’s Talk Terpenes: What Is Geraniol?
So, what are terpenes?
Terpenes are chemical compounds that can be found in plants. Many of these chemicals have a strong scent or flavor, and they’re responsible for the way plants smell. For example, the way basil smells like licorice or how lavender smells like… well, lavender.
Research now proves that these aromatic chemical compounds play essential roles in the characteristics and effects of different cannabis strains. Terpenes are also one of the primary components of cannabis. That’s right: all that stuff that gets you high? It’s a plant! Specifically, it’s a plant that grows in the ground and has leaves and stuff like that.
But…What is Geraniol?
Meet Geraniol, the sweet-smelling cannabis terpene that has a sweet, rosy, and fruity aroma. It’s found in both marijuana and hemp, but it’s most abundant in hemp plants grown for their flower/bud production. Geraniol also gives roses their signature sweet smell and peppers their spicy scent. It’s also widely used as an ingredient in many cosmetics and perfumes. This essential oil is known to be used in aromatherapy to treat a vast array of health conditions. It’s also what gives roses their scent! Sweet and floral, geraniol is one of the main ingredients that give marijuana its scent. It’s also known for being calming and relaxing.
When you smoke weed, you’re inhaling all sorts of different terpenes like limonene (citrus), linalool (floral), pinene (pine), and caryophyllene (spicy). Together they make up what we call the “entourage effect,” which means that when these compounds interact together they create a stronger effect than anyone alone would have.
Geraniol belongs to a class of molecules known as monoterpenes (meaning “one carbon unit”), which are a subclass of terpenes. Monoterpenes are one type of chemical compound called terpenoids, which are all derived from terpenes. In layman’s terms: monoterpenes are made from terpenes!
Like most other cannabinoids and other terpenes found in cannabis, geraniol has been shown to have medicinal properties—including antiseptic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic effects—and may even help reduce pain associated with migraines or headaches by blocking serotonin receptors in the brain.
What Are the Benefits of Geraniol?
Geraniol is one of the true terpenes, which means that it has been identified as having its unique chemical makeup and not being merely a combination of other chemicals. It’s also a true terpene because it can be derived from both plants and animals. Geraniol is also known as citronellol and geranyl acetate. Its many benefits include the ability to kill harmful bacteria, boost the immune system, and even help fight cancer!
This makes geraniol unique in that it has properties that can’t be found anywhere else.
Geraniol is known to have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, so it can help treat skin infections and ward off mold growth. Studies also show that Geraniol contains antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and astringent properties. Some people believe that geraniol has anti-inflammatory properties which means it may help with pain management and inflammation of the joints. This is important for those who suffer from arthritis or other joint diseases such as osteoporosis.
What’s the Deal With Geraniol?
So, what IS the deal with geraniol?
Well, there are a lot of things we could say about geraniol.
Geraniol is also found in rosemary, thyme, basil, and geraniums. In addition to being an ingredient in perfumes, geraniol is used in food flavoring as well as a pesticide. It’s also used in cosmetics and as an insect repellant.
It’s not just for humans though – geraniol helps control pests on plants that we use for food like apples and pears!
We could tell you that it’s the most common terpene found in marijuana, or that it’s often used as an additive in perfumes, soaps, and other scented products. We could even tell you that it is effective as an antimicrobial agent against certain bacteria and fungi.
But we’re not going to do any of those things. Instead, we’re going to tell you something that is probably much more interesting: geraniol smells like roses!
Come back to The Happy Campers for all of your latest cannabis news and findings.