What are terpenes and why do they matter?
Most of us have heard of the terms cannabis, marijuana, and concentrates, but what about terpenes? Of all the benefits from cannabis legalization, one of the best is that consumers have more credible options than ever concerning which strains to medicate with. If you are a newbie to legal medicinal or recreational cannabis, the thought, “What is the difference?” may cross your mind. As long as it does it’s job! But, if you are not exploring at least a little bit into the mechanics behind the how and why, you’re doing yourself a disfavor. So what are terpenes and why do they matter?
Perhaps you have wondered why a strain you’ve tried before influenced you differently when you purchased it again?
Or even, why different batches of the identical strain can smell and taste so differently?
Or perhaps, why a strain with modest THC content affected you more than a heavy-hitting 20%+ THC strain?
The answer is: Terpenes. Cannabis terpenes.
Terpenes are temperamental, highly fragrant molecules that exist naturally in plants. Including the awesome cannabis plant! Terps are the basis of alternative medicine (such as aromatherapy) and are in charge of all the different variations in taste and smell from plant to plant, strain to strain.
You can find hundreds of terpenoids, but merely a handful appear in large enough amounts in cannabis to make their existence known beyond laboratory testing.
Terpenes matter. They are important for much more than the enchanting aromas they supply. They have therapeutic effects too. Linalool, the primary terpene in lavender as well as numerous other purple and floral-smelling cannabis strains, is calming and aids with sleep and relaxation. It can also help with insomnia and panic attacks.
Terpenes work together with compounds such as THC and CBD to amplify the effects. This is known as “the entourage effect”. It is the key reason why CBD-only products are not as effective as those containing terpenes and THC.
Some of the most frequent appearing terpenes in cannabis are:
Caryophyllene – carries a scent aimilar black pepper or cloves, helps arthritis, ulcers and GI pains/problems.
Limonene – carries a scent similar to citrus and lemons, boosts mood, helps with depression and digestion and is also antibacterial, antifungal.
Linalool – carries a scent similar to flowers and candy, soothing, helps with anxiety, sleeping disorders, and depression.
Myrcene – carries a earthy and musky scent, good for muscular pains, tension, insomnia and is anti-carcinogenic.
If you’re not attaining your goal treatment from a particular strain, it’s probably because the terpene profile does not suit your personal body chemistry. Let your nose show you the way! The strains that smell the best to you most likely develop the terpenes you and your body craves.