Terpenes: Why They Matter

Terpenes: Why They Matter


Terpenes are unsung heroes of hemp.

Over time, cannabinoids have received all the tributes for hemp's most prized properties—including mental effects and medical benefits.

But this widespread narrative seems lacking as to why the Blue Haze and Candylady have different effects and flavors and why Sour Diesel tastes like lemon, with hints of sour milk; whereas Bubba Kush tastes nutty with sweet notes.

This eye-opening article goes over one often relegated cannabis component, terpenes, and their contributions to your cannabis use experience. 

What Are Terpenes? 

“Terpenes” is an umbrella name for various aromatic compounds in plants. Although practically all plants on earth are home to this chemical, cannabis has notably high concentrations. Whereas most plants contain a few terpenes, cannabis boasts over 100 different types.

Terpenes are responsible for the distinctive smell and flavor of plants, including cannabis. But they do more—including teaming up to boost cannabinoids' effects and potential health benefits.

The flavor, smell – and sometimes distinct effects and benefits – of your hemp strains are determined by the types of terpenes they hold.

Why Do Terpenes Matter? 

Without them, we probably wouldn't have the different exciting cannabis strains—or perhaps not as satisfying as we currently have them. It probably would've been a bland, boring experience.

Terpenes are cannabinoids' sidekicks. They deliver the unique flavors and aromas that make your strains uniquely enjoyable and assist the cannabinoids in delivering their promises.

Next time you look up a product's THC and CBD levels to make a purchase judgment, you may also want to see what the terpene profile suggests. 

What Exactly Terpenes Do

Here are three critical functions of terpenes in your cannabis plants:

  • Synergizes with cannabinoids for better effects 
  • Terpenes work with cannabinoids to enhance and regulate marijuana's effects on the human body.

     While THC is often crowned the chief psychoactive compound in cannabis, Ethan Ruso, a Neurologist, and his research team discovered more. Their research found that other compounds, like CBD and terpenes, could boost (or reduce) the effects of THC and other compounds.

    For instance, a terpene called Myrcene may boost THC's effects, including sleepiness, and deliver certain medical benefits associated with cancer, inflammation, and pain.

    Another prevalent terpene, Limonene, is celebrated for its antidepressant property, which makes it a common ingredient in aromatherapy applications.

    While some cannabis strain profiles promise to uplift, others give an energetic buzz; some deliver a couch-lock effect, and others, a head-hitting high. These variations are, in part, influenced by each strain’s terpenes profile.

  • Provides and enhances potential medical benefits 
  • Terpenes also align to aid cannabinoids' performance in alleviating depression, inflammation, pain, addiction, cancer, epilepsy, bacterial infections, and anxiety.

    Besides supporting cannabinoids, terpenes have their share of potential medical benefits. As research into cannabis and its terpenes broadens, more data have shown that practically all essential terpenes in cannabis contain anti-inflammatory or/and anti-pain properties.

  • Promises a flavorful, aromatic experience
  • Away from their medical prospects, terpenes have been celebrated as the custodian of taste and smell in plants.

    Some of the commonest terpenes in cannabis are myrcene, linalool, pinene, limonene, terpinolene, caryophyllene, humulene, and eucalyptol. They are responsible for the minty, berry, citrusy, peppery, woody, happy, and all other pleasant aromas that define your favorite strains. From the mere smell, most cannabis connoisseurs can tell the best deal—all thanks to cannabis' terpenes-rich profile.

    The Common Terpenes and Their Effects

     Let's go over some terpenes commonly found in cannabis and how they define your experience:

  • Limonene
  • This terpene is known for its uplifting effects, as experienced with Sativa-leaning strains and aromatherapy applications. Products containing this ingredient are widely recommended for managing pain, anxiety, depression, stress, and inflammation. 

    Sour Space Candy, Lifter, and Hawaiian Haze are popular homes of limonene terpene. 

  • Alpha-Pinene
  • Alpha-Pinene delivers an earthy aroma that reminds you of a Christmas tree or a pine forest. Products with this terpene are commonly recommended for antiseptic and anti-inflammatory troubles. 

    Blue Dream and Dutch Treat are common strains with good alpha-pinene concentrations. 

  • Beta-Caryophyllene
  • Beta-caryophyllene is predominant in several cannabis strains, particularly Indica-dominant variants. It is also abundant in cinnamon and peppercorns plants.

    This terpene is touted most effective in handling stress and pain, including ulcer pains. If you desire these effects, consider beta-caryophyllene strains like Death Star, Durban Poison, and Granddaddy Purple.

  • Linalool
  • Linalool is what makes lavender your favorite aromatic oil. This terp promotes sleep, reduces stress, and alleviates inflammation.

    Your beloved Sour Diesel strain is one of many of linalool's favorite homes. 

  • Myrcene
  • The earthy-flavored Myrcene is primarily prized for its relaxing effects. Besides cannabis, there's an abundance of myrcene in mangoes.

    Lovers of White Widow and Chemdawg strains are familiar with this uniquely exciting flavor.

    Can Terpenes Get Me High? 


    Stand-alone, terpenes are not psychoactive compounds. They lack the necessary properties to trigger a high. However, terpenes synergize with other compounds, like THC, to enhance their effect. 

    Like essential oils, terpenes bind to the endocannabinoid receptors that modulate mood and related biological responses. 

    Terpenes Vs. Cannabinoids? 

    Both found in cannabis they engage with the endocannabinoids to deliver different functions. 

    First, terpenes are primarily responsible for flavor and aroma, whereas cannabinoids are famous for their potential health benefits. 

    However, although cannabinoids are the frontline contributors to cannabis' medical tendencies, more recent scientific findings give terpenes some credit. Research authors insist that terpenes may enhance cannabinoids' therapeutic deliveries through a concept known as the entourage effect

    So, whereas terpenes are mainly responsible for the distinct smell in cannabis strains, they also support the effects and medical potentials of the cannabinoids. 

    Check out our blog for more informational guides for your hemp product purchase and application. You can also contact our experts for a more tailored recommendations and advice.
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