You’ve probably heard of the word terpenes and if you haven’t, then don’t worry, you’re not alone. What exactly are terpenes, why are people raving over them recently and what benefit do they provide to cannabis?
What Are Terpenes?
Essentially, terpenes are basically just oils. These aren’t just normal oils though, they’re oils that when mixed with cannabis, can actually increase the high effect you get from cannabis. Also, some claim that terpene can also increase the effect of the medical benefits offered by cannabis originally, with even some suggesting that terpenes can offer some new benefits.
Terpenes are compounds that you can find in various plants and you can even find them in insects as well. Terpenes were invented as a defense mechanism by plants because when predators would wander too close to the plant, the predator would then sense terpenes nearby and be dissuaded from eating the plant.
However, cannabis already has a pretty decent trace amount of terpene, so why are people just now talking about it?
Terpene and terpenes are words that are used in conjunction with each other. The meaning of these though can be slightly different. Terpenoids are what happens when terpenes are processed and cured, altering their original state.
Terpenes are a mixture of carbon and hydrogen. Terpenes are often found in the oily substance of some plants and that’s where the majority of terpenes are extracted from. This chemical also can be attributed to giving plants their different aroma scents and unique smells, anything from Earthy to diesel.
Different Terpenes and Their Effects
Different scents inside strains usually indicate a different type of cannabis. We’ll go over some of the most common strains and what their benefits are.
Lemon Scent (Limonene)
- These often smell like citrus or lemon
- They’re great at relieving stress and putting you into a relaxed state
- Shown to have cancer preventative chemicals in them
- Acts as an anti-inflammatory for painful joints or certain things such as a fatty liver
- Has some antiseptic properties, the same kind of properties you’d find in natural lemons
Pine Scent (Pinene)
- You might smell something that reminds you of pine or grass
- You’ll be far more alert and your attention to detail will be increased
- You’ll find yourself with a lot more energy than usual
- A lot of the same properties from limonene such as anti-inflammatory properties and anti-septic values as well
- The same ingredients that are primarily found in rosemary and sage
- When people say they’re smelling a scent that smells kind of leafy, this is what they’re referring to
- These terpenes can put you into a really deep relaxed state
- Some people use these as a sedative to help them fall asleep
- Relaxes and calms the nerves for people with anxiety and people feeling tense
Do Terpenes Increase the High?
Cannabinoids and terpenes work together in a very odd way and there’s still a lot that we don’t know about them. The body has a system called the ECS. This is otherwise known as the endocannabinoid system.
Terpenes and CBD have been shown to work together and when mixed, they can actually increase the effects of a strain. Like some of the terpenes we’ve discussed above, some of these terpenes will drastically increase the effects in a strain.
With Myrcene, for example, people who mix Myrcene in with a cannabis strain will feel a lot sleepier than doing a cannabis strain without the Myrcene terpene in it. Different terpenes will interact differently with different strains so it’s important to know what you’re doing before you try mixing and matching the strains, or you’re in for an unpleasant trip.
Are There Medical Benefits to Terpenes?
While current studies suggest yes, there are some benefits to terpenes, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact effect they have.
- Strains with anti-inflammatory properties went up in effectiveness to help treat inflamed joints or organs
- Pain relief is also greatly enhanced, which is why so many people are studying these and hopefully in the future, we can get people off of painkillers which can be addictive and deadly in large doses
- Substance abuse and addiction may also be treated in the future with cannabis strains and certain types of terpenes because substance and drug abuse are really hard to quit on your own and quitting alcohol abuse can be deadly
- Anxiety is a large industry for pharmaceuticals, especially with all of the expensive anti-anxiety pills out on the market, so cannabis with the right terpenes are showing promise to treat and hopefully eliminate anxiety from our lives
In conclusion, terpenes have drastic effects on cannabis strains and have a lot of positive effects. We haven’t found a single negative effect to report on mixing cannabis with different terpenes.
- Terpenes greatly enhance the aroma and the smell of a strain, making it more pleasurable and tastier for consumption
- Terpenes also drastically increase the effects of the medical benefits offered by a strain, especially those looking for pain relief, joint pain relief or a cure to their anxiety
- For people who have trouble sleeping, the increased sedative effect is a great benefit and allows people to fall asleep easier, saving you a lot of money on sleep aid supplements or a trip to the doctor’s office to get a prescription of Trazadone
While a lot of terpenes often share effects with each other, the main difference to notice is the smell and the aroma of the different terpenes. Some of them can give cannabis that citrus fresh smell, some of them can make them smell like leaves and some of them can give an odd diesel smell to them that some people find oddly satisfying.
What kind of terpenes is the best terpene for you takes a little bit of experimenting and you should always smell the cannabis at a dispensary before making a purchase.