By now, we are all familiar with terpenes and even have a favorite one that must be on our shopping list when buying cannabis online. Is it the peppery caryophyllene or the floral linalool? Or perhaps, the sedative myrcene, one of the most prevalent terpenes in the cannabis world?
While terpenes have been around since the beginning of life, they became popular in the botanical world just a few decades ago. For that reason, it might be surprising to learn that there is such thing as cannabis-derived terpenes. Today, we’ll introduce you to these compounds and teach you some cannabis science.
How about you check out some flower form our farm? Chock full of terpenes!
What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are tiny particles that give plants, trees, and fruits their distinct smell. They make the difference between a green apple and a red one, a tangerine and an orange, and a classic Haze strain and Sour Hawaiian Haze. Simply put, they interact with the rest of the compounds found in all plants and herbs to give them a smell and flavor profile you cannot find anywhere else.
However, the importance of terpenes goes way beyond the aromas they provide. They are also responsible for helping plants protect themselves from plagues and attract pollinators, and in the human body, they have shown amazing benefits for treating several conditions.
Still, the fascinating thing about terpenes is that they have different classifications, among them cannabis-derived terpenes.
As the name suggests, cannabis-derived terpenes are those that naturally exist in the cannabis plant, created organically as a natural pest repellent. Take a closer look at a Delta 8 Abacus 2.0 nug, and you’ll see shiny particles on top of its dark green color: these are trichomes, which contain your precious cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes.
Among the 200 terpenes that naturally occur in the cannabis plant, only about 20 or 30 of them take the stage. Each cultivar you find on the market will have different concentrations of each terpene, which is why it’s so important to make sure that the product you’re buying has great quality. It would be a shame to open a jar of your favorite nugs and not obtain any pleasant smell coming out of its rich buds.
Right now, several companies sell terpene extracts, which are virtually similar to essential oils: manufacturers extract the terpenes from the plant, in this case, cannabis, so you can enjoy them in a vape by adding a few drops to your distillate. This way, everything you consume is natural, and you get to enhance the flavor of your product.
Non-cannabis-derived terpenes, or synthetic terpenes, are created in a lab. Manufacturers often replicate the chemical structure of a naturally occurring terpene to create a product that costs less and takes less time to produce. You can often find these compounds in your shampoo, cleaning products, and perfumes.
Many companies choose synthetic terpenes over cannabis-derived terpenes as they don’t depend on growing conditions to have a specific aroma or flavor. However, it’s important to know where to source your synthetic terpenes from, as they can contain harmful chemicals.
Benefits of Terpenes
One of the main reasons why it’s so important to have high terpene content in your cannabis products is that they play an important role in the Entourage Effect. This term refers to a phenomenon where cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and other compounds in the cannabis plant interact to create unique effects and benefits for each strain.
Besides giving you a good high, terpenes also have specific health benefits to their name. These include anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, antioxidant, sedative, and even sleep-inducing effects. For that reason, botanists are constantly examining the effects isolated terpenes have on our bodies to discover new treatments for several ailments.
Common Cannabis-Derived Terpenes
If you are the kind of smoker who likes to check out the most important details of the strains they’re buying, you’ve probably noticed that some terpenes come up much more frequently than others. To learn more about them, check out the following list of the most common cannabis-derived terpenes:
- Pinene: the earthy and piney scent this terpene exudes makes it a cannalovers’ favorite for its freshness. Pinene contains anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective properties, making it a highly valuable terpene.
- Caryophyllene: another fan favorite, caryophyllene is a peppery terpene that can bind to the CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system, helping to regulate pain sensations and easing inflammation.
- Myrcene: this is the most abundant terpene found in cannabis, with about 65% presence in the whole cannabis world. This pungent compound has strong sedative effects and induces sleep and relaxation.
- Limonene: if you’re into sour strains, it’s thanks to limonene. This citrusy terpene is an excellent mood-enhancer and stress reliever.
- Bisabolol: although it isn’t as popular as the terpenes mentioned above, bisabolol is a pleasant terpene you should get to know. It has a range of benefits, from potent anti-inflammatory properties to anti-allergic benefits.
- Humulene: just like beer, cannabis contains humulene, which offers a woody, hoppy aroma to your flower and also has anti-tumor and pain-relieving properties.
Other cannabis-derived terpenes you can find in your favorite buds include:
Cannabinoids vs Terpenes
If terpenes have several benefits just like cannabinoids, what sets them apart from the popular THC and CBD? We are used to consuming CBD isolates or THC oils to get instant, potent effects. However, as we mentioned earlier, terpenes will intensify or downplay the effects of cannabinoids depending on their concentration in a cannabis strain.
Because of their chemical structure, terpenes are also different from cannabinoids. As a result, they don’t interact with endocannabinoid receptors, but instead activate our olfactory and GABA receptors, which play an important role in neuronal firing. They help regulate emotion, pain, and sleep. The only exception to this nature is Caryophyllene, which was found to bind with the CB2 receptors of our endocannabinoid system.
Cannabis-derived terpenes are extremely important when it comes to a strain’s potency, efficiency, and aroma. For that reason, we recommend you try products with high terpene profiles and quality, as they will give you an experience you can’t get from a low-quality bud. If you want to pay close attention to the minute differences between one strain and another, what about trying a fragrant vanilla and floral strain? The White CBG has 10.5% CBG and delightful crystal trichomes that contain guaiol, bisabolol, caryophyllene, and humulene as their main terpenes.