There are around 150 different terpene kinds found in cannabis. Even though the majority of terpenes are just tracely present, the more potent ones work in concert to give different cannabis strains their own fragrance profiles.
Sour diesels terpene profile informs you of its strong, gassy nature, while cherry pie evokes the delicious aroma of sweet and sour cherry pie hot from the oven.
Terpenes play a variety of roles in the cannabis plant in addition to giving it its distinctive aromas. Terpenes can also have a variety of medicinal and mood-altering effects on cannabis users.
Where do terpenes come from?
Terpenes are organic substances that are present in the trichomes of female cannabis plants. Trichomes are translucent, sticky glands that are found on leaves and stems and, in much lower numbers, on the surface of buds. Importantly, trichomes have glands that create terpenes called resin glands.
Terpenes are essential to the development and survival of a cannabis plant. These organic substances not only provide various scents but also enhance the color and pigmentation of the leaves and buds, which improves the flavor of the cannabis. Terpenes, in essence, contribute to the plant’s attraction to some animals while discouraging potentially harmful ones.
The terpene geraniol, for instance, deters insects and herbivorous animals from nibbling on cannabis.
Other terpenes, such as linalool and terpinolene, draw insects and other tiny animals that can aid in the distribution of pollen. By providing information about the environment, shielding plants from infections and stresses, and aiding in the initiation of immune responses, these aromatic chemicals boost plants’ immune systems.
The quantity of terpenes a cannabis plant generates can be influenced by a wide range of factors. Terpene levels can be affected by a variety of elements, including whether the plant is cultivated outdoors or indoors, light exposure, temperature, specific growing media, nutrient levels, and the time of harvest.
Many terpenes are volatile substances, which means that when cannabis is extracted as usual, they are frequently lost. However, more delicate extraction techniques, including live resin, are becoming more popular as people become more aware of the therapeutic potential of terpenes.
In order to protect the terpenes and other volatile plant chemicals during the extraction process, live resin is manufactured from freshly frozen cannabis plants. This results in a more aromatically complex and tasty cannabis experience.
How do terpenes affect the body?
Terpenes’ aromatic characteristics have long been known about. Terpenes have a variety of bright fragrances that humans have long used to create essential oils for
applications like aromatherapy.
Anyone who has applied linalool-containing lavender oil behind their ears, for instance, is aware of its potential relaxation benefits.
The terpenes in some cannabis strains can also enhance their effects. Terpenes, however, seem to have effects that go beyond those that make people feel good and
reduce stress. An other emerging area in cannabis treatment is terpenes.
The therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids like thc and cbd have dominated the attention up until
recently, but as our knowledge of terpenes deepens, it’s becoming clear that these fragrant
chemicals are medical powerhouses.
Each terpene possesses a special blend of healing qualities. Unsurprisingly, some of the impacts terpenes have on people are similar to how they work in cannabis and other plants, such as
assisting in the defense against infections and undesirable bacteria.
The medicinal benefits of terpenes
Terpenes have been linked to a number of therapeutic advantages in in vitro (in test tubes) and preclinical animal investigations. However, it should be mentioned that terpene research is still in its
early stages and hasn’t been widely carried out on humans. To firmly establish our understanding of these chemicals, more study is required.
Researchers are constantly looking for novel antiviral substances. Numerous terpenes, such as alpha- and beta-pinene, caryophyllene, camphor, and carvone, may have potent antiviral effects.
The search for substances that can help suppress cancer is being driven by rising rates of many different types of cancer. Some terpenes, including those in cannabis, have anticancer properties that can hinder the development or activity of cancer cells.
Along with other terpenes like pinene, camphor, terpinene, and beta-myrcene, limonene may be particularly noteworthy anticancer and antitumor agent. Terpenes may have a special advantage in treating cancer because they are unlikely to harm healthy cells or have negative side effects.
Twenty-five percent of antidepressant medications are made with terpene-rich plant extracts. Among the several plant extracts utilized in antidepressant drugs are linalool and beta-pinene.
Many different terpenes have the potential to be antimicrobial, or to stop a hazardous microbe in its tracks. Alpha-bisabolol, geraniol, menthol, eucalyptol, and terpinolene are terpenes that may aid in
killing or halting the spread of microbes.
Some cannabis terpenes may imitate cannabinoids by having a pain-relieving effect, according to research. One study from 2021 that mixed terpenes and cannabinoids found that pain-relieving effectiveness increased without an increase in adverse side effects. The entourage effect may be indicated by this interaction (more below).
Terpenes including humulene, geraniol, linalool, and -pinene may have pain-relieving properties. Fascinatingly, the aforementioned study also discovered that these terpenes stimulate CB1 receptors in the body, which are a component of the endocannabinoid system and affect how pain is perceived.
What role do terpenes play in the effects of cannabis?
The entourage effect, which may be thought of as: the whole of all chemicals present in cannabis are more together than the sum of its parts, is an emerging theory that says all plant compounds in cannabis function together synergistically. In other words, when cannabinoids and terpenes are taken together as opposed to separately, a unique whole-plant synergy takes place.
Terpenes, for instance, seem to have an impact on how thc and cbd act within the body. People with epilepsy who took full-spectrum cbd extract, which contains cannabinoids and terpenes, reported better symptoms and fewer side effects than those who took cbd isolate, which only contains cannabinoids, in a 2018 review. Whole-plant medication made from the cannabis plant, full-spectrum cannabis extract contains terpenes, cannabinoids, and other chemicals that are present in the plant.
The therapeutic synergy of cannabinoids and other components, such as terpenes, was discovered to be responsible for the full-spectrum cbd extract’s four times greater potency than the cbd isolation, allowing patients to take a far smaller dose.
Terpenes have been reported to increase cannabinoid activity in more recent research, however substantial terpene concentrations were required to observe this augmentation.
It’s important to recognize that there is still much to learn about terpenes and how they interact with cannabinoids, flavonoids, and other terpenes found in cannabis. Furthermore, the vast majority of the research we do have is based on test-tube or animal models.