Ever wondered why cannabis aroma is so soothing for the mind and the body? Whether it is fruity and tangy smell of Super Lemon Haze, or the pungent skunky scent which emerges from the buds of Sour Diesel, we all know that the lovely green buds possess something more than only cannabinoids.
We are talking, of course, about terpenes – the culprits behind these flavorful and intoxicating scents.
But what exactly are they? Well, lets find out more together.
What are Cannabis Terpenes?
Hidden in the same glands as THC and CBD, terpenes are aromatic oils which provide cannabis with the distinctive flavors we all love so well, including citrus, pine, berry, mint etc.
According to botanic experts, the development of such strong smelling terpenes in cannabis flowers was no accident. Instead, just like other aromatic plants, cannabis evolved and developed these scents to adapt in its environment by repelling predators and attracting pollinators like bees.
Many different factors influence the development of terpenes in a plant. These include the weather, the age of the plant, it’s maturing process, the type of soil it grows in, what fertilizers it has access to, etc.
As a result, today more than a hundred different types of terpenes have been identified in the cannabis plant, and each strain has a different and unique composition.
For example, strains like UK Cheese posses an extremely cheesy, pungent smell, while others like Blueberry have a sweet and sour, berry-like aroma.
But simply knowing what cannabis terpenes isn’t enough. It is also important to know what terpenes do, and the effect they can have on your mind and on your high. Let’s take a look.
What do Terpenes in Cannabis do?
You might not know it, but terpenes play an important part in enhancing your high experience, and nearly everyone could utilize terpenes to their fullest potential. Users can enhance weed’s medicinal properties, and/or make the whole experience so much more fun and exciting.
Think about it this way, the myrcene terpene can be commonly found in cannabis as well as other plants such as lavender, and can produce effects of relief and calmness. Hence, combining this with CBD (a medicinal cannabinoid compound found in cannabis and fabled for medicinal, anti-euphoric properties) can significantly enhance the physical and mental medicinal effects of weed.
But cannabinoids and terpenes only work well together if the user has enough information on them. But worry not, for this is what we are here to do. Let’s take a detailed look at some of the most common terpenes found in cannabis.
The Most Common Cannabis Terpenes
More commonly known as the alpha-Pinene, this is perhaps the most commonly found terpenes in the cannabis plant. As the name suggests, pinene has a sharp and familiar pine scent.
In terms of effects, pinene’s medicinal properties indicate that it can serve as a bronchodilator. This basically means that the terpene can open up and expand your lungs, allowing you to breath more easily and deeply. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that pinene can improve memory and increase a person’s ability to focus.
Also known as beta-Caryophyllene, this terpene is the most commonly used one in medicines and treatments. Fabled for it’s anti-inflammatory properties, the terpene has a sharp, peppery scent and is one of the most commonly found one in cannabis.
What’s truly unique about beta-Caryophyllene is that while it is a terpene, it acts more like a cannabinoid and interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid system.
This in turn, produces heavy anti-inflammatory properties and can also help in managing depression and anxiety. At the same time, many high THC hybrids also contain Caryophyllene to provide a calming high. Strains containing Caryophyllene include Original Glue, Purple Punch, and Girl Scout Cookies.
This is perhaps the most loved terpene of them all, and can also be found in many different fruits. It is best known for its musky mango type scent, and the fact that it can help the THC in your weed to reach your brain faster.
No wonder old hands always recommend eating a mango with your favorite cannabis strains for a better and more intense high.
Myrcene is perhaps one of the few terpenes which is also used to differentiate sativas from indicas. Indica strains contain +0.5 Myrcene content, while sativas have -0.5. Popular strains containing myrcene include Granddaddy Purple, OG Kush, Blue Dream and Cherry Pie.
Just as the name suggests, limonene has a powerful citrusy, zesty and lemony scent and can be found in a wide range of cannabis strains.
At the same time, Limonene is well loved by experts for it’s powerful anti-anxiety properties and is commonly used to treat stress. In fact, anecdotal evidence even suggests that it can be used to fight fungal bacteria and even cancer.
Strains containing Limonene include Super Lemon Haze, Wedding Cake, and Do-Si-Dos.
It is estimated that one in every ten strains tends to be Terpinolene dominant. And these strains tend to be extremely euphoric and energizing at the same time.
But what Terpinolene is most famous for is the fact that it can give cannabis strains a fruity, but spicy aroma. After all, the terpene can also be found in cumin, nutmeg, and even lilies.
Famous strains containing Terpinolene include Cereal Killer, Jack Herer and Chernobyl.
Most commonly found in lavender plants, linalool is quite commonly used to create soaps and perfumes. It’s floral aroma is truly awe-inspiring, and the cannabis strains containing it are among the most demanded ones ever.
In addition to its aroma, the terpene promotes relaxing and calming effects. Famous strains containing Linalool include Zkittlez, Do-Si-Dos, and Kosher Kush.
Last but not the least, Humulene is the main terpene found in hops, and it is also present in cannabis, sage and even ginseng. Also known as α-caryophyllene, or alpha-caryophyllene, the terpene is extremely uplifting and promotes happiness.
Evidence also suggests that it can act as an anti inflammatory agent as well. Common strains containing Humulene include Pink Kush, Sour Diesel, and Gorilla Glue.