You might have heard the phrase terpene-infused many times in our reviews here at HotBox Magazine. Typically in cannabis-themed candles like Aromas available from Hemper Co.
You also hear about terpenes (or terps) a lot when it comes to concentrates. Many times the full flavor you taste in vape cartridges is because the concentrates have been infused with terpenes. (think strawberry-banana flavored!)
But what exactly do they mean by terpene-infused? What are terpenes anyways?
We were able to get True Blue, a global leader in terpene technology and flavors, to help us out with a guest post to give our readers a clear understanding of the subject.
The medicinal use of cannabis is gaining popularity in the US. As many as 30 states legalized medicinal marijuana as of June 28, according to Business Insider. Hand-in-hand with this growing acceptance is the open discussion of the cannabis plant. It’s no longer a simple matter of THC content, the freshness of the flower or whether to go with sativa, indica, or hybrid strains. We’ve come to the point where even casual cannabis consumers are familiar with terpenes, natural medicine’s multi-purpose miracles of nature.
What Are Terpenes and How Do They Relate To Cannabis?
Terpenes are naturally occurring compounds which are found in most plants. Ever wonder what’s responsible for the unique smell and taste of specific terpenes in cannabis strains? Know you know: The combination of over 200 terpenes present in marijuana plants.
Terpenes are responsible for the aromas and flavors of plants; they are why we can identify the scent of lemon or lavender, regardless of the product. Aside from scents and flavoring, terpenes are also in use for their unique pro-health qualities.
When it comes to cannabis in particular, terpenes play a very special role. These individual terpenes work in tandem with THC to shape the high and contribute their own special health benefits in what is called the Entourage Effect. (This phenomenon was discovered by two Israeli scientists, S. Ben-Shabat and Raphael Mechoulam, in 1998.)
Terpenes Commonly Found In Popular Strains
While some might take it for granted, most cannabis consumers actively seek out specific THC-terpene blends. Even when debating between indicas (for the deep relaxation they offer) and sativas (for an energy boost), what you’re actually mulling over are the effects of the dominant terpenes present in these strains. Below are 5 of the more common terpenes one might encounter. It might surprise some to see which strains they are heavily present in.
- Limonene is found in lemons and citrus. It can antidepressant, boost metabolism, and assist in cholesterol management
- Shining Silver Haze, Super Lemon Haze & Chernobyl
- Linalool is found in plants like lavender and basil. It is often used for its sedative quality but also acts as an anti-inflammatory and pain-reliever.
- OG Shark, Master Kush & Amnesia Haze
- Pinene is known to increase alertness and is the most commonly occurring terpene in nature. It can counter some of the short-term memory loss caused by THC and is effective as a bronchodilator (helps ease of airflow into lungs) and antibacterial.
- Royal Jack, OG Kush & Romulan
- Myrcene is the most abundant terpene in cannabis. It is anti-microbial, an anti-carcinogen, and is a very effective muscle relaxant
- Special Kush 1, Skunk XL & White Widow
- Terpinolene is found in tea tree, conifers, apple. It has analgesic, antioxidant, and antifungal qualities.
- Jack Herer, Royal Jack Automatic & Pineapple Kush
These are just a handful of over 15,000 terpenoids that have been found and described. It’s easy to see why cannabis consumers should be familiar with the terpenes and effects that come with their favorite strains. Scientists and medical researchers continue working to broaden the application of THC-terpene combinations; new terpenes are also being discovered while synthesis processes are being further developed. For those who prefer CBD oil over flowers, knowledge of terpenes opens up an entirely new world of experience and customization.