October 09, 2018
5 things you (probably) didn’t know about Terpenes and Terpenoids
1) They are full of personality
Terpenes are considered the essential oils of the cannabis flower, secreted in trichomes (the same hard-working glandular structures that produce cannabinoids like CBD and THC). There are over 30 terpenes found in Cannabis in significant quantities. Terpenes are the “choose your own adventure” of cannabis, each one containing their own unique expressions of colour, olfactory, and flavour profiles, which make your Blueberry Kush taste and look like Blueberry and your Lemon Haze taste like lemon (and feel hazy). Certain terpenes have sedating and calming effects whereas others may increase alertness, relieve stress, aid focus, and elevate mood. Ongoing research has shown that the sedating and uplifting effects that some users may experience, that were originally thought to distinguish sativas from indicas have less to do with this classification system and more to do with the terpenes contained in each strain.
Not just found in cannabis
The 200+ terpenes found in cannabis aren’t only found in the plant, they can also be found in most flora and even some insects. One technique that may potentially reduce over-consumption related side effects is eating a black peppercorn. There is the belief that because the terpene caryophyllene is also found in black peppercorn, eating a black peppercorn could reduce THC induced anxiety.
They are an evolutionary tactic
Terpenes were developed in organisms over time to attract pollination and repel potential predators by causing a negative olfactory sensation, thus turning the animal off from eating the plant. This defense mechanism backfired when humans discovered cannabis, and these distinguishing characteristics became highly sought after by cannabis enthusiasts.
Made by nature – perfected by humans
Terpenes are naturally occurring, and many variables play into the development of terpenes, including genetics, age, climate, spectrums of light, soil type, and fertilizers used. Years of careful cannabis cultivation has led to the isolation and cross breeding of popular terpenes resulting in mashups such as Sour Tangie (Cross between East Coast Sour Diesel and Tangie). It is interesting to note that while cross breeding has isolated terpenes, breeders were intentionally isolating physiological characteristics and effects of the plant, not terpenes themselves. As our understanding of genetics and terpenes is furthered, the prevalence of terpene dominant strains will increase.
They play well with others
Much has been said about Terpenes Entourage Effect which refers to the way that cannabis’s compounds interact with each other. Cannabinoids, terpenoids, and flavonoids work together and help to amplify the overall effects (feeling, flavour, scent). Terpenes are truly greater than the sum of their parts.
Now that you know a little more about these personality- fuelled compounds we recommend researching the strains you like (and the ones you don’t) to discover what terpenes are present. This will help you choose your own cannabis adventure rather than letting the adventure choose you.
Enjoy Respectfully, Consume Responsibly.