By: Laine Hammer & Cyrus Sepahbodi
Have you ever wondered how your favorite cannabis strains get their wonderful, diverse aromas and flavors? Your favorite indica, sativa, or hybrid strain smells so good because of organic compounds called terpenes! We’re going to break down what terpenes are, some of the pleasant aromas you can find in various strains, and why natural terpene profiles help you experience all the benefits of the cannabis plant.
What Are Cannabis Terpenes?
Terpenes are natural oils found typically in botanicals that put out a distinct scent or aroma. Cannabis terpenes are the oils that give your favorite cannabis strains their distinctive flavor. Many people choose their strains because of the distinct citrus, berry, mint, or pine flavors and smells. The terpenes are secreted in the flower’s sticky resin glands, called the trichomes. Terpenes can also appear in numerous herbs, fruits, or plants. Terpenes are vitally important in the therapeutic uses of cannabis. Each terpene, like each strain, has subtle differences in effects. Want some more inside knowledge about terpenes? Check out our article on why terpenes matter!
Terpenes vs. Terpenoids
Many cannasseurs and individuals in the cannabis industry use the words terpene and terpenoid interchangeably, but there are subtle key differences between them. The real difference between terpenes and terpenoids is that terpenes are hydrocarbons whereas terpenoids have have undergone oxidation. Think of it in terms of cannabis flower. In raw form the cannabis plant has terpenes that are present in the trichomes. But when a cultivator dries and cures the flower, some of the terpenes undergo a chemical change and become terpenoids. There is a similarity in terms of the minor cannabinoids THCa to THC and CBDa to CBD.
Where Are Terpenes Found on the Cannabis Plant?
Terpenes are formed on the most important part of the cannabis plant: the trichomes! There are myriad terpenes found in the trichomes, and they all lend themselves to making each cannabis strain unique. Trichomes have resin glands that not only make terpenes, but cannabinoids as well. CBD, THC, CBDA, THCA – basically everything we want from cannabis – is found in the trichomes.
How Are Terpenes Different from Cannabinoids?
As stated earlier, terpenes are the aromatic oils found inside of cannabis trichomes. They provide distinct scents and flavors to the plant and can also be found in other plants as well. Phytocannabinoids, or cannabinoids, are the natural chemical compounds produced by cannabis flowers that provide natural protection to the plant. The key difference is the effects that cannabinoids have versus how terpenes provide scent and flavor. There are over 120+ cannabinoids unique to cannabis and they’re also found in everyday plants too! Some studies have shown that terpenes do have some direct physiological effects on the body, especially when it comes to linalool and limonene (more on that below). When you combine the effects of cannabinoids such as THC and CBD with the natural terpenes found in the plant, you are likely to have increased effects. Also, the aromas of terpenes can help with physical stressors such as normal inflammation, physical discomfort, as well as minor aches and pains.
How Terpenes Interact with Our Bodies
Part of what makes cannabis great is the aromas and flavors you get between strains. Preserving the natural terpenes of the plant is not only vital to efficacy, but is important because each strain is unique. Papa & Barkley maintains the terpene profile of the plants we use during our solventless processes. This allows for a more natural and comprehensive, full spectrum, approach to cannabis wellness. When you use our products, you supplement the Endocannabinoid System with a full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytonutrients.
Most Common Terpenes
These 12 terpenes are what give cannabis strains their pleasant floral, woody, peppery, citrusy, berry, minty, and sometimes hoppy aromas!
Here are the most common terpenes:
Endocannabinoid System (ECS) & Entourage Effect
Each of our bodies has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that controls physiological processes including appetite, pain sensation, mood, and memory. Our ECS consists of two primary cannabinoid receptors. The CB1 receptors are concentrated throughout the central nervous system and brain. The CB2 receptors are present in the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and peripheral nervous systems. The natural cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytonutrients found in cannabis plants can communicate with the signal receptors of the ECS to help reduce minor aches, acute discomfort, and normal inflammation.
When you consume cannabis, the natural cannabinoids and terpenes within the plant supplement your ECS and provide positive effects. Terpenes can play a vital role in providing balance to the ECS within our bodies, and when you maintain the terpene profile of the plant, you are getting better effects. e entourage effect is the idea that molecules that occur together in nature interact in useful ways. This also applies to cannabinoids and terpenes. Terpenes are molecular compounds found in plants and insects in the form of natural oils and exhibit distinct aromas. Terpenes and cannabinoids (such as CBD and THC) work together to maximize benefits in the body. Many studies reveal that while CBD or THC can be beneficial on their own, they often create better outcomes in combination.
Natural Terpene Profile: Whole Plant Full Spectrum™
Our Whole Plant Full Spectrum™ process is clean and chemical-free and maintains the whole plant’s natural terpene profile. This allows for you to experience all the benefits of the plant, including the natural aromas from each strain’s individual terpenes. Papa & Barkley believes that the natural terpene profiles found in the plant add increased efficacy to our products. We believe in the power of the whole plant and allowing the plant to do all the work.
Natural Cannabis Wellness
Resources & Citations