What Are Terpenes? Why Do They Matter?[email protected]
By: Cyrus Sepahbodi
You’ve probably heard someone describe the taste of cannabis before, often using words like “pine” “spice” and “earthy”.
But what causes these different undertones? The answer is Terpenes, which are responsible for the smells and tastes of plants and fruits in nature.
What are terpenes and why should you care?
Terpenes are the fragrant oils that give cannabis its aromatic diversity. These oils, secreted in the flower’s sticky resin glands, also appear in many other herbs, fruits, and plants. They play a significant role in the therapeutic and medicinal use of cannabis by creating subtle differences in effects across different strains.
Taste and Flavors of Terpenes
Bright lemony flavors, for example, are known as an indicator of energy improvement, while more earthy tones are thought to help you relax. Although the full range of terpene benefits are under-researched, studies have shown that terpenes work in synergy with THC and other cannabinoids to improve the therapeutic value of cannabis products.
Medical Benefits of Terpenes
There are a huge variety of terpenes, each responsible for different smells like notes of pine, pepper, fruit, and flowers. Cannabis plants have over 120 identified terpenes that can range dramatically in their aromas. Terpenes are also thought to be associated with the psychoactive effects of strains, with different smells often being associated with certain effects.
Terpenes have also been shown to reduce the intoxicating effects of THC when consumed together, upping its therapeutic value and contributing to the entourage effect.
Common Terpenes & Their Benefits
If Cannabinoids are a ship’s engine, the terpenes can be thought of as the rudder. At Papa & Barkley, we maintain the terpene profile found naturally in the plant and do not add terpenes back into our products (a process known as reterpening). As always, our philosophy is: why mess with a good thing?
Here are some common Terpenes and their benefits:
- Linalool: commonly found in lavender. Linalool helps provide anxiety relief, sedation, and pain relief.
- Myrcene: commonly found in mango, lemongrass, thyme, and hops. Myrcene helps provide muscle tension relief, anti-inflammation and produces a soothing effect.
- Limonene: commonly found in fruit rinds and peppermint. Limonene can be used to treat gastrointestinal complications, heartburn, and depression. It acts as an antifungal, anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogen, dissolves gallstones, and enhances mood.
- Pinene: commonly found in pine needles, rosemary, basil, parsley, and dill. Pinene is useful for alertness, memory retention, antiseptic, and counteracts some THC effects.
- Caryophyllene: commonly found in black pepper, cloves, and cotton. Caryophyllene is a gastroprotective and has anti-inflammatory properties.