No two strains of cannabis are the same. They all have their own unique essence that makes them desirable to different people. Whether it’s the taste, the smell, or the effect that it has — they all have something special about them.
That’s all thanks to terpenes.
If you’ve never heard of terpenes before, you’re not alone. But it’s important for cannabis consumers to know what they are and what they do. So let’s dive right in.
What Are Terpenes?
Terpenes are a compound found in the cannabis plant as well as many other plants such as herbs and fruit. They are found in the same glands that create CBD and THC cannabinoids.
The aroma and taste of cannabis are created by its terpenes.
More than 100 terpenes have been discovered so far, all with unique smells, flavors, and effects. Finding terpenes that combine all the things you want is a great way to pick out your perfect strain.
What Do Terpenes Do?
In nature, terpenes are essential to a plant’s survival. They can attract pollinators to their flowers, keep dangerous pests away, and even prevent fungi and bacteria from infecting the plant.
When it comes to the human body, terpenes can have an effect on you just like CBD and THC.
Terpenes interact with a system in your body called the endocannabinoid system. They can interact with other cannabinoids to change the effect they have on your body as well as having effects of their own.
Some terpenes give you energy while others calm you. Some are even anti-inflammatory or help fight bacteria.
Keep in mind, boiling cannabis as well as how it’s stored can make terpenes less effective.
There’s still a lot of research being done about terpenes right now. You can read more in-depth about the effects of terpenes and how they differ from THC in this article.
The Most Common Terpenes
While over 100 terpenes are known to exist, some are more prevalent than others in cannabis plants. If you’re not sure where to start, the most common could give you an idea of what strains may be best for you.
Here are five terpenes you will come across the most frequently.
Myrcene is the most abundant terpene found in cannabis. It can also be found in plants such as hops, lemongrass, and thyme. Myrcene has a musky smell and an earthy taste.
Strains with myrcene are used for insomnia and as muscle relaxants. It can also help with inflammation and pain relief.
Pinene can be separated into alpha-pinene and beta-pinene. Its name comes from the fact that it is found in most conifers and pines but it can also be found in rosemary and parsley. As you can probably guess, it smells like pine.
The effects of this terpene include being anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antiviral. It also aids in memory retention and gives you a boost of energy.
The main sources of limonene are citrus fruits, rosemary, and peppermint. It’s an incredibly fragrant terpene. It is also used as a flavoring for things like bubblegum.
Limonene has a lot of benefits from reducing pain and inflammation to alleviating stress and suppressing appetite.
Linalool is extremely abundant in the plant world as it’s found in more than 200 plants. Its signature scent is lavender, which makes it easy enough to pick out when you’re looking through strains of cannabis.
This terpene is known for its calming effects. It’s used to reduce anxiety and stress as well as being anti-inflammatory.
Caryophyllene is a spicy-smelling terpene that’s found in cloves, black pepper, and cinnamon. It gives that warm feeling, which isn’t far off from the benefits this terpene provides.
Strains that contain caryophyllene can help in reducing anxiety, stress, and depression. Like many terpenes on this list, it’s also anti-inflammatory and aids in pain reduction.
Where cannabis is concerned, terpenes are just as important as CBD and THC. In many ways, they are what make cannabis so enjoyable by giving it those signature tastes and smells you know and love.
If you weren’t sure why terpenes were significant before, you can definitely say you know now.
Use this information to pick the strain of cannabis that suits your tastes as well as your needs. Once you know your favorite terpenes, the choice will be easier than ever!