What are the terpenes in cannabis?

CannabisandSex.ca is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more.

Terpenes are a diverse group of organic compounds that are found in many plants, including cannabis.

They are responsible for the characteristic smells and flavors of many fruits, flowers, and herbs. However, cannabis plants are known to produce a wide variety of terpenes, and different strains of cannabis can have unique terpene profiles that contribute to their specific aromas and flavors.

What are cannabis derived terpenes?

Medical Marijuana Charts microdosing and information on what are cannabis derived terpenes
Medical marijuana charts on microdosing and the primary cannabis derived terpenes by GoldLeaf.

Cannabis-derived terpenes are organic compounds that are naturally occurring in cannabis plants. Terpenes are aromatic molecules responsible for the distinct smells and flavors associated with cannabis strains. They are found in the resinous trichomes of cannabis flowers and leaves, and they contribute to the overall sensory experience of consuming cannabis.

Some commonly found cannabis-derived terpenes include limonene, myrcene, pinene, linalool, and beta-caryophyllene, among others. These terpenes are believed to have various potential therapeutic properties, such as anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressant effects, although further research is needed to fully understand their potential benefits.

Cannabis-derived terpenes can be extracted from cannabis plants and used in various applications, such as in the production of cannabis products, including vape cartridges, edibles, topicals, and more. They are also used in other industries, such as perfumery, food and beverage, and cosmetics, due to their aromatic properties.

What is the entourage effect with terpenes?

The entourage effect is a term used to describe the synergistic effects of the various compounds found in cannabis, including cannabinoids and terpenes. The theory suggests that the combined effects of these compounds may be more significant than the effects of each individual compound alone. This is thought to occur because the compounds work together to enhance each other’s effects and produce a more significant overall effect.

For example, some terpenes have been shown to interact with the endocannabinoid system in ways that may enhance the effects of cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. Terpenes can also have their own individual effects, such as reducing inflammation, promoting relaxation, or providing pain relief.

The term “entourage effect” was coined by Dr. Ethan Russo, a neurologist and pharmacologist who has studied the therapeutic effects of cannabis and its components. Dr. Russo has suggested that the entourage effect may be an important factor in the therapeutic benefits of cannabis, and that isolating individual compounds may not be as effective as using the whole plant.

The ensemble effect is a similar concept, but it specifically refers to the combined effects of terpenes. Some researchers have suggested that the effects of terpenes may be enhanced when they are used in combination with other terpenes or cannabinoids, leading to a more significant overall effect. However, this is still an area of ongoing research, and more studies are needed to fully understand the interactions between different cannabis compounds and their effects on the body.

What popular terpenes are found in cannabis?

There are over 100 different terpenes that have been identified in the cannabis plant, each with its own unique aroma, flavor, and potential therapeutic benefits. Here are some of the most common terpenes found in cannabis:

  • Myrcene: This terpene is found in high concentrations in many cannabis strains and has a musky, earthy aroma. Myrcene is thought to have sedative and pain-relieving effects.
  • Limonene: This terpene has a citrusy aroma and is thought to have anti-inflammatory and mood-enhancing effects.
  • Pinene: This terpene has a piney aroma and is thought to have bronchodilatory effects, making it potentially useful for those with asthma.
  • Linalool: This terpene has a floral aroma and is thought to have relaxing and sedative effects, making it potentially useful for those with anxiety or insomnia.
  • Caryophyllene: This terpene has a spicy, peppery aroma and is thought to have anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Humulene: This terpene has a woody, earthy aroma and is thought to have anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Terpinolene: This terpene has a fresh, herbal aroma and is thought to have sedative effects.
  • Ocimene: This terpene has a sweet, herbal aroma and is thought to have antifungal and antibacterial effects.
  • Geraniol: This terpene has a floral, rose-like aroma and is thought to have antioxidant and antibacterial effects.

These terpenes, along with others, can have varying effects on the body and may interact with the endocannabinoid system in different ways. Understanding the potential therapeutic benefits of these terpenes may be helpful in choosing the right cannabis strain for a specific condition or symptom.