Terpenes in Cannabis

There are up to 200 terpenes that have been identified in the cannabis plant

Terpenes are volatile aromatic molecules that evaporate easily and readily announce themselves to the nose

Marijuana’s compelling fragrance and particular psychoactive flavor are determined by the predominate terpenes in a strain

Cannabinoid-terpenoid interactions amplify the beneficial effects of cannabis while mitigating THC-induced anxiety.

What are terpenes ?

When encountering cannabis flower it is not uncommon to encounter a wide variety of delicious aromas. Faint smells of mint, strawberry and citrus may be detected, as well as pine and pepper. These scents can be attributed to terpenes, which are aromatic organic molecules found in cannabis. They play an important role in the physiological and psychoactive effects of cannabis, and studies suggest that there are many terpenes in cannabis that can provide increased medical benefits.

the “entourage effect”

One of the key advantages of terpenes is found in their relationship to cannabinoids. Studies have shown that the way many of these molecules interact creates scenarios in which the therapeutic benefits of each plant’s individual components are magnified. This is often referred to as the “entourage effect,” because the medicinal impact of each whole plant is greater than the sum of its parts. This characteristic has led many to call terpenes the “next frontier in medicinal cannabis.”common-terpenes. There are up to 200 terpenes that have been identified in the cannabis plant.

Leafly infographic chart

Like cannabinoids, terpenes bind to receptors in the brain and give rise to various effects. The chart below outlines properties of six common cannabis terpenes along with a few strains that tend to express notable levels of each.

For many people the word “terpene” is a strange and unfamiliar term, but it won’t be for much longer.

Linalool has a floral, citrus fragrance, and has been shown to provide benefit for those suffering from anxiety, depression and acne. a-Humulene has been shown in some studies to produce anti-inflammatory effects.

Limonene, like Linalool, has a citrus aroma, and among its qualities are the ability to be anti-fungal, antibacterial, anti-carcinogenic, mood enhancing, as well as provide possible treatment for heartburn and gastrointestinal complications. a-Pinene is a terpene that not only reminds you of walking through a beautiful pine forest, but also has the ability to increase alertness and memory retention. It also has been shown to be an anti-inflammatory and antibiotic.

Myrcene is one of the most prevalent terpenes, and its concentration amount dictates whether a cannabis strain will have an Indica (relaxing) or Sativa (stimulating) effect. Myrcene has a very earthy, almost musky smell and because of its sedative properties it is useful for addressing muscle tension and sleeplessness but is also known to have antioxidant properties.