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While many of us appreciate cannabis and find that it soothes the mind and body, how many of us know why it has these effects? The smell and effects of cannabis we love and appreciate are caused by terpenes. They play a main role in what type of effects each various cannabis strain may produce.

What are Terpenes?

Most people are well versed in what cannabinoids are, thanks to them being in the mainstream media for a while now. Yet, what people don’t tend to know so much about is terpenes. Put simply, terpenes are chemicals that determine how things smell. You have experienced terpenes all your life, from when you’ve smelt an orange or freshly cut grass – both these scents are caused by terpenes. There are currently over 20,000 terpenes in existance and it has been discovered that the cannabis plant has over one hundred of these terpenes. 

Terpenes are classified as polyphenols and give the cannabis plants its instantly recognizable scent. Five of the most common terpenes are caryophyllene, limonene, linalool, pinene and myrcene. Different percentages of these terpenes in a plant have been found to impact its effects. As cannabis becomes even more popular throughout the world, largely thanks to the rise in CBD, people want to know more than ever just what they are putting in their bodies and the effect that this could have. The research is still ongoing, but new information about terpenes is surfacing all the time.

Why are Terpenes important to a cannabis user’s experience?

Terpene Aromas Infographic

When you consume cannabis, depending on the type of terpenes it contains, it can often produce different effects. It could be that you feel extremely euphoric to the point where you can’t stop laughing, or you feel detached from reality in your elation. Terpenes provide a more mellow and lighter experience that is similar to a natural feeling of happiness that you might experience in everyday life. Cannabinoids and Terpenes, while different, both work together to impact your body and this is what scientists call the entourage effect

The entourage effect occurs when cannabis and terpenes work together to produce a more effective experience and feeling than they do just on their own. There was a study done in 2011 by neurologist and researcher Ethan Russo, who looked at how cannabinoids and terpenes work together to boost and modulate the effects of one another in the body’s endocannabinoid system.

In a similar way to how cannabinoids have their own individual, optimal temperature for methods such as vaporizing, terpenes do as well. If it is possible to get a vaporizer with a temperature control you could ensure that not too many of the terpenes are destroyed while in use. It is a good idea to do your research into the different temperatures and see what terpenes you want to be released. This will ensure you have the best possible experience and result that you are after.

What positive effects do Terpenes have?

There are a host of different terpenes out there and they all have different effects. Some of them might promote focus and acuity, while others might make you feel relaxed and stress free. While the differences between terpenes might be subtle, they can add a lot of depth to cannabis and cannabis analysis labs now test for terpene content. This means that you have a better knowledge and understanding of the effect that certain strains produce. There are many benefits of terpenes and each one might be able to help with different aspects. Some of the most known terpenes in cannabis include:

  • Myrcene – This is the most commonly found terpene in cannabis. Strains that have 0.5% Myrcene are usually associated with sedative side effects and can be good for reducing inflammation. 
  • Limonene – This is the second most common terpene found in cannabis, but that doesn’t mean it is found in every one. It is said to be found more in strains that smell like citrus and generally makes up less than 2% of the cannabis plant. Some of the positive effects that Limonene might include an elevated mood, stress relief, assistance with relieving heartburn and gastric reflux, and antifungal properties.
  • Linalool – This is the terpene you are most likely to recognize the scent of as it is responsible for the marijuana smell. It is a strong sedative and may be able to calm anxiousness, stress and aid with depression, arthritis and insomnia.
  • Pinene – Pinene is found most commonly in pine trees and is found in two variants, alpha and beta. Alpha gives off the pine aroma and beta smells of dill, rosemary or parsley. It is a strong bronchodilator with antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Caryophyllene – Caryophyllene (also known as BCP) is a terpene that is found in hops, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, basil and oregano. It is a terpene unlike any other because it is one that can directly activate a cannabinoid receptor. It is antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and might be able to help with anxiety, depression and treating inflammatory bowel disease. There are also current studies being done to find out if Caryophyllene can help with reducing gene stress and therefore increase the human lifespan. 

There are many other terpenes out there, including Alpha-bisabolol which has been found to treat bacterial infections and wounds, Eucalyptol which can relieve pain and slow the growth of bacteria and fungus, Trans-nerolidol which is a secondary terpene known for its antiparasitic, antioxidant and antimicrobial qualities, and Delta-3-Carene which can help to stimulate memory and improve memory retention.

Where can I find more information about Terpenes and buy them myself?

Head to Planet 13, the top Las Vegas dispensary where we strive to provide the best recreational cannabis, cannabis extracts, and infused products. You can visit us in-store or shop online for curbside pick-up or delivery. With only the highest quality products, an unrivaled atmosphere, extremely knowledgeable staff, and safety being our top priority, you know you are in the best hands possible for all your cannabis needs and questions.