Of all the components that the cannabis plant is known for, its flavorful aroma and taste is by far what makes the plant so special and therapeutic to many. There’s one chemical compound that is responsible for the flavor profile you notice in your favorite cannabis flower: Terpenes.
Known as aromatic chemical compounds, terpenes provide both the flavor and aroma that makes cannabis and other plants so unique.
Not only do terpenes help classify cannabis by a specific aroma or flavor, but can contribute to the overall effects of cannabis when combined with other cannabinoids and compounds.
The Role of Terpenes in Cannabis
First, while terpenes continue to be explored and studied in recent years, these chemical compounds have been a notable component of cannabis and other plants since their existence. In fact, you may be more familiar with terpenes than you think – found in a variety of plants such as vegetables, herbs, fruits, conifers, and of course, cannabis, terpenes are also extremely popular in essential oils.
Essential oils and aromatherapy have utilized terpenes for decades, helping construct and remedy one’s mood and feelings through the purest and most natural aromatic molecules. But when it comes to cannabis, what makes this plant and its various cultivars so unique is the amount of terpene content found in a single strain.
With generally anywhere from 60-80 different terpenes identified in a single cannabis plant, many scientists and researchers have been exploring how and why terpenes are so unique and influential to cannabis.
Surprisingly enough, this research has found terpenes to hold a crucial role in the overall cannabis experience, among other cannabinoids and natural compounds.
The Entourage Effect
What’s more, although terpenes may seem to be the star of the show when it comes to cannabis consumption, there are many other compounds and components that also make up the contents of flower.
When cannabis is consumed or combusted, you are intaking a plethora of different, unique cannabis compounds. Far more than just THC or CBD, other cannabinoids present in cannabis include CBN, CBG, THCA – just to name a few.
In conjunction with these cannabinoids, terpenes play an important role in the Entourage Effect.
This theory has been researched by many cannabis scientists, including Dr. Ethan Russo, who concluded that both cannabinoids and terpenes work together to produce synergistic effects.
These specific types of terpenes and cannabinoids work together to induce or influence certain unique effects and reactions when cannabis is consumed. This is why it’s helpful to note that not every type of cannabis strain or flower will produce the same results, due to the varying level of terpene and cannabinoid content within each.
Here is a list of some of the most common terpenes found in cannabis flower today:
When understanding the impact the Entourage Effect has on terpenes, think of it this way:
If cannabinoids are the fuel, terpenes drive the car.
Finally, terpenes drive the experience and effects of cannabis, and are perhaps the main reason why specific strains are so sought-after. Understanding the influence terpenes have can be a crucial piece of information to help you determine the type of cannabis you’re looking to consume.
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*Always be sure to consult a physician before making any changes to your health or fitness regimen.*