If you’ve done any research into CBD and cannabis, you may have run across the word “terpenes”. What are terpenes and what do they do? For starters, they provide the aroma of the plant and most likely play a large role in how CBD might fit into your routine.
Let’s dig in!
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A Major Role In CBD
Terpenes are found in pretty much every plant. They are aromatic organic hydrocarbons that exist in plant oils. Research shows that there are more than 20,000 terpenes known. Cannabis plants produce up to 200. Each has a different role. Some plants produce terpenes to attract pollinators while others produce them to keep animals from eating them.
If you have come into contact with a cannabis plant, you might have noticed small yellowish or brownish hairs that protrude from the buds and flowers. These structures are known as glandular trichomes and are produced by female cannabis plants.
Trichomes are responsible for housing terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids in cannabis. This is why cannabis should be handled with care during harvesting and processing. If the trichomes are left intact, there is a much better chance of getting high-quality cannabis with strong flavors, distinct smells, and nice colors.
The production of terpenes depends on factors such as light, temperature, humidity, and temperature. This is why cultivators spend all their time perfecting their growing conditions.
Recent studies show that terpenoids in cannabis are vital not only in terms of smell, taste, and flavor but also on the effect they have at a chemical level. Their effect on the endocannabinoid system may deliver a different and unique sensory experience depending on the type, amount, and combination within each strain.
Myrcene– Responsible for that earthy, musky, herbal aroma. Sometimes it smells a bit like cloves with traces of citrus. It happens to be the most abundant terpene in marijuana plants. Myrcene is great when it comes to reducing chronic pain and inflammation. Indica strains are known to have the highest levels of Myrcene.
Limonene– Limonene gives cannabis a bitter flavor and a strong citrus smell. Limonene is responsible for elevating your mood and relieving stress. Studies also show it has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties as well. Moreover, it has been shown to be effective in reducing tumor size.
Linalool– This terpene gives marijuana its recognizable and distinct smell. Cannabis derives its spicy and floral aroma from Linalool. It’s also found in coriander, lavender, cinnamon, and mint. Linalool has strong relaxing and sedative properties. It is ideal for patients with depression, arthritis, cancer, seizures, and insomnia.
Humulene– Not only found in cannabis, but also in hops, black pepper, sage, and cloves. It has an earthy, spicy, and woody aroma. Humulene is effective as an appetite suppressant and weight loss tool. Besides, it has antiproliferative properties meaning that it inhibits the growth of cancer cells.
Many use the terms terpenoids and terpenes interchangeably. They might be similar, but there are some differences. Terpenes are organic hydrocarbons. On the other hand, terpenoids are compounds that contain some additional atoms that have been oxidized.
In general, terpenes are contained in a live plant whereas terpenoids are the dried version of terpenes. The drying and curing process transforms the molecules by adding oxygen and as a result changing the taste. Terpenoids are used in the making of spices, essential oils, and perfumes because of their aromatic properties. Studies also show that terpenoids determine how cannabinoids work.
Terpenes are responsible for the flavor and smell of marijuana buds. They may alter the intensity and duration of any cannabis strain. They are responsible for the unique attributes of each strain.
Research shows CBD oil should be extracted from premium hemp flower because it contains the most effective cannabinoids. Stems, stalks, and seeds do not have high-quality cannabinoids. The variety and amount of resulting terpenes depend on the method of processing and hemp quality.
It is evident that terpenes are responsible for much more than flavor and scent. They provide a lot of natural benefits on their own and in combination with CBD.