Every Must-Know About Cannabis Terpenes

Every Must-Know About Cannabis Terpenes

The smell of cannabis is highly recognizable. Most catch a whiff of it long before they see it and know exactly what it is. Terpenes are responsible for this smell, in cannabis and in all plants everywhere. After searching “marijuana delivery Los Angeles” online, you might well smell the driver before he or she arrives. This is due the terpenes in cannabis, of which there are well over 150 different types. 

Most terpenes exist only in trace amounts. The more prominent of them work together to give buds their unique scent and flavor profiles. They do more than just influence smell and taste, however. Terpenes are busy. They have several jobs to do within the cannabis plant. These diverse functions produce an array of mood-changing and therapeutic effects in users. 

Origins of Terpenes

Terpenes exist within the trichomes of female cannabis plants. These sticky glands litter the surfaces of buds, and in lessor quantities, on stems and leaves too. They look like tiny crystals and they contain the resin glands that make terpenes. Besides their role in smell and flavor, terpenes also heighten pigmentation, enriching color in buds and leaves. This is not all, though. 

Turns out, cannabis plants have natural pest control. Terpenes like linalool and terpineol attract useful bugs, those that spread pollen around, while geraniol, for example, deters those that cause harm. They also support immune health by conveying environmental data, offering protection from pathogens and stressors, and triggering specific immune responses. 

Terpene levels are dependent on many variables, such as where plants grow, indoors or out, as well as their exposure to temperature, nutrients, growing mediums, light, and more. Time of harvest also influences terpene quantity. Further, terpenes are volatile, lost easily during standard harvesting and extraction processes. Fortunately, therapeutic knowledge of terpenes is inspiring gentler methods. 

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Effects of Terpenes

Humans have been using terpenes for centuries. Their aromatic essence is in perfumes, beauty products, and even in therapeutic practices, such as aromatherapy. Lavender oil, for example, so rich in linalool, is a famous relaxant. Similarly, specific terpenes in different strains can add to their effects, and not only feel-good effects, but as the U.S. National Library of Medicine says, their medicinal effects too. 

Cannabinoids have been the exclusive focus of research until very recently. We all know of the beneficial properties of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, cannabidiol, or CBD, and other cannabinoids, but near nobody know anything about terpenes. These sophisticated compounds offer therapeutic qualities too, and very unique combinations of them to boot. It seems obvious they too would help stave off disease. 

Common Uses for Terpenes

Several preclinical studies, both animal and in vitro, or in test tubes, show much promise for terpenes. Already, we know of a range of useful medicinal properties associated with these aromatic compounds. However, it is important to note that terpene research is still young, in its infancy, not yet conducted on humans. More research is necessary to cement our knowledge of such useful compounds: 

  • Anticancer

Some terpenes express notable anticancer activity. Limonene, for example, inhibits growth of cancer cells. Terpineol, camphor, pinene, and beta-myrcene show similar actions, without nasty side effects.

  • Antiviral

An array of terpenes is proving promising in the fight against viruses. Many prove highly capable of killing viruses, most notably the pinenes, both alpha and beta, camphor, caryophyllene, and carvone.

  • Antimicrobial

Most terpenes express antimicrobial activity. They stop harmful microbes before they do any harm. Geraniol, alpha-bisabolol, eucalyptol, terpineol, and menthol all offer powerful defense against germs.

  • Antidepressant

Drug manufacturers formulate many antidepressants using terpenes. According to Springer Nature, terpenes form the basis of at least 25 percent of them, with linalool and beta-pinene the most common.

  • Analgesic

Weed is a famous painkiller. Terpenes play a role in this. A 2021 study in Nature not only found terpenes with analgesic effects all their own, but also enhancing the painkilling effects of other compounds too.

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Most Common Terpenes

Cannabis produces hundreds of different terpenes, far too many to discuss here. With more than 150 terpenes recorded to date, researchers are expecting to uncover still more. While most occur in very low concentrations, trace amounts, others are more plentiful. What is more, some terpenes are present in more strains than others are, making them significantly more common: 

  • Myrcene

Myrcene is simply abundant in most cannabis cultivars, with myrcene more dominant than others are. Plentiful in hops and lemongrass too, myrcene is spicy, musky, earthy, and quite herbaceous to the nose. Myrcene is sweet, responsible for many a sweet flavor profile. It is also prolific in mangoes. It offers anti-inflammatory effects, ideal for treating osteoarthritis and other inflammatory conditions. 

  • Caryophyllene

Caryophyllene is peppery. Spicy. It also exists in oregano, rosemary, black pepper, cloves, and other strong herbs and spices. The only terpene that binds to the CB2 receptor, this action makes it an atypical cannabinoid. Research shows it an effective treatment for depression, anxiety, cerebral ischemia, diabetes, colitis, liver fibrosis, and even Alzheimer-like conditions. Its actions prove quite diverse. 

  • Limonene

Limonene is citrusy. Its scent is clean and fresh. It is plentiful in citrus and ginger rinds, as well as in most cannabis cultivars expressing a fruity, Papaya-like aroma. Limonene alters the behavior of some immune cells, adding a layer of protection in the process. It increases production of certain antibodies, particularly those used to identify and neutralize harmful viruses and bacteria. 

Marijuana Delivery Los Angeles

Studies are consistently proving cannabis exceptionally good for you. A strain with strong cannabinoid, terpenoid, and even flavonoid profiles will offer the maximum benefit. The more compounds work together synergistically, the more effective the healing properties of a particular strain. What is more, they all influence the buzz too, with terpenes playing an especially large role. 

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You can play around with different terpenes, much the same way one experiments with cannabinoids. They all offer different effects, different smells, and different flavors. Simply search Google for “weed delivery near me” for efficient cannabis delivery. Once you learn the flavor profiles of certain strains, it becomes easier to identify lineages by a sniff here and there. 

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