There is something about the aroma of hemp that calms the mind and body. Whether it’s the sweet fruity taste of a Lemon haze cbd or that skunk smell that breaks through a cracked Sour Diesel bud, we know something is happening but more often than not we classify it as a simple smell and move forward in the mixture. In this article I want to explain what the terpenes of cannabis are and the properties of the 8 most dominant types in hemp.
What are cannabis terpenes?
Secreted in the same cannabinoid-producing glands such as THC and CBD, cannabis terpenes are aromatic oils that color hemp varieties with distinctive aromas such as citrus, berry, mint and pine.
Not unlike other plants and flowers, the development of terpenes in cannabis began for adaptive purposes: to repel predators and attract pollinators. There are many factors that influence a plant’s terpenes development, including climate, weather, age and ripeness, fertilizers, soil type, and even the time of day.
Over 100 …
And each strain tends towards a unique type and composition of cannabis terpenes. In other words, a strain like Gravity Cheese and its descendants will likely have a cheese-like smell and the strawberry’s offspring will often inherit the berry smell.
Over the past few decades, most cannabis strains have been bred to contain high levels of THC, and as a result, other cannabinoids such as CBD have dropped to track amounts only. This has led many to believe that cannabis terpenes play a key role in differentiating the effects of various hemp strains.
Every single cannabis terpene is associated with unique effects. Some promote relaxation and act as a stress reliever, while others promote focus and sharpness. Linalool, for example, is believed to be relaxing while limonene improves mood.
The effect profile of a given terpene can change in the presence of other compounds in a phenomenon known as the entourage effect. More research is needed to understand the effect of each terpene when used in harmony with others.
Trichomes and terpenes, what you need to know
In hemp, terpenes are made in the trichomes of the plant. Trichomes are the shiny, sticky, mushroom-shaped crystals that cover the leaves and buds. The trichomes on cannabis act as a defense mechanism in nature, protecting the plant from insects and animals through the production of fragrant cannabis terpenes that repel these dangers. As humans, we smell these terpenes and can make inferences about the strain and the possible physiological effects the strain may have.
Benefits of terpenes
Hemp is an incredibly diverse plant in terms of its biological composition and potential benefits, and terpenes are no exception. There are over 100 different identified terpenes in the cannabis plant, and while the differences may be subtle, much progress has been made in making it easy to classify terpenes and their effects for patients and consumers. In general, terpenes can be divided into sweet, sour, spicy or bitter, with each category further broken down into more specific smells. These specific odors are determined by certain strains, which in turn are related to the effects of that plant. Actually, to help with this. Many companies have produced terpene wheels to help people better understand this. More on this in a bit.
Vaporizes at: 311º F (155ºC)
Potential Effects: Vigilance, memory retention, neutralizes some effects of THC
Potential medical value: treatment of asthma, pain, inflammation, ulcers, anxiety, cancer
Also found in: Pine needles, rosemary, basil, parsley.
|Aroma: cardamom, clove, musky, earthy, herbal|
Vaporizes at: 332º F (167ºC)
Potential Effects: “couchlock” sedative effect, relaxing
Potential medical value: antioxidant, treatment of insomnia, pain and inflammation
Also found in: mango, lemongrass, thyme, hops
|Aroma: citrus fruits|
Vaporizes at: 348ºF (176ºC)
Potential Effects: Elevated mood, stress relief
Potential Medical Value: Treatment of anxiety, depression, inflammation, pain and cancer
Also found in: fruit peel, rosemary, juniper, peppermint
|Aroma: pepper, spicy, woody, cloves|
Vaporizes at: 266º F (130ºC)
Potential Effects: Stress Relief
Potential medical value: pain relief, anxiety/depression, ulcers
Also found in: black pepper, cloves, cinnamon
Vaporize at : 388ºF (198ºC)
Potential effects: mood enhancement, sedation
Potential medical value: Treatment of anxiety, depression, insomnia, pain, inflammation and neurodegenerative diseases
Also found in: lavender
|Aroma: hops, woody, earthy|
Vaporize at: 222º F (106ºC)
Potential medical value: anti-inflammatory
Also found in: hops, coriander, cloves, basil
|Aroma: sweet, herbal and woody|
Vaporize at: 122ºF (50ºC)
Potential medical value: antiviral, anti-fungal, antiseptic, decongestant, antibacterial
Also found in: mint, parsley, pepper, basil, mango, orchid, and kumquat
|Aroma: Piney, floral and herbal|
Vaporize at : 366ºF (186ºC)
Potential Effects: Relaxing
Potential medical value: antioxidant, sedative, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-cancer
Also found in: nutmeg, tea tree, conifers, apples, cumin and lilac