Cannabis Scents & Sensibilities
Over 100 distinct terpenes have been identified in cannabis.
Everyone has experience with terpenes, even if they don’t completely understand the science. Terpenes are the aromatic oils responsible for the unique scents and flavours of all plants. What do you smell when peeling an orange? Terpenes. Fresh cut wood? Terpenes. The smell after a rain shower? A plethora of terpenes.
Close to 20,000 types of terpenes have been discovered in plants. Over 100 distinct terpenes have been identified in cannabis, and each strain has a unique aromatic and flavour profile.
Why are Terpenes Important?
Every person has an individual taste and aroma preference. Knowing the terpene profile of cannabis strains may help a user choose something they’ll like best.
Effects of Cannabis
Terpenes are associated with many of the same plants used by Naturopathic remedies. For example, linalool is a common terpene abundant in lavender. From tea to essential oils, many people associate lavender with relaxation. Some people theorize that terpenes play an integral role in the effects of cannabis.
The Entourage Effect
The “Entourage Effect” is a term coined by Dr. Ethan Russo, M.D., a California-based neurologist and pioneer in the field of cannabinoid and terpene research. The theory suggests that terpenes and cannabinoids working together. Although chemical compounds such as CBD and THC can be isolated and studied independently, it's the synergistic effect of the combined constituents that produce the overall effect.
While many people believe these theories, more scientific research is required to confirm or deny these claims. Legalization of cannabis is paving the way for researchers to study all this and more. Knowledge is power, which is why understanding terpenes, may help cannabis users make better-informed decisions about which strains they choose to use.
How to Target Specific Terpenes
Cannabis users who vaporize can set temperatures on their devices to target specific terpenes.
Mature female cannabis plants produce microscopic trichome glands. Terpenes constitute approximately 10-20 percent of total pre-smoked resin found in trichomes, and it's estimated that 10-30 percent of the smoke resulting from the combustion of cannabis flowers is from terpenes.
There’s more! Cannabis users who vaporize can set temperatures on their devices to target specific terpenes. Each terpene has a unique boiling point, which is one of the reasons why many cannabis users prefer to vaporize vs smoke cannabis. This consumption method will heat cannabis without burning it, so the user avoids inhaling combustible material, and the flavour profile is more pronounced.
SIX COMMON CANNABIS TERPENES
The most abundant terpene in nature.
Common Effects: Grounding, alertness, may counteract some THC effects.
Also Found In: Pine needles, basil, dill, parsley, rosemary
Cannabis Strains with elevated Pinene Potential: Jack Herer, White Widow, Blue Dream
Vaporizes At: 311ºF (155ºC)
Conveys a floral aroma, often compared to lavender.
Common Effects: Relaxation
Also Found In: Lavender, citrus, birch
Cannabis Strains with elevated Linalool Potential: Purple Kush, Amnesia Haze,
Vaporizes At: 388ºF (198ºC)
Generally found in Indica dominant strains of cannabis.
Aroma: Musky, Earthy
Common Effects: Mellow, often associated with the “couch-lock” effect.
Also Found In: Mangos, Lemongrass, Thyme
Cannabis Strains with elevated Myrcene Potential: White Widow, Purple Kush, Blue Dream
Vaporizes At: 332ºF (167ºC)
Used in everything from food flavouring to cleaning products.
Common Effects: Uplifting
Also Found In: Fruit rinds, peppermint, rosemary
Cannabis Strains with elevated Limonene Potential: Durban Poison, Lemon Haze, Sour Diesel
Vaporizes At: 348ºF (176ºC)
Targets CB2 receptors only. This terpene does not produce any psychoactive effects, unlike the THC.
Aroma: Pepper, Spicy
Common Effects: No known effects
Also Found In: Black Pepper, cloves
Cannabis Strains with elevated Caryophyllene Potential: OG Kush, Sour Diesel, Girl Scout Cookies
Vaporizes At: 266ºF (130ºC)
An isomer of caryophyllene, meaning that they share the same chemical formula, but differ in structure.
Aroma: Hops, Earthy
Common Effects: Relaxing
Also Found In: Hops, Cloves, Coriander
Cannabis Strains with elevated Humulene Potential: OG Kush, Sour Diesel, White Widow
Vaporizes At: 222ºF (106ºC)