Cannabis 101: Terpenes


Entourage effect – The entourage effect is a proposed mechanism by which cannabis compounds other than tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) act synergistically with it to modulate the overall psychoactive effects of the plant.

Terpene – Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in many plants, though many people commonly associate them with cannabis because cannabis plants contain high concentrations. The aromas are produced from a mix of different terpenes with many terpenes having potential medical benefits.

Chemotype – A chemotype describes the subspecies of a plant that have the same morphological characteristics (relating to form and structure) but produce different quantities of chemical components in their essential oils.

Fear and stigma along with prohibition have kept Cannabis taboo for many decades. While legal in many countries, states and municipalities ,cannabis has not been studied publicly as it should over the years. This lack of data for the public and science community has led to many not understanding the full power of the plant. With over a 1000 different chemical compounds, each strain’s chemotype produces different compounds. Every crop or batch produces varying amounts of compounds, due to many internal and external factors, such as soil or atmosphere. A chemotype can be thought of as many different plants of the same genus that produce different essential oils with varying qualities. These terpenes and terpenoids aid cannabis in producing the “entourage effect” as well as many other health benefits. To cover all the different terpenes in this blog would not be feasible, as there are hundred different types that have been identified in the cannabis plant. Terpenes are predominantly responsible for producing the aromas we all love in the plant. The different Citrus, Woody, Peppery, Pine, Herbaceous, Dank, Earthy, Floral, or Skunky goodness we all come to search out. One of the most common terpenes found in cannabis is Myrcene. Myrcene is responsible for helping you achieve that “in the couch” feeling many associate with chemotypes commonly referred to as indicas – we will go over Indica and Sativa in another blog. Another very common terpene is Linalool. Linalool is also found in Lavender, helping produce its relaxing effects. This floral and spicy terpene is also found in citrus and hops. Speaking of hops, Humelene is found in high concentrations in both cannabis and hops. Without terpenes, the experience of consuming cannabis is different from when using the whole plant. Some of the more common ones you might see can include  – Limonene (Citrus), Pinene (Coniferous forest), and Beta-caryophyllene (Black pepper, Clove, Rosemary)

Be sure to ask your budtender about their favorite strain’s terpenes next time you are in!



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