Terpenes are a large group of hydrocarbons found in the entirety of plants and trees. These hydrocarbons are particularly found in vegetation that produces fragrant aromas such as pine trees, citrus trees, blueberry bushes, rosemary plants, basil, mint and many many more.
There are somewhere around 20,000 terpenes on our planet. Although specifically in cannabis there’s more than 120 that have been identified and studied.
Many people believe that terpenes are cannabinoids this is not true. Although both terpenes and cannabinoids like THC are found in cannabis plants, terpenes do not offer a “high” although some do offer qualities like inflammation reduction. Terpenes primarily offer cannabis plants the aroma they have. For instance take a look at list below to find many of the most common terpenes and their related cannabis strains. (boiling point are the highest possible temp recommended for strains of this terpene.
Common Terpenes: Effects: & Strains Related
1. Mercene #1 terpene found in cannabis (some plants have up to 65% Mercene in their terpene profiles this is the highest percentage found in all cannabis terpene profiles)
Mercene produces a mango, dank, earthy flavor normally attributed to weed (very often Mercene levels determines whether a strain is indica or sativa. Adding a relaxing sleepiness quality similar to the way a traditional indica feels. (OG KUSH, Jillybean, Blue Dream, Granddaddy Purple..) Boiling Point is 332F or 167C
2. Limonene Most commonly found in citrus
Limonene produces a sour sharp lemon lime citrus smell and flavor. This is frequently added to cleaning solutions. This one is often found in Sativas offering a brightening and awakening type of effect. (O.G. Kush, Sour Diesel, Super Lemon Haze, Jack Herer, Jack The Ripper…) Boiling Point of 348F or 176C
3. Pinene & beta-Pinene fresh nature smell similar to pine, beta pinene similar to rosemary
Depending on the Alpha or the Beta configuration either way produces a herbal, refreshing and green smell to it. Olive, Sassafras, Bergamont, Hops, and Cumin flavors have been also attributed to pinene. Commonly thought to have anti-inflammatory properties and a more alert high. Some small studies show Alpha and Beta pinene do have some effect of reducing short term memory loss caused by thc. (Blue Dream,Shark Shock, Pineapple Express …) Boiling Point of 311F and 155C
Terpenes are like the topping of the marijuana ice cream. Many strains offer different effects and in combination with thc and cbd cannabinoids, the flavor of the terpenes enhance the high and offer an entourage effect. This effect creates the common conceptions of indica and sativa we regularly attribute to a strain. Some terpenes like Limonene and Mercene Terpenes have a decent amount of influence over the sativa indica attributes. Very often a person’s favorite strain is determined by the terpene flavor pallet that is being served. A terpene or multiple terpenes in conjunction can produce a different effect to traditional marijuana creating different lenses of highs.
4. Caryophyllene peppery clover flavors
Commonly known for anti inflammatory and also pain relieving effects. Spicy and sharp pepper clover flavors. (Girl Scout Cookies, Cookies and Cream, Candyland) Boiling Point 266F 130C
5. Linalool The Lavender Terpene
Lavender. Relaxing, Calming effects, elevating and relieving. Found in essential oils. () Boiling Point 388F 198C
6. Humulene Hops The Beer Terpene
Found in all beer beverages and also contributes the the classic skunky weedy smell. This Terpene is often found more prevalent and enhanced in the more bitter darker beers. Also, another one found to have anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties. (Death Star, Headband, Original Glue…) Boiling Point 220F 106C
One very unusual practice in the United States that is not very present in other countries adopting/legalizing/conducting marijuana businesses is that you can’t smell the flower you want buy before you purchase it. Don’t you think you want to know the smell of your weed if it is the major difference between all strains? SMELLING IS THE BEST DETERMINATE IN FINDING QUALITY FLOWER!
If you want to learn more about terpenes check out this book we checked out on Amazon Kindle. They also have paperback and audiobook.