With Cannabis products on the rise, you may find yourself asking what is a terpene? Here, we will answer all the most popular questions involving terpenes and the cannabis world around them.
What are Terpenes?
Chemically speaking, terpenes are derived from molecules found within the cannabis plant. You can not see these molecules with the naked eye, but you can spot the trichomes themselves, which is where the terpenes are derived.
Terpenes are found not just on the cannabis flower, but also on the leaves and stems of the plant.
Terpenes play a critical role in the survival and growth of the cannabis plant. Terpenes are what gives the cannabis plant its distinctive aroma. This organic compound also enriches the color and pigmentation in the buds and leaves, as well as plays a huge role in contributing to the flavor of cannabis products.
Terpenes help by enhancing the plant’s attractiveness to some creatures while repelling others. Certain terpenes, found within the plant, ward off insects or herbivores that might be tempted to snack on the plant. While other terpenes lure insects and other small creatures that can help propagate pollen.
These aromatic compounds support the plant’s immune system in several ways. They aid in conveying information about the surrounding environment and protect the plant from stressors and outside pathogens.
Terpenes Found in the Cannabis Plant?
There are so many different environmental variables that affect how many terpenes are produced by the cannabis plant. These variables include whether the plant is grown outdoors or indoors, the exposure to nutrient levels in the soil, the temperature the plant is grown, and the amount of time spent harvesting the plants. These factors can highly influence the level of terpenes found.
Many terpenes are volatile compounds, meaning they are minor terpenes and can easily be lost during standard extraction processes. However, due to the growing awareness of the therapeutic value of terpenes, manufacturers have devised more sensitive extraction methods.
What Effects does Terpenes have on the Body?
The awareness that humans have when it comes to aromatic properties of terpenes is very high. People have been using the scents associated with terpenes in creating essential oils for practices such as aromatherapy and massage therapy. Most of us know that dabbing lavender oil on the most essential points of the body can help relax us. This also applies to the effects of terpenes in specific cannabis strains.
Terpenes’ effects can go beyond stress relief and feel-good benefits. Until recently, most of the research focus has been on the therapeutic qualities of all cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD. However, the more we come to understand terpenes, the more we realize that these compounds are also a medicinal powerhouse.
It it true, and without surprise, that some of the effects terpenes have on humans are just like their function in cannabis and other plants. In particular, they help fight off harmful microbes and pathogens that infiltrate the body.
What Are the Benefits?
There is a wide range of cannabis products that contain therapeutic benefits and medicinal properties associated with terpenes. This is thanks to many studies and research that have been done. However, it should be noted that terpene research is still in a very early stage, and not many studies have been done with humans. Admittedly, more research is needed to make the understanding of these compounds more accepted.
Many terpenes found in cannabis have shown a strong potential in helping kill viruses and viral infections. Due to their plant benefit of fighting off foreign pathogens from the body itself.
Inflammation is something that many people struggle with daily. Terpenes have been known to help you quickly feel relief in inflamed areas, such as joints and muscles. Those with other joint issues are encouraged to take a product with cannabis terpenes daily because of the effect they have on inflammation.
Due to the reduction of inflammation, this cannabis compound does have the potential to reduce pain in various areas of your body. Some terpenes can interact with your body’s serotonin receptors, thus, making it easier for you to deal with certain minor pains. Whether you have a headache or sore muscle the terpenes found in cannabis will aid in relieving the discomforts.
Promotes a Calm Mood
Many people have the misconception that you need to smoke cannabis if you’d like to get the full effects of the terpenes and full plant. However, this compound can be found in oils, gummies, and topicals. Many cannabis terpenes are responsible for calming effects on the brain and body. This can help you when you are stressed out or just help improve your mood overall.
The Difference Between Terpenes, Cannabinoids, and Flavonoids?
There is a wide variety of compounds that are found in the cannabis plant. Terpenes are not the only beneficial compound. Other compounds, like flavonoids and cannabinoids, are also produced within the plant.
Terpenes are responsible for the flavor and aroma of a cannabis strain and they also support cannabinoids such as THC and CBD.
Cannabinoids are also found in the cannabis plant. This compound interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid receptors, which results in creating numerous therapeutic and sometimes psychoactive effects. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are some of the most popular core cannabinoids.
Flavonoids are what contribute to the flavor and color of a cannabis plant. This compound also aids in the production of unique therapeutic benefits, including antioxidants. This compound plays a distinct role within the cannabis plant, however, the flavonoids work best combined with the other compound. This creates the entourage effect.
Can these compounds get you high?
This is one of the most common questions regarding terpenes. On its own, this compound will not give you any kind of intoxicating feeling. Even if you take one of the highest strains, this compound alone will not give you an experience with psychoactive effects. You must take a psychoactive cannabinoid like THC along with terpenes to amplify any potential psychoactive effects.
Aside from cannabinoids and terpenes, other factors can affect how you feel when using cannabis products. Your personal physiology, past cannabis experience, are all factors that can play a role in how your body reacts to this compound.
It is important to experiment with different products and find what suits you best.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.