What Are Terpenes In Weed? Everything to Know

Did you know that there is evidence from archeological sites that humans have been using marijuana for at least 10,000 years? Despite our thousands of years of using medical marijuana, most of us still know little about the plant and what makes it so special. One of the things that cannabis contains that many have not even heard of is terpenes.

So what are terpenes in weed and how do they work? Read on to learn about this important component of marijuana.

What Are Terpenes in Weed?

Terpenes are the compounds found in lots of plants but which people associate with cannabis because of how concentrated they are in that plant. Terpenes give the plant its smell and taste. There are about 400 different strains of terpenes that scientists have identified in cannabis and each one is unique.

Terpenes are oils found in the sticky glands of the cannabis plant. These glands are the same ones that produce CBD, THC, and all of the other different types of cannabinoids that you can find in full spectrum cbd oil wholesale products.

For plants, terpenes are vital. In some, they attract pollinators, while in other plants terpenes can cause a strong reaction to repel predators like insects or foragers. In other plants, they even help with recovering from damage and can work as part of a plant’s immune system to keep germs away.

Terpenes form when hydrogen and carbon combine, so they are organic hydrocarbon compounds. When the cannabis plant is exposed to a lot of light, the production of terpenes increases.

It is important to note that the terms terpenes and terpenoids are not interchangeable. Terpenes are the natural form of the compound while it is in the plant, only becoming terpenoids when the plant dries and cures, allowing the terpenes to oxidize.

How Terpenes Work

We know that terpenes help protect plants and they are bioactive, so they may affect the body. All of its effects depend on the concentration itself and how someone uses it. Scientists are using terpenes as a way of classifying cannabis strains and predicting what their effects will be.

What scientists suspect is that the dominant terpenes in strain work together with the cannabinoid content, which is the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and others, to cause the effects people experience. This can explain why two plants with the same THC content can produce different effects.

Some terpenes are psychoactive, meaning they affect the brain, but most are not.

How Are Terpenes Extracted?

You can extract terpenes from the cannabis plant through steam distillation, which is when the steam passes through the plant and comes out with terpenes. Because terpenes are soluble in water, they mix easily with steam. Cannabinoids are fat-soluble, however, so they will remain in the plant during the steam distillation.

Once extracted, the terpenes can be added to lotions, creams, aromatherapy oils, as well as in dabs and e-liquids. Keep in mind that too much heat can degrade the terpenes. Dabbing is not the best choice for terpenes for this reason.

Common Strains of Terpenes

There are hundreds of terpene strains you can choose from, though there are some that are more common than others. Let us take a look at some of these.

Myrcene

Cannabis, hops, mango, lemongrass, and thyme all contain this terpene. It has the smell of cardamom and cloves, making it a warm and earthy scent.

In studies conducted on mice, myrcene offered protection to heart tissues from oxidizing damage. Another study found that myrcene could have anti-inflammatory properties. 

Limonene

Limonene has a scent that is easy to recognize. It gives the rinds of citrus fruits like lemons and oranges their smell. In mice, it has the potential to contain anti-anxiety properties.

Pinene

If you have ever walked through a forest containing pine trees, you know what it smells like. There are two forms of pinene: a-pinene and b-pinene.

A-pinene has the traditional fresh pine tree smell and the earthy scent of rosemary, while b-pinene has a spicy and woody scent. like that of parsley, hops, and dill.

Linalool

Linalool can be present in cannabis and you know it well because it is abundantly present in lavender. In aromatherapy, linalool is one of the most used ingredients.

Bisabolol (Levemenol)

This type of terpene is present in many cannabis strains as well as in chamomile and in a Brazilian tree called Candeia. It is used inc cosmetics and has recently become the focus of many research studies because of its potential benefits.

Beta-Caryophyllene or Caryophyllene

As well as cannabis, this terpene strain is there in cinnamon, cloves, and black pepper. It has a spicy and warm aroma. You can find it in many topical solutions like creams.

Humulene

Humulene is found in ginseng, hops, basil, cloves, coriander, and cannabis. Some studies in animals have shown that humulene could protect cells from damage.

Terpineol

Apart from cannabis, you can find terpineol in conifer plants, apples, nutmeg, lilacs, and cumin. It has a fresh flower blossom scent and has been shown to have anti-bacterial properties in animal studies.

Give Terpenes a Try

Terpenes in weed are slowly coming into focus in research studies, allowing people to know a bit more about how they can benefit their health. Inform yourself and choose the terpenes that can offer the effects you want.

If you want to know more about the properties of cannabis, visit our Health page!

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