What are cannabis terpenes?

When you receive your cannabis, what is the first thing you do? Most likely, you either intentionally or unintentionally smell it. Thanks to the high concentration of cannabis terpenes, your cannabis is probably highly aromatic… BREATHE. IT. IN. Breathe in the signature scent of your cannabis… what do you notice? Is it a traditional cannabis scent, does it have notes of pine, lemon, floral scents? What you smell has to do with cannabis terpenes. Note: Some scientist prefer the term terpenoid over terpenes because terpenoid is the more encompassing term. But when speaking in cannabis terms, they are fairly synonymous.

Benefits of Cannabis Terpenes

The aromatic compounds responsible for the way most plants smell are terpenes. Terpenes occur naturally in a live plant. They form the primary component of essential oils in plants. Some common plant sources of terpenes are tea, thyme, citrus fruits, etc.  Manufacturers isolate terpenes to create flavors and scents in products like perfumes. Terpenes are responsible for taste and pigments of plants. (Thank you, terpenes, for the purple buds!) Moreover, terpenes have strong odors which attract pollinators or protect plants from animal grazing and germs (much like a human’s immune system).

Structural chemical formula of myrcene

Each strain of cannabis has its own unique terpenes and cannabinoids. And each includes a signature name, often alluding to the user experience. For example, strains like OG Kush and Blue Dream contain the terpene known as myrcene. Myrcene has an herbal aroma and is also found in lemongrass, mangoes, thyme, etc. It is known for anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety effects, with the added benefit of opening of airways. Humulene is another cannabis terpene. It has a signature outdoorsy or woodsy scent. The two main medicinal uses of humulene are as an appetite suppressant and an anti-inflammatory. Gelato, Atlantis, and Sour Diesel all contain humulene.

According to an article published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, cannabis is one of the most common sources for the medicinal terpene. The cannabis plant contains many medicinal properties, including:

  • Anticancer
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antifungal
  • Antiviral
  • Antihyperglycemic
  • Analgesic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antiparasitic

Additionally, cannabis possesses powerful psychoactive properties and can aid in treating many infectious diseases.

Researchers have just begun to scratch the surface in discovering the health benefits of cannabis terpenes. In fact, researchers are now looking into how terpenes work together an in conjunction with cannabinoids. As cannabis regulations loosen, new research will undoubtedly appear. Keep your nose open!

And, as always, the craft cannabis experts at Green RiNo are happy to help if you have any additional questions. Come see us today!