Know Your Terpenes: Introduction
Want to know more about the cannabis you put in your body? We want that, too— which is why we’re going beyond providing cannabis products to help educate our customers on what makes cannabis such a special, powerful natural remedy.
Today, we’re talking terpenes: the amazing, aromatic oils that we learn more exciting things about every day.
What is a Terpene?
While cannabis plants are most frequently defined by the cannabinoids they contain, including popular cannabinoids like THC (which is known for getting you high) and CBD (known primarily for its medicinal benefits), they aren’t the only thing that makes cannabis, well, cannabis.
Terpenes also have an important role to play. Terpenes are aromatic oils found not only in cannabis but in other plants, fruits, rinds, herbs, spices, and a range of other locations throughout nature.
Terpenes are thought to have developed as a form of either defense mechanism or attraction for plants. Sweet-smelling terpenes attract pollinators, while peppery ones might help deter herbivorous animals that might otherwise eat and destroy them.
But when it comes to their use in cannabis, terpenes have all kinds of amazing benefits.
What Terpenes Do
While terpenes are great for creating the distinct, soothing aromas and tastes we love in cannabis, they actually do a lot more. That’s according to lots of recent studies around the world into the benefits of terpenes. Whereas it used to be thought that cannabinoids were responsible for the majority of cannabis benefits, terpenes are now being given the recognition they deserve.
Terpenes can bring a whole host of benefits, from encouraging relaxation and anxiety relief to helping promote energy, focus, and alertness. Early research is even showing they may be effective at treating the symptoms of some diseases.
What is a Dominant Terpene?
When a product’s packaging refers to the ‘dominant terpene,’ it’s referring to the terpene that’s present in that product or cannabis strain in greatest abundance.
For example, let’s say that one strain has Myrcene present at 22% and Caryophyllene at 11%. Myrcene is the dominant terpene, because it’s the most abundant in that specific strain. This usually means it will have the most impact over the strain’s aroma, taste, and terpene-related benefits. That said, caryophyllene will still bring its own benefits and aroma/flavor profile.
The 5 Most Common Terpenes
While we can’t cover every single terpene found in cannabis or out in the world, we can fill you in on some of the most common ones. Want to learn more? Don’t worry— we’ll be covering each of these terpenes in-depth in the coming weeks.
Myrcene is the most common terpene in cannabis, and features an herbal and soothing odor that promotes peace and calmness. It’s also present in thyme, lemongrass, and mango.
Caryophyllene is known for its peppery aroma, and it’s also found in natural ingredients like black pepper and cinnamon. Caryophyllene seems to help reduce inflammation in some users.
Citrusy and refreshing, the aroma of limonene is also found in lemons and orange rinds. It’s believed to reduce anxiety and stress.
While it’s not the most common terpene found in cannabis, pinene is the most common terpene in the world. It’s found in rosemary, basil, and pine needles, and its identifiable from its earthy pine scent.
Terpinolene is often used to create feelings of alertness and positivity. It’s aroma is described as fruity, and it’s found in cumin, lilacs, and nutmeg in addition to certain cannabis strains.