high quality organic cannabis
May 24th, 2019
While the most well-known elements in cannabis are the cannabinoids THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), there are other active elements in cannabis as well—elements that give each strain its distinctive taste and aroma, and have differing effects on body functions and mood. Of these, the 100+ terpenes are the best understood, and constitute 2-4% of cannabis flowers by dry weight. Individual terpenes are associated with different effects—some, such as Linalool help with relaxation; others, like Limonene elevate mood.
Terpenes work with other active elements in cannabis, such as THC and CBD, in what is called the “entourage effect”, to increase or decrease the impact on body health and mood. Because of this, terpene profiles, as much as THC or CBD content, are coming to define the unique character of different strains for cannabis connoisseurs.
If you’re purchasing cannabis for recreational or medicinal purposes, learning more about terpenes will help you make better choices, selecting the best strains for your personal taste and needs.
At Home Grow Community, we recommend a variety of the most popular cannabis strains to our in-home cultivation clients, including Super Lemon Haze, which has a higher concentration of Terpinolene and Ocimene, giving it a lemony, earthy smell, and making for an uplifting, creative high, and OG Kush, with significant amounts of Caryophyllene, Limonene and Myrcene, giving it a pungent funkiness, with lemon and grassy undertones, aiding in stress and anxiety relief.
Terpenes are produced by plants to help them fight pathogens like bacteria, mold, and fungus, to attract pollinating insects, such as bees and moths, and to repel herbivores, such as deer, goats, rabbits and caterpillars. While common throughout the plant world, some species, such as bay, cannabis, citrus, eucalyptus, hops, lemon grass and thyme, have high concentrations of terpenes.
Because cannabis is largely wind pollinated, its terpenes are primarily protective in nature. With flowers critical to reproduction, cannabis terpenes are concentrated as aromatic resin in glandular trichomes on the surface of female inflorescences. The presence of terpenes on emerging cannabis flowers is what gives ripening buds their heady, almost intoxicating smell.
There are over 100 Terpenes found in cannabis. Eight of the most common terpenes, and the flavors and aromas associated with them are:
Strains of cannabis have different levels of each terpene, giving them distinctive flavor/aroma profiles. At Home Grow Community, six of our favorite cannabis strains are:
Terpenes do more than add to the taste and aroma of cannabis—as active compounds they can have positive impact on mood and health. These are the mood effects and potential medical benefits associated with each of the eight most common terpenes found in cannabis:
Potential Medical Benefits
|Pinene||alertness, memory retention||asthma, pain, ulcers, anxiety, cancer treatment|
|Myrcene||sedating, relaxing||Insomnia, pain, inflammation|
|Limonene||elevated mood, stress relief||anxiety, pain, depression, inflammation, cancer treatment|
|Caryophyllene||stress relief||pain, anxiety, depression, ulcers|
|Linalool||mood enhancement, sedation||Anxiety, depression, insomnia, pain, inflammation, neurodegeneration|
|Ocimene||anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, decongestant|
|Terpinolene||sedative||anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, decongestant, anti-cancer|
Given the positive effects of terpenes, we recommend these horticultural techniques to increase terpene content in home-cultivated cannabis:
Cannabis is a bit like wine and beer—the more you learn about it, the greater your appreciation will be of the many different options available to you. If you’d like to dig deeper into terpenes, we think you’ll find these articles interesting: