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What are Terpenes?

Not only do the different varieties of cannabis have very unique names, they also have unique smells and tastes. From diesel to earthy to fruity and beyond, there is a marijuana scent and taste for every cannasseurs palette. These varieties are all brought to you by terpenes. Terpenes are naturally occurring compounds found in the oils of many fruits, herbs and plants and assist in aroma, taste and attraction. These aromatic compounds are useful in plants to attract bees and birds for pollination purposes, and to ward off natural enemies in nature. Like other plants, the cannabis plant contains a variety of terpenes, over a hundred to be exact. Marijuana terpenes differ from plant variety to plant variety and all serve different needs and provide different effects.

In cannabis, terpenes are aromatic hydrocarbons and part of the many different compounds that work together in harmony to provide the benefits utilized in marijuana medicine. Terpenes, CBD, and THC all work together in a complex relationship to produce the highest yield of medicinal benefits from marijuana. This is also known as synergy, or from Websters: the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.” Terpenes are responsible for how CBD and THC interact with you mentally and physically via the endocannabinoid system. The terpenes assist the THC, CBD and other compounds in traveling to endocannabinoid receptors throughout the body and mind. Some terpenes can also make the positive effects stronger or last longer. Isolating beneficial terpenes and other compounds from cannabis can help create more effect-specific marijuana medicine. 

The most common terpene that is found specifically in cannabis is Myrcene. Myrcene is thought to have sedating effects. Myrcene has a herb-like aroma and is found in basil, lemongrass, hops, thyme and more. Myrcene also works in harmony with cannabinoids to possibly provide antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-mutagenic properties. Terpinolene is another common terpene in cannabis. Terpinolene is thought to provide a calming effect on the body and mind and elevate your mood. It has a flowery and herbal aroma and is found in apples, cumin, lilacs and more. Terpinolene works in harmony with cannabinoids to possibly provide antibacterial, anti-fungal and antioxidative properties. Pinene gives you a hint within its name of what scent it might bring to your medicinal marijuana — pine. Pinene is the most commonly found terpene in nature and is found in pine and spruce trees, along with rosemary, sage and others. It can provide a calming, body-easing effect and is thought to possibly have anti-inflammatory properties and be supportive for pain and anxiety. Limonene offers another giveaway of what familiar scent it might bring to the strains it exists in — citrus. Limonene is found in citrus fruits, spearmint, fennel and more. Limonene can support an elevated and happy mood with increased energy. It may possibly support anxiety and high stress. Caryophyllene is a terpene that also is a cannabinoid. Caryophyllene has a spicy aroma and is found in oregano, pepper, cloves and more. It is thought to help activate the endocannabinoid system and may provide anti-inflammatory properties. 

Terpenes determine if a cannabis plant is qualified as sativa or indica, which differentiates whether a strain provides energizing or relaxing effects. Terpenes offer a variety of medicinal benefits and can differentiate which strains might be the best fit for different medicinal needs. As you learn which terpenes benefit you the most, their scent and taste can be a comfort when consuming your medicinal marijuana. At Sinsemilla, we believe the power is in the terpenes and in the dosing of your medical cannabis. We strive to work with our patients to discover which terpenes, strains, methods, and dosing levels are best for your unique needs. We are here to help you begin to explore the world of cannabis terpenes. Come see what smells right to you.