To understand cannabis, it’s important to understand the details, such as the difference between cannabinoids and terpenes. Want to get savvy? Read on.
Time: 10 minutes
Cannabis is hardly new on the scene, but it’s making a lot of new friends lately. As it enters the cultural mainstream, many people are beginning to better understand it. Some curious souls are taking an interest in the specific elements, such as cannabinoids and terpenes, and asking questions about what they are and how they fit together.
Get ready to become an expert.
Terpenes and Cannabinoids: What’s the Difference?
Cannabinoids are a class of chemical compounds that naturally occur in the body, as well as in cannabis plants such as hemp and marijuana. They include CBD, THC, and a host of others, each with their own unique personalities.
Cannabinoids are well-loved for good reasons - they have loads of positive effects. They play an important role in helping the body manage inflammation, and can also help with curtailing anxiety, enhancing creativity and productivity, reigniting the appetite, and even slowing the growth of cancerous tumors.
Nothing exists in isolation, and cannabinoids are no exception. Different cannabinoids interact with one another in unusual and interesting ways. And since each person’s system is different, those effects can vary dramatically depending on the person and his or her situation. But it doesn’t stop there!
There are other chemicals with their own vital roles in the cannabis experience, which are just now beginning to be better known and understood by clued-in consumers: terpenes.
Simply put, terpenes are chemicals that determine how they taste and smell. They serve complex evolutionary purposes in plants, and they help our human brains create and enjoy the experience of a pine tree in wintertime, the refreshing aroma of peppermint, and many of our favorite cannabis strains.
Terpenes and cannabinoids work together in what is known as “the entourage effect” - not the TV show (although they do know how to make an entrance), but the way in which different elements of the experience come together to produce sublime and profound effects far beyond the sum of the constituent parts. The right combinations of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other elements stimulate the body and mind in concert to create unique and compelling variations.
Switching one element can shift the course of an evening. A plate of fish tastes different with wine than it does with sparkling water. And adding the right terpenes can take cannabinoids and cannabis to an entirely new level.
Everyone’s Talking About Terpenes
Taste and smell have fascinated great chefs, sommeliers, and aromatherapists. They can serve as modes of creative expression and catalysts for joy.
As it emerges from the underground and more people begin to take cannabis more seriously, experts are wondering how to create more complex and intricate blends and experiences. Striking just the right balance of cannabinoids and terpenes is becoming a more widely practiced art form.
As times have changed, the interest in terpenes has grown. For those interested in getting the most from their cannabis, a greater understanding of terpenes, how they work, and how they work together is increasingly essential.
The future of cannabis is in the hands of those who can cultivate unique and powerful mixtures of cannabinoids and terpenes.
You Got Terpenes in my Cannabis!
As part of the entourage effect, terpenes can intensify or downplay the effects of cannabinoids
Of over 20000 terpenes in existence, cannabis plants contain about 100 of them. The big ones to know are:
- Myrcene - With a big presence in cannabis plants, myrcene has a role in determining classification as sativa or indica
- Caryophyllene - The spicy, magical-forest smell is noted for its anti-anxiety effects and is found in Super Silver Haze, Rock Star, and other strains
- Humulene - This one is said to resemble cloves or basil, serves as an appetite suppressant, and is found in the popular Girl Scout Cookies strains as well as Sour Diesel.
- Limonene - This one is immediately recognizable for its citrusy smell. It takes a leading role in such long-popular strains as OG Kush and Sour Diesel.
- Pinene - With its pine tree smell, pinene embodies the spirit of Christmas, giving users relief with its strong anti-inflammatory effects. You’ll find it in OG Kush and Haze Berry.
- Linalool - Bubblebath enthusiasts know the relaxing effects of lavender, as do consumers of Special Kush, OG Shark, and other strains.
How to Buy Terpene Isolates
To use individual terpenes in the ways you want, you have to get them alone. That’s why tepene isolates are available.
Terpene isolates are naturally extracted naturally to include a single terpene in a liquid form. Mix them with foods or beverages to get certain subtle effects you desire. They should be distilled and redistilled to ensure optimal quality.
Terpene isolates can be bought singly or in kits. When you buy terpene isolates, it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting, so always buy them from reputable experts who deliver precision and quality.
How to Buy Terpene Strain Profiles
Strain profiles are made up of multiple terpenes that are associated with specific effects and an overall “brand” or personality. Strains such as Gelato, Grape Ape, and OG Kush are beloved characters in the long-running lore of cannabis culture. They have fans and devotees and are enthusiastically sought out by new consumers wondering what all the fuss is about.
Creating the right combination of flavors and aromas associated with popular strains isn’t easy, but it can be done. The best way is to get your hands on strain profiles mixed by top lab professionals with the right equipment, the right knowledge, and passion for perfection.
Terpenes, Cannabinoids, and You
A knowledge of terpenes and cannabinoids can transform cannabis users into aficionados and connoisseurs. If you work with the right ingredients, terpenes can turn you into a painter with a broad palette and a signature style, or the conductor of a symphony orchestra.
Just make sure you know what you’re doing - your users certainly will - and work with only the best products from industry leaders you can trust.