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Abstrax Unveils the Intriguing Chemistry Behind Savory Cannabis Aromas

Revelatory white paper shows surprising link between cannabis aromas and a compound also found in nature's palette: a foul-smelling element with hidden charms in savory strains.

TUSTIN, Calif., Dec. 11, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Abstrax, the leader in botanical flavor technology, has released a new white paper that reveals paradigm-shifting insights into the origins of chemical and savory aromas in cannabis strains. Their latest research sheds more light on the complexity of cannabis aroma profiles and the specific compounds that influence them. Despite common belief, terpenes aren't responsible for the quintessentially dank or exotic aromas of cannabis.

The chemical/savory varieties of cannabis, known for their unique and pungent aromas, have their olfactory roots in a compound known as skatole. Skatole, which is surprisingly also found in mammal feces, is renowned for its potent smell and ability to dominate over other, sweeter-smelling compounds within the same cannabis variety.

Abstrax's research has shown that despite its off-putting association, skatole is a key player in the creation of the deeply complex and earthy notes that some cannabis aficionados have come to prize. "It's a paradox of nature that something with such an unusual origin can contribute so heavily to the desirable bouquet of cannabis," says Max Koby, CEO and co-founder of Abstrax.

In addition to skatole, Abstrax discovered that indole is another integral compound that imparts the characteristic 'funky' scent to many cannabis varieties. Indole's multifaceted profile is reminiscent of a deeply natural essence, which can range from floral to downright earthy depending on its concentration.

Interestingly, both skatole and indole are chemically related to compounds that play significant roles in human biology, such as melatonin, which regulates sleep, and tryptophan, an essential amino acid. This relationship underscores the complex interplay between cannabis and human biochemistry.

Both indole and skatole were found in indica-leaning cannabis varieties known for inducing an "all-over body high". This discovery has led Abstrax to speculate whether these new compounds might contribute to the Entourage Effect. Further research on this subject is currently in progress.

Abstrax has also discovered that the mere presence of these two heterocyclic compounds, indole and skatole, can serve as an aromatic force multiplier, greatly enhancing the richness of other aroma compounds. Sensory panelists observed that Fruity Pebbles, a cultivar known for its characteristically sweet and fruity aroma, exuded a noticeably richer scent compared to other sweet exotic cultivars. When analyzed via Abstrax's Terplytics, the team discovered subtle traces of skatole that were noticeably absent in other similar cultivars.

This discovery opens the doors for geneticists to selectively breed for these compounds as they noticeably enhance the complexity of sweet, fruity, and exotic cannabis. Perhaps most interesting, the presence of skatole and indole seem to intensify the perception of cannasulfur compounds, the components that impart the characteristically gassy, dank aroma of cannabis.

"Our mission at Abstrax is to demystify the flavors and fragrances of cannabis and provide knowledge that not only enhances the consumer experience but also opens new avenues for product development," Koby explains. "Understanding these molecular compounds allows our team to innovate in the realm of aroma, providing nuanced and tailored experiences for consumers and connoisseurs alike."

Abstrax's dedication to exploring the science of cannabis aromas has positioned them at the forefront of the industry, driving a deeper appreciation for the sophistication of cannabis as a botanical and therapeutic agent.

"The discovery that compounds like skatole contribute to the savory scents of cannabis strains compels us to reconsider everything we thought we knew about cannabis aroma," said Boris Shcharansky, Vice President of Cannabis Advisory at Weedmaps. "Abstrax's latest white paper exposes the hidden intricacies of these aromatic profiles, highlighting the vast and nuanced contributions beyond just terpenes. This knowledge doesn't just reshape our understanding of the cannabis plant; it enriches the entire consumer experience. We are excited to share these findings with the Weedmaps community as we work to deepen our collective appreciation for the sophisticated nature of cannabis, and its multitude of uses."

For more information about Abstrax and its groundbreaking research into cannabis aromas, visit

About Abstrax: Where Innovation and Science Meets Flavor Mastery

As the pioneering leader in the world of botanical flavor technology, ABSTRAX excels in crafting innovative terpene-driven, functional flavor solutions. Serving the cannabis, hops, flavor and fragrance industries, ABSTRAX is the trusted product development partner that forward-thinking CPG brands turn to when looking for a competitive edge. Founded in California by a team of award-winning PhD scientists, flavor chemists, and visionary product developers, ABSTRAX harnesses its three divisions to craft transformative CPG applications via innovative technology and more sustainable, all natural, and cost effective ingredients. Abstrax Tech produces groundbreaking peer reviewed research publications, discovers new flavor compounds, and produces terpene blends and flavors for tobacco, cannabis, and food applications – including botanically derived cannabis flavor experiences, live all-natural hemp derived terpenes, and mood-enhancing terpene-flavor systems. Abstrax Labs offers cutting-edge R&D, extraction and analytical technologies through its proprietary Terplytics™ system. Its technology delivers the most advanced botanical testing for exploratory research, sensory quantification, strain validation, product development, and consumer insights. Abstrax Hops provides the most advanced research, products, and services that push the limits of brewing innovation. Its wide range of solutions encapsulates the authentic varietal specific Hop Flavors, Dank Flavors, and next generation of advanced hop products including natural hop aroma extracts. ABSTRAX offers the utmost in safety, quality and regulatory adherence, ensuring seamless integration into product lines. Delve deeper with ABSTRAX at, and

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