What Are Cannabis Derived Terpenes & How Do They Work?
Terpenes are fast becoming a must in cannabis and hemp products. Any research into the industry is sure to bring up a stream of information around the subject. To be honest, it could take years to effectively learn everything that there is to know about the intricate chemistry behind terpenes. This article covers all the basics, from what terpenes are to the properties that they possess, to help give you an idea about what cannabis derived terpenes bring to the table.
What are cannabis derived terpenes?
Simply put, terpenes are the compounds that cause all plants to give off their unique scents. Any time you’re on a hiking trail and smell the scent of pine trees in the air or peel an orange and get a nose full of fresh, zesty fragrance, that’s terpenes doing their work.
There have been over 20,000 terpenes discovered across the globe, around 150 of which can be found in cannabis plants. As for where the terpenes are actually stored - they can be found in the trichomes of female plants. Although they are typically only found in trace amounts, these terpenes can pack a serious punch in more ways than one.
What do cannabis derived terpenes do?
Not only do these compounds give hemp and cannabis plants - and ultimately our products - their enticing scents, they also impact the color and pigmentation of the buds. Some are naturally designed to repel insects. Others’ purpose is to attract them for pollination. Whatever their original reason for being, these natural compounds are what makes cannabis smell and taste so damn delicious!
Cannabis derived terpenes have a wide range of pleasing effects. While they won’t make you “high”, they do offer tastes, smells and other characteristics that add to the overall hemp experience. These range from helping you relax to boosting creative thought. Basically, they give hemp products that boost of quality and personality that make people fall in love with certain strains. That applies to cannabis connoisseurs and novices alike.
These unique quirks that terpenes provide have led to innovative new preservation techniques during the harvesting process. This includes the creation of CBD live resin, a freezing method that we use in all of our vapes. Live resin is a pure, concentrated extract that is full of cannabidiol goodness. The development of such advanced techniques is a testament to the appreciation of terpene benefits.
But beyond adding to the smell and taste, what benefits do they actually provide?...
What benefits do terpenes provide?
It might be more astute to name what benefits cannabis derived terpenes don’t provide.
Firstly, terpenes have been shown to work in synergy with THC and CBD. What exactly does this mean? It is essentially a mutually beneficial situation in which each chemical compound compliments the others. This is often referred to as the entourage effect, and goes hand in hand with the benefits of full-spectrum CBD products (more on that here).
Secondly, you will be able to experience the effects that you are seeking with a lower dose. This means greater potency without the lethargy that cannabis is often associated with. It essentially allows all the best bits of the hemp plant to work in perfect harmony.
Additionally, preclinical tests have shown terpenes to be effective as a form of treatment for both physical and mental ailments. To give you an idea, terpenes have been shown to possess antiviral, antimicrobial, and pain relieving properties. Some studies have even shown them to possess anticancer characteristics.
It is still early days with regards to what terpenes can really achieve but the future seems pretty exciting if you ask us.
What are the most common types of cannabis terpene?
So we’ve covered what a terpene is and what it does, but what about naming some of these all-natural super-scents?
Here are some of the more common cannabis derived terpenes and the characteristics that distinguish them:
Scent/Flavor: Spicy/earthy smell and a sweet flavor.
Also found in: Hops/lemongrass/mangoes.
Beneficial properties: Anti-inflammation effects (and the study to back it up)
Scent/Flavor: Warm, peppery scent and flavor.
Also found in: Rosemary/oregano/black pepper
Beneficial properties: Easing effects of dietary conditions like colitis or diabetes (and the study to back it up)
Scent/Flavor: Orange zest.
Also found in: Citrus fruits and ginger.
Beneficial properties: Helps defend against a range of disorders, including Covid-19
Scent/Flavor: Hoppy taste and a beer-like flavor.
Also found in: Sage.
Beneficial properties: Energizing and anti-bacterial
Scent/Flavor: Rose/woody aromas.
Also found in: Lavender
Beneficial properties: Helps to ease anxiety and has sedative properties
If you want to learn anything else about terpenes, our products or anything else regarding the wonderful world of hemp, contact our team by emailing our founder himself firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us on (503) 407-4500.
Here at Woodstock Hemp Company, we live and breathe hemp (literally), so you can trust that we know what we are talking about.