Cannabis plants contain all kinds of components. Many users will be familiar with THC- the cannabinoid in these plants which gives you the psychoactive effects which make you high. CBD is also commonly extracted from marijuana and hemp plants for use in medical products. However, along with cannabinoids, these plants also contain a wealth of terpenes. So what are terpenes?
Terpenes are organic compounds found in many plants, often giving them their odor. However, when it comes to cannabis, terpenes can enhance your high and also give you extra medical benefits. Here’s a guide to terpenes and what they do.
What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are components found in marijuana and hemp plants, amongst others. They’re similar to essential oils, as they can be extracted and consumed for various beneficial effects. While you may not be aware of terpenes, they often enhance the effects of the marijuana and CBD products you consume.
Much like cannabinoids, there are many different kinds of terpenes, each with differing effects. For instance, myrcene can enhance the effects of THC and give you a stronger high. Pinene has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects. These are just a couple of examples, but there are over 100 identified terpenes in cannabis plants.
Terpenes also give plants their unique aromas. This means the scent and taste of different marijuana strains is often due to their terpenoid content. While terpenes enhance both the recreational and medical effects of cannabis product, they can also be extracted for use as standalone medical products.
Benefits of Terpenes
Terpenes add to the medical benefits of cannabis. They can enhance the anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anticancer, antibacterial, and sedative effects of cannabis just to name a few benefits. They can also affect the high given by THC. Some will enhance it while others will make it milder.
Various studies show that terpenes are much like essential oils which benefit human health in many ways. They can help you relax and de-stress in addition to providing many health benefits for the human body.
Terpenes are also what gives plants their unique scents. The taste and smell of different strains often come down to which terpenes each strain contains. For instance, some will add a fruity, citrus taste while others are more piney or spicy.
How are Terpenes Used?
Cannabis and hemp plants are loaded with all kinds of terpenes. That means you’ll get the add-on effects of terpenes whenever you use marijuana or CBD products.
For instance, terpenes often contribute to the aroma and the effects of different cannabis strains. Some terpenes can reduce the barrier between THC and the brain, and therefore give you a more intense high. Others can counteract the effects and give you a milder high.
Many CBD products also contain a range of terpenes. Oils, edibles, and other products which use whole plant extract will have terpenes which enhance the medical effects of cannabidiol.
The way terpenes and cannabinoids interact is known as the entourage effect. These component work well in synergy to enhance the effects and benefits of one another.
Can You Use Terpenes on Their Own?
Due to the wide range of benefits given by terpenes, they’re often extracted for use as standalone products. Some health stores allow you to buy terpenes to use as you wish.
There are many ways to use these. For instance, you can add terpenes to food and beverages. They can also be added to concentrates, oils, and other cannabis products for enhanced effects.
Terpenes are medical products much like essential oils or other plant extracts. While they can enhance the effects of THC in cannabis, they won’t make you high when used on their own.
Terpenes Found in Cannabis
There are hundreds of terpenes found in cannabis plants. However, there are a certain few which are found in high amounts. These are some of the most common terpenes known for their powerful effects.
Pinene – A common terpene that has a pine aroma. It can counteract some of the effects of THC by increasing alertness and memory. It can also help with pain, inflammation, asthma, and more. Pinene is often found in sativa strains.
Myrcene – Myrcene is found in basil, mangoes, and lemongrass as well as cannabis plants. It has a lemony scent, hence why it’s found in many citrus-flavored marijuana strains. Myrcene has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and sedative properties. It helps with relieving pain and relaxing users. It also enhances the effects of THC and gives you a stronger high.
Limonene – Another terpene with a strong citrus scent. Limonene is often found in fruits and plants such as rosemary and peppermint. Limonene adds mood enhancing and stress relieving effects to cannabis. It can help with anxiety, depression, and cancer.
Beta-Caryophyllene – Beta-Caryophyllene is a terpene with a spicy aroma that’s often found in peppers, cloves, and cinnamon, as well as cannabis. It helps with stress relief, pain, anxiety, depression, and ulcers.
Linalool – Linalool is a floral-scented terpene that’s also found in lavender. It can help enhance your mood and also has sedative effects. As such, it has many medical uses, such as helping with pain, inflammation, depression, and insomnia.
Terpinolene – Another floral, herby terpene which can also be found in nutmeg, tea tree, and apples. Terpinolene has anticancer, antifungal, antibacterial, and antioxidant effects, making it one of the most beneficial terpenes for medical purposes.
Ocimene – Ocimene has a sweet herbal scent. It’s found in mint, parsley, basil, and peppers. It has decongestant, antiviral, anti-fungal, antiseptic, and antibacterial effects.
While these are some of the most common terpenes in cannabis, others include Borneol, Bisabolol, Carene, Eucalyptol, Terpineol, and Nerolidol. These also add their own benefits.
Terpenes are components found in all kinds of plants which add to the aroma and taste. Terpenes also have incredible effects on the human body. They can help improve your physical health, mental health, and prevent the risk of various illnesses. Marijuana is rich in terpenes, and these often enhance the smell, the taste, and the effects of different strains. Many users may not realize they consume terpenes, but these are often what adds to the impressive medical benefits of cannabis-based products.