Today we get to get down and dirty with Terpenes. Terpenes are molecules (complex chains of atoms) found in smelly plants. Terpenes are not unique to the cannabis plant either. There are thousands of Terpenes found throughout the plant kingdom. Everything from oranges to lavender has Terpenes.
How does this tie in with cannabis? Terpenes are responsible for the smell and flavor of cannabis and depending on how you consume that cannabis, you will experience different terpenes. Smoking the same flower from a pipe with butane lighter tastes different than vaporizing it. That is because of how many of the terpenes are left intact to interact with your taste buds and olfactory senses.
Most people have a preference for certain terpenes within cannabis. Is your favorite smoke one that will stink up the whole house like a Super Skunk or Dog Walker? What about the fruity smell of Strawberry Cough and Pineapple? How do you feel about your flower having no discernible smell at all? All of these variations are caused by terpenes. The type and concentrations of different terpenes dictate how much and what your product smells and tastes of.
Taking dabs from live resin is more flavorful than other extracts like BHO and PHO. This is because less of the terpenes remain in the plant after curing and processing. These terpenes also have the added value of certain health benefits. Beyond their inherent health benefits, terpenes also act synergistically with cannabinoids in areas like reducing inflammation, pain relief and preventing certain cancer growth to even counteracting depression. It’s like stacking discounts; two or three together gets you a bigger value than each individually.
Below is our top 5 list. This list is based on prevalence of the compound as well as overall health benefits. There are literally thousands of terpenes and over a hundred have been identified in cannabis. So without further ado, let’s jump into this list!
This terpene can add a floral element to flower. This can be common in strains like Blue Dream or Lavender Kush. The health benefits of this compound include: inhibiting cancer growth, aids in sleep/relaxation, boosts the immune system, and as both antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
The main smell in lavender is this terpene. One of the best known anti-anxiety aromas, this compound is well known around the world. On top of its legendary aromatic qualities; it also reduces inflammation, relieves pain, slows cancer growth, reduces stress, acts as a sleep aid and finally, possesses antibacterial qualities.
This is the common element between citrus smells. Oranges, grapefruit, limes and lemons all have an abundance of limonene. Strains like Tangerine Dream and Sour Lemon are almost oozing this stuff. The uplifting effects of this terpene include antidepressant and relaxant qualities. They also have boosting effects for the digestive and immune systems. While not antimicrobial, this terpene is antibacterial. That means it won’t stop fungus or molds from forming but will keep germs from colonizing in force.
One of the most prevalent terpenes in mangos, this produces an earthy and savory flavor. Strains like White Widow and Pure Kush have an abundance of this beauty. Not only is Myrcene found in abundance in certain strains, but its health benefits are truly remarkable. The list of crazy goodness includes: Inflammation reduction, pain relief, cancer growth slowing, muscle spasm suppression, aids sleep and relaxation, boosts the immune system, acts as an antidepressant and finally, has antimicrobial (fungus preventing) properties.
So that’s our list! Do you agree with our placement? Do you think a terpene should be on our list but wasn’t? Let us know in the comments below. And as always, thanks for reading.