What the Heck are Terpenes!?
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What the Heck are Terpenes!?

What the heck are Terpenes and how do they affect the make-up of cannabis products?

Well, simply put Terpenes engage with the endocannabinoid system much like cannabinoids.  They can also affect neurotransmissions to the brain. Understandings this provides an explanation of why there is a variance of strains that carry different aromas and taste, but also contribute to the mood and the sensation that a strain delivers overall.

Over one hundred known terpenes are present in cannabis and they are not only found in cannabis. Which explains why strains have unique properties and why some strains share similar attributes.

This diagram shows how they arrive in some strains:

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These 3 Gods Own Concentrate Shatter varieties are fully loaded with terps, meaning that your high will be ENHANCED.

OG Kush | Lemon Haze | Chronic Mint

Some of the most common terpenes are….

Myrcene

Myrcene is the most common terpene in marijuana strains (up to 60% of the essential oils of certain varieties) however, it is not found in hemp textiles. It is also found in large quantities in hops or in the West Indian wood (Saint Thomas Bay). Its smell is very similar to cloves (girofle). Myrcene is a potent analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic. It blocks the action of cytochrome, aflatoxin B, and other pro-mutagenic carcinogens. It also has a relaxing, calming, anti spasmodic and sedative effect. Acting in synergy with THC, myrcene increases its psychoactive potential.

Limonene

Limonene is often the second, third or fourth terpene found in cannabis resin. This family of terpenes produces the typical smell we all recognise as citrus. Limonene has anti fungal and anti bacterial properties and is also anticarcinogenic. It prevents the detioration of the RAS gene, one of the factors that contribute to the development of tumors. It also protects against Aspergillus and carcinogens present in smoke. Limonene quickly and easily penetrates the blood-brain barrier, which increases systolic pressure. During testing on the effects of limonene, participants experienced an increase in attention, mental focus, well-being and even sex drive. Limonene is used sometimes in spray form, to treat depression and anxiety. It also has the effect of reducing the unpleasantness of gastric acid and stimulates the immune system. Plants use limonenes to ward off predators; for example, it repells flies like any insecticide.

Caryophyllene

Caryophyllene can be found in various herbs and spices, particularly in black pepper, which contributes to the spicy flavour. It is a local anti inflammatory and analgesic, and one of the active ingredients of the clove (Giroflé). It is an efficient remedy to relieve toothache. It also has anti fungal properties. This terpene has the particularity of selectively activate the cannabinoid 2 receptors (CB2), while it is not a cannabinoid. This discovery opens the door to many possibilities in medicinal research.

Pinene

Pinene is responsible for the familiar smell associated with pine and fir trees, and to be more precise, its resin. It is the main ingredient of the essence of turpentine. It is present also in many plants such as Sage or Rosemary. Pinene is used in medicine as an expectorant, bronchodilator, anti inflammatory and local antiseptic. It also crosses the hemato encaphalic barrier very easily, where it acts as an inhibitor of acetylcolynesterasics, preventing the destruction of molecules responsible for the transmission of information, which results in memory improvement. It is largely due to the presence of pinenes that Rosemary and Sage have been considered to be beneficial plants during thousands of years of traditional medicine. This terpene ca, in part, counteract the effects of THC, which leads to a decrease in the acetylcholine levels. The result is that the memory fails more with pure THC than with THC mixed with pinene. Skunk strains are, for example, recognised for their high levels of pinenes. Because this produces a bronco dilator effect, the smoke of plants rich in pinene give the sensation of sucking more air, which can cause hyperventilation or sometimes cough. Pinene also improves concentration, personal satisfaction and energy, but it may be limited by the effects of the terpinol.

Terpineol

Terpineol smells of lilac, crabapple blossoms and lime blossoms. During tests on mice, their mobility was reduced to 45%. This explains the sedative effect of some marijuana strains. Terpineol is often found in strains that have a high level of pinenes, the aromas of which can hide the smell of terpineol.

Myrcene

Myrcene is the most common terpene in marijuana strains (up to 60% of the essential oils of certain varieties) however, it is not found in hemp textiles. It is also found in large quantities in hops or in the West Indian wood (Saint Thomas Bay). Its smell is very similar to cloves (girofle). Myrcene is a potent analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic. It blocks the action of cytochrome, aflatoxin B, and other pro-mutagenic carcinogens. It also has a relaxing, calming, anti spasmodic and sedative effect. Acting in synergy with THC, myrcene increases its psychoactive potential.

Borneol

Borneol has  aroma of mint and camphor. It is used in Chinese medicine against fatigue, stress, or to recover from illness. The Super Silver Haze Marijuana strain from Sensi seeds is known for its camphor aromas, and its effect is both relaxing and psychedelic. Hence, we can suppose that it contains a good amount of borneol.

Linalool

Linalool has a floral smell like lavender and spring flowers. Humans are able to smell it at very low levels, from 1 PPM in air. Linalool is currently used in the treatment of various cancers. It also has a powerful calming action, anti anxiety, and produces a sedative effect. In tests on mice it was discovered that their activity decreased by 75%. Linalool is thus partly responsible for the sedative effects of certain marijuana strains. It also has analgesic and anti-epileptic properties.

Eucalyptol

Eucalyptol (also called 1,8-cineol) is the main ingredient of eucalyptus essential oil. It has the characteristic minty smell of this tree and is also found in small amounts in marijuana. Its effects relieve pain and improve concentration and inner balance. Plants containing eucalyptol enhance meditation and concentration.

Nerolidol

Nerolidol, with woody and fresh bark aromas, can be found in ginger, niaouli and citronella. It has anti fungal, anti leishmaniasis and anti-malarial properties. It also produces a sedative effect.

Also, this video from Leafly gives a nice little overview of Terpenes. Which reminds us that you can now find us on Leafly – tell a friend!

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