When you enjoy your favorite cannabis strains in Massachusetts, you may pay closer attention to the cannabinoids like THC. However, those amazing aromatics and flavors you experience with certain strains are thanks to something else entirely: terpenes. What are terpenes in cannabis? Let’s find out below.
What Are Terpenes in Weed?
Terpenes are intensely aromatic compounds found in various natural plants. The small molecules in the natural world contribute to a range of scents, from zesty lemon and fresh apples to earthy forest and plant aromas. Cannabis stands out as one of the most terpene-rich plants and contains approximately 400 identified terpenes across a multitude of strains.
These compounds not only dictate the aroma and flavor profiles of specific strains, such as the bright berry flavor of Strawberry Cough or the pungent earthiness of Sour Diesel. Terpenes also exert their own biological effects, which can influence a strain’s overall impact when smoked.
Terpenes vs Cannabinoids like CBD and THC – What’s the Difference?
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are cannabinoids, the primary compounds in cannabis, and have significant biological activity in the body. Essentially, cannabinoids dictate how a particular strain affects you. While terpenes don’t wield as much influence, they can complement or even balance cannabinoid effects. For example, a myrcene-rich flower alongside high THC content in that same strain might offer exceptional sleep-inducing properties due to their combined sedative effects.
The Most Prevalent Cannabis Derived Terpenes
- Flavor/Aromatics: Citrus
- Strain: Lemon Drip from Dogwalkers
- Also in: Grapefruit, limes, and lemons
Limonene, a highly prevalent cannabis terpene, is abundantly present in citrus and a world of other botanicals. Renowned for its aromatic qualities, limonene can be found in a broad collection of everyday products, from foods to cleaning fluids. Beyond its bright, citrus fragrance, this terpene boasts a plethora of potential benefits. It is known for exhibiting antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Additionally, its uplifting scent may contribute to enhancing your mood.
- Flavor/Aromatics: Fruit, herbs, and earth
- Strain: Strawberry Gary from Fernway
- Also in: Lemongrass, cloves, and hops
Myrcene takes the spotlight when it comes to terpenes in cannabis, as this aromatic compound can be found dominating the terpene profile of numerous strains. With its reputation for inducing relaxation and sedation, myrcene holds therapeutic potential as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic. This terpene may even be partially responsible for the sleep-supporting qualities in some of your favorite cannabis strains for sleep.
- Flavor/Aromatics: Earthy pepper
- Strain: Ice Cream Cake from Find
- Also in: Black pepper, rosemary, and basil
Caryophyllene (beta and alpha caryophyllene) is a unique terpene. Unlike other terpenes, caryophyllene uniquely interacts with the endocannabinoid system, albeit through distinct pathways and mechanisms compared to cannabinoids. Perhaps not so surprisingly due to this unique quality, caryophyllene exhibits antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory characteristics, and the list is always growing due to scientific interest.
- Flavor/Aromatics: Spicy herbals
- Strain: Neville’s Haze from Gibby’s Garden
- Also in: Spearmint, coriander, and lavender
Linalool is one of those terpenes in cannabis often associated with strains that have relaxing qualities. This terpene is prominent in plants like lavender, which is prized for its anxiolytic effects that can be attributed to the smell the linalool generates. However, linalool holds a lot of other properties that could be valuable for therapeutic purposes, such as helping with depressive moods and pain. In fact, some of the best strains for pain and inflammation contain linalool.
- Flavor/Aromatics: Pine and herbs
- Strain: Gelato Sunrise from Rev Farms
- Also in: Coniferous trees
Pinene is not quite as abundant as some other cannabis-derived terpenes, but it can still be found in several strains. It is almost always easy to point out pinene because of its unique aromatic profile that smells like pine needles. Pinene is thought to be good for pain, stress, and even the respiratory system, which is a unique attribute.
Other Common Terpenes in Cannabis
While these terpenes may not be as prominent, they are worth mentioning. A few terpenes you may experience in the strains you enjoy the most may include:
Explore Premium Terpene-Rich Strains at Uma Flowers
When it comes to getting your hands on cannabis strains rich in terpenes, the key is to shop for high-quality flower. Terpenes are more delicate than cannabinoids. Therefore, these compounds can degrade fast when the flower is not harvested, cured, and stored properly. At Uma Flowers, we partner with the most reputable cannabis cultivators in Massachusetts and take pride in offering an elite collection of strains. Take a few minutes to explore our full collection of exceptional cannabis on our menu.