What Are Terpenes in Cannabis?

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Think about your favorite cannabis strain. What does it smell like? What does it taste like? Without a doubt, the aromatics and flavors of the cannabis plant can be soothing to the mind and body, especially if you’ve developed a preference for a particular strain. Terpenes, a class of small but abundant cannabis compounds, are responsible for all of this.

What Are Terpenes Exactly?

Terpenes are uniquely aromatic oils that give plants certain attributes that are valuable for the plant. For instance, some terpenes attract pollinators in the wild, while other terpenes repel them. For us humans, terpenes flavor and aromatize our worlds. These compounds are why lemons deliver that telltale bright aromatic quality and why eating a tart green apple makes us pucker. Therefore, terpenes are not present in cannabis alone, but in most natural plants. In cannabis, terpenes differentiate one plant strain from the next.

How Terpenes Work In Cannabis

Cannabis is noteworthy for its terpene concentration, and for good reason. Hundreds of terpenes are responsible for the aromatics and flavors of cannabis. Scientifically speaking, terpenes are secondary metabolites that the plant produces at different stages of growth in response to various stimuli. The terpenes are hydrocarbons, which break down incredibly easily in most cases. The three primary types of terpenes include monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and diterpenes.

Tl,dr: Terpenes aid in the growth of cannabis & provide the distinct aromas, flavors & even effects that humans have become accustomed to. 

Therapeutic Value of Terpenes

While terpenes deliver profound aromatics and some flavor qualities, they also may offer synergistic actions when consumed alongside cannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabinoids are another natural compound of cannabis but are more well-known for their therapeutic qualities than terpenes. Nevertheless, some terpenes have been scientifically examined and have been shown to offer some of their own therapeutic qualities.

Knowing that terpenes may offer their own therapeutic value is important. Cannabis strains can have a diverse lineup of terpenes in their makeup, just as they can have various levels of different cannabinoids. When certain terpenes and cannabinoids are paired, the end effects may be enhanced.

Terpenes are considered to be bioactive. Therefore, they may affect the human body and mind when either consumed, smoked, or smelled. Numerous terpenes have shown potential for medicinal use, including pain. For example, limonene has been shown to have anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties and pinene may actually encourage more airflow to the lungs.

You may also be interested in Top Strains for Pain & Inflammation.

Common Terpenes Found in Cannabis

The list of terpenes found in cannabis is pretty impressive, but there are a few noteworthy types that show up more than most or in higher concentrations than most others. Below is a look at the top five terpenes found in many strains of cannabis:

  • Myrcene – Herbal aromatics, found in hops, and calming
  • Pinene – Pine aromatics, found in rosemary, and calming
  • Terpinolene – Fruity aromatics, found in tea tree, and energizing
  • Caryophyllene – Peppery aromatics, found in cloves, balance between calming and energizing
  • Limonene – Citrus aromatics, found in citrus rinds, and energizing


Why Terpenes Are Worthy of Your Attention

When you stop in at a dispensary to explore the many strains of raw flower available, you will likely notice that many have their own trademark smell. Much like you would experience a litany of aromatics in the produce section at your favorite grocery store, you will recognize a lot of different aromas when shopping for cannabis. So, why should you pay attention? Here is a quick look.

Enhanced Cannabis Experience

Every type of cannabis has its own assigned signature collection of terpenes. Therefore, when you use various cannabis strains, the outcome can vary depending on the chemical composition (cannabinoids and terpenes) of that plant. If you find that a strain gave you a burst of energy to clean your room, it’s likely to contain limonene.

By using terpenes to explore new strains, you can more easily find the perfect one (or five!) for you! 

Unique Aromatics and Flavor Qualities

Aromatics and flavor qualities are also important, both for experiential reasons and the potential for aromatherapeutic qualities. For instance, if you have a strain that is especially high in the terpene linalool, the aromatics alone can offer a certain relaxing effect. Likewise, a strain that is high in a terpene line terpinolene may have more uplifting effects when aromatically experienced. For enhanced aromatics and flavor, experiment with vaping your cannabis at different temperatures.

Discover Terpene-Rich Cannabis and New Wellness Experiences

In order to retain the terpene quality in cannabis, flowers must be carefully cultivated and harvested. Therefore, when you want the best therapeutic qualities from terpenes, it is critically important that you buy well-sourced flower. At Uma Flowers, we recognize the value of cannabis terpenes, and we want our customers to experience those effects. Our curated collection is hand-selected for quality with your wellness in mind. Stop in for a wellness consultation so we can help you find the strain that will serve you the best.

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