If you have some idea about Cannabis, then you might have come across the word “Terpene”. Cannabis is unique in many aspects, and different strains contain unique tastes, aromas, and uses. You might be wondering what are terpenes and how do they play a role in this? Terpenes are responsible for the different tastes and smell we sense with our taste buds. Read ahead to gain a deeper understanding of what terpenes are and their role in the plant.
What Do Cannabis Terpenes Consist Of?
Terpenes are some form of unsaturated hydrocarbons volatile in nature. Essential oils of various plants such as conifers and citrus plants contain Terpenes. The chemical formula of Terpene relates to a cyclic Carbon-Hydrogen molecule of C10H16.
Let’s simplify this a bit. Have you ever smelled a lemon or a clove? Aren’t they unique in their aroma and help you distinguish them? Yes, of course! That’s it all about. Terpenes are the aromatic oils present in cannabis and other herbs. These give them their fragrant diversity. The secretion of these oils takes place in the flowers and their sticky resin glands. The same glands are also responsible for producing cannabinoids such as THC, CBD, etc. which can be extracted off of the plant for edibles.
Occurrence in Nature
Nature has not isolated the presence of Terpenes to Cannabis alone. These are also found in plants like rosemary, mint, and basil. However, Cannabis has a wide array of terpenes and there are over 200 that have the ability to interact with the cannabinoids in the plant.
What are Terpenes Medical Use and Benefits?
Medical research has shown that Terpenes contain health benefits and are useful in many treatments and therapies. As it interacts with cannabinoids of plants, it can also act on the endocannabinoid system. These work like an assistant to cannabinoids. They can pierce through the blood-brain barrier. Terpenes help in enhancing the permeability of the cells. For example, Myrcene is a terpene that increases the permeability of cells. It helps in quicker absorption of cannabinoids like THC.
Terpenes can stimulate the neurotransmitters present in the brain. For instance, it can influence the production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine. Limonene is a kind of Terpene has the power to upsurge the production of serotonin in one’s brain. This helps in elevating the mood.
There are huge varieties of Terpenes found in cannabis and other herbs. Each one has a distinct chemical composition and trait. Few of them are Myrcene, Linalool, Limonene, Caryophyllene etc.
- Myrcene: The fragrance of this terpene is musk-like and helps in treating insomnia and depression.
- Linalool: It smells like citrus fruits. The medical benefits are treating anxiety, depression, and aches.
- Caryophyllene: It has a peppery aroma. It helps in improving the heart rate as well as treating arthritis and ulcers.
- Limonene: The aroma is like that of Citrus fruits. It helps in elevating mood and relieve tension. It is antifungal and antibacterial in nature. It occurs in Super Lemon Haze, rosemary, and juniper plants.
What Are Terpenes That You Want to Try?
Next time you hear someone ask what are terpenes you will realize that there’s a lot more to cannabis than many people think. As you can see, terpenes and its effects vary according to plants. Plant properties, including smells, taste, and uses, are made up of different terpene profiles. Whether you are looking to treat depression, insomnia, or arthritis, there are different strains of cannabis you can choose from and the terpene profiles on each is very different. So, before purchasing cannabis, you should ask what are the terpene profiles present in each strain to help you decide which is best for you. For more information on Cannabis, Medical Marijuana Services Australia provides some of the best resources on cannabis.