April 11, 2024

The Ultimate Guide to Cannabis Terpenes

The Ultimate Guide to Cannabis Terpenes

Cannabis is pretty easy to understand on the surface. But as soon as you look a little deeper, you might have a few more questions. For example, what are budtenders (and other cannabis experts) talking about when they mention “terpenes”?

It’s definitely not a word you hear every day, but terpenes play a major role in the quality of your cannabis and what kind of experience you’ll have when you partake. In order to get the best experience possible (and understand marijuana on a deeper level), you should get to know them a little better.

What Are Terpenes?

Cannabis is far from the only living thing that contains terpenes. This compound is also present in other plants and even animal tissue like fish scales, egg yolks, and feathers. All in all, terpenes are responsible for the unique scents found in nature.

The terpenes of a cannabis plant are what gives it its distinct smell. Different strains have different terpenes.

The Role of Terpenes

Humans have been harnessing the power of terpenes for centuries. They’ve been using them for aromas and for medicinal purposes, as different terpenes have different effects on the body and mind. More research is needed on the topic, but the way terpenes interact with the human endocannabinoid system may have antibacterial, antifungal, pain relieving, and even anticancer effects.

Can I Get High Off Terpenes?

The terpenes in cannabis plants won’t get you high on their own; they need to be paired with THC to produce psychoactive effects. But just because cannabis terpenes can’t get you high doesn’t mean they don’t influence the way you feel. Terpenes might help you feel sleepy, more alert, less anxious, or uplifted.

Take lavender, for example. If you’ve ever used that particular scent to feel relaxed or to fall asleep, you’ve taken advantage of terpenes.

Different combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes have an effect on the high you experience when consuming cannabis, and some people say that terpenes help them prevent anxiety or paranoia while they’re high. There’s also some evidence that terpenes can increase the feel-good effects of cannabis, like those related to pain relief or mood improvement.

How THC, CBD, and Terpenes Differ

The short answer is that THC and CBD are cannabinoids and terpenes are not – they are two different compounds. But both of these compounds give you a good idea of what to expect from the cannabis product you’re consuming.

When cannabinoids and terpenes interact, it’s called the ‘entourage effect.’ The entourage effect is when all the compounds of cannabis work together to create the best experience possible.

Effects of Common Terpenes

There are over150 terpenes in cannabis, but only a handful are known for their specific effects. Those include:

  • Beta-caryophyllene: This can be found in rosemary, cloves, and hops and it is commonly linked to managing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • Beta-pinene: You’ve smelled beta-pinene around Christmas and if you’ve walked through a pine forest. This terpene is linked to anticancer effects and antidepressant qualities.
  • Humulene: This can be found in ginseng, and is linked to energizing effects.
  • Limonene: With its citrus notes, this terpene may be linked with anticancer and anti-anxiety properties.
  • Linalool: If you like lavender, you’ll love this terpene known for its stress relieving qualities.
  • Myrcene: This terpene has a sedative effect and is found in mangoes. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties.

The study of terpenes is still in its infancy, so much more research is needed to figure out the extent of terpenes’ effects on humans.

Are Terpenes Good for You?

There’s not a straight answer to this question because there are so many types of terpenes, and whether or not they’re good for you depends on what plant they are found in. Many exist in plants you can find in your garden or in the grocery store, but there are also terpenes present in toxic and inedible plants in the wild.

When terpenes are consumed or applied topically in their pure, unaltered form, they may cause undesired effects like dizziness and irritation. This is why essential oils containing pure terpenes have not been approved. But when they’re diluted (5% or less), they are safe to use.

The Role of Terpenes

Terpenes play an interesting role in how cannabis makes you feel. There are plenty of other important components, like the strain, your physiology, and your history with cannabis, but terpenes are a great place to start if you’re looking to tailor your cannabis experience to something unique to you and how you like to get high.

To learn more about terpenes, stop in and talk to one of our budtenders. We’re located on Westnedge, at 5216 S Westnedge Ave, Portage MI 49002. Or, if you’d rather shoot us an email, just fill out this contact form. We can’t wait to welcome you into the scent-filled world of terpenes!

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