Next on our list of marijuana lingo that you have to keep abreast with is “terpenes”. You’ll need to know what they are, what terpenes and found in weed and more importantly terpene effects. This way, you’ll have a better understanding and appreciation of marijuana and can make well-informed choices when choosing a strain.
What are terpenes?
Marijuana is made up of many different chemicals and compounds. It’s likely that you’ve heard the names THC and CBD before since they give you the high and medical benefits weed is known for, but do you know what gives it the aroma?
If you’ve smoked weed before you’ll notice that some have a “skunky” smell while others are somewhat fruity or piney. This is one-way weed strains that can be differentiated.
Terpenes vs terpenoids
Another word that you may hear being used is terpenoids, and it is sometimes used interchangeably with the word terpenes but they are actually different things.
Terpenes are organic hydrocarbons. This means that they only contain the elements carbon and hydrogen. On the other hand, terpenoids have been altered by oxidation (adding oxygen), meaning they have been dried and cured, or chemical modification.
So in other words, the terpenes are wet and become terpenoids when they are dried out
Terpenes aren’t just found in marijuana plants, and can be found in many plant species, such as fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices, and are even used to produce the same essential oils you use in your diffusers or perfumes.
What terpenes can be found in weed?
Scientists have found over 100 terpenes and terpenoids in cannabis plants.
Each strain has a distinct terpene profile that separates it from others, and many times the name of the strain will give you an idea of what its terpene profile is like. For example, strains with the name blueberry, like Blueberry Kush and Sour Blueberry give off hints of blueberries, which others with the name cheese will have a cheesy smell.
Here are some of the most common terpenes found on weed:
This is the most common type of terpene found in cannabis plants and can be described as having a musky or earthy aroma. This is the stereotypical weed smell. It is also found in plants such as thyme, lemongrass, eucalyptus, and mango.
Some strains that are rich in myrcene include OG Kush, Blue Dream, 9 Pound Hammer , Cherry Pie, and Granddaddy Purple.
Strains with limonene terpenes have a citrusy smell and will remind you of oranges or limes. It can also be found in the peels of citrus fruits, and rosemary, juniper, and peppermint.
Limonene speeds up the absorption of other terpenes through the skin and tissue and gets absorbed pretty quickly into the body itself.
You’ll find lots of limonene in strains like White Fire OG, Wedding Cake , Berry White, and Strawberry Banana.
Terpinolene has a mixed aroma of pine, with a hint of herbs and flowers and a sweet, somewhat citrusy flavor.
Terpinolene is also found in sage and rosemary and can be found in strains such as Golden Pineapple, Bubba Kush , Orange Cookies, Chernobyl, Gorilla and Dutch Treat.
This type of terpene comes in two types, alpha, and beta. Alpha pinene is typically found in balsamic resin and pine woods and smells like pine, needles, and fir. The beta-pinene is more common in herbs and will smell like parsley, rosemary or basil.
Pinene is found in strains like Critical Mass, Snoop’s Dream, Jack Herer and Sir Jack
This terpene has a peppery, woody or spicy smell. It is found in other plants such as cinnamon, black pepper, and Thai basil.
Linalool is found in many plant species and is dominant in lavender, and can also be found in lilacs, tea tree, and birch bark. It gives marijuana a floral aroma.
You’ll find linalool in strains like Lavender, LA Confidential and Amnesia Haze.
Camphene has a musky, pungent odor and will remind you of damp woodlands, firs, and needles. It’s similar to myrcene and sometimes can get mistaken for it.
Camphene exists in plants and spices like nutmeg, ginger, conifer, dill, and fennel. Strains like ACDC, Banana Kush and OG Kush have this terpene.
Terpene effects: How it impacts you and what it is used for
Most persons who consume weed only look at terpenes in terms of how they make the weed taste or smell, but they offer much more than that. Terpene effects are plenty, and can also offer medical benefits.
Here are some terpene effects that you would be surprised to know about:
Myrcene gives you the couch-lock effect Indica strains are known for, so it’s great for insomniac who prefer the natural approach to their sleep disorder. It also has anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antimutagenic properties that offer pain relief and discourages the mutation of carcinogens.
Scientists have also been exploring the possibility of using myrcene to inhibit the growth of ulcers and to prevent them altogether, which has proved to very promising.
Terpinolene is used largely in soaps and perfumes and functions well as an insect repellent. When you smoke strains with this terpene, you’ll feel its sedating effects and it can help to reduce feelings of nervousness or anxiety. It also has antioxidant properties which help to protect against heart disease and can inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
Limonene is widely used in antifungal creams since it is known to inhibit the growth of certain fungi and bacteria. The possibility of using limonene to treat breast cancer is also being explored, and it can help prevent certain cancers.
It was used in foods and perfumes but is rarely used for this purpose now despite it being low in toxicity and having few adverse side effects. Today, you can find also limonene in certain citrus cleaners as one of its main active ingredients.
Pinene is already used in antiinflammatory medicines and functions as an expectorant, bronchodilator, and antiseptic in others. It is also used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for its anti-cancer properties.
It is also said that pinene can reduce the effects of THC, and decrease the intensity of certain highs.
Research surrounding the use of the terpene Caryophyllene for cancer treatment has been promising, and it does have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can be useful for persons who suffer from chronic pain.
Linalool is known for its calming effects and can be useful for persons who have sleeping disorders. It can also offer aid to persons who suffer from anxiety and even Alzheimer’s.
Linalool has been used in many bath soaps, perfumes, and lotions and has even been used as a pesticide and insecticide to ward off fruit flies, cockroaches, and fleas.
It is possible for camphene to be used as a way to manage cardiovascular disease as it has proven to reduce cholesterol levels in rats, but there is still a lot of work to be done before it can be used in medicines for humans. It may also be used as a means of dealing with liver damage, lung inflammation and intestinal issues.
Otherwise, camphene can be found in essential oils like camphor oil, turpentine ginger oil, and citronella oil. It is also used as a food flavoring and sometimes in the manufacturing of fragrances.
- Terpenes are what give weed their smell and flavor.
- Different strains have varying levels of certain terpenes.
- Terpene effects range from sedation to pain relief and cancer treatment.
- Terpenes can also be used in everyday products like lotions and perfumes, and also cleaning agents and insecticides.