Updated on May 23rd, 2021
If you’re interested in weed, odds are you’ve heard the word “terpenes”. But what are terpenes? For medical users, they’re responsible for their strain’s therapeutic benefits.
You could end up using an inappropriate medical strain if it doesn’t contain the right terpenes – some of which counter each other’s effects.
From a recreational perspective, terpenes affect the experience and flavor. Understanding what terpenes are will enable you to shop around and find the perfect product like CBD flower online, for your medical or recreational needs.
For example, if you are using CBD for concentration, it makes sense to look for a CBD oil with focus enhancing terpenes.
What Are Terpenes?
Let’s start with the million-dollar question – what are terpenes? If you ask an experienced toker or budtender, you’ll likely hear that – as we said – they determine the flavor, smell, and effects of a particular strain.
Terpenes are what give all plants their flavor and scent. You can also find terpenes in real CBD oil for sale.
But what about the specifics? How many of us can accurately, completely define what terpenes are? It’s kind of like being asked to explain a calorie – we know what it does, but not necessarily what it is.
So, let’s clear the air and dive into the deep, sciencey stuff you might not learn in Weed 101.
Terpenes fall under the category of “secondary metabolites”. These are compounds related to metabolism that – unlike primary metabolites – don’t play a vital role in the plant’s survival functions (i.e., photosynthesis).
Terpenes are an entire category of secondary metabolites. Scientists set them apart based on their chemical makeup, which consists of mevalonic acid, hydrogen, and oxygen.
What these oily compounds share is their universal role in the plant kingdom. Aside from always creating a plant’s flavor and aroma, for instance, many of these terpenes have antibacterial or antifungal properties. Others are excellent at repelling insects or animal herbivores.
What are Terpenes from a Medical Standpoint?
While we certainly know a lot about terpenes today, they’ve been a part of herbal medicine for thousands of years. People found that certain herbs had healing properties, but they didn’t know that terpenes were the source. At the time, they were the closest things to prescription medications.
Medically, terpenes play a variety of crucial roles. Some are more useful than others, depending on your condition; however, if you’re wondering why hippies are pushing specific herbal remedies on you, it’s because some of the plants do have terpenes that help.
While we’re not saying that oregano cures cancer or a handful of basil a day controls diabetes, terpenes have a unique part to play for both medicine and nutrition. Some terpenes are antioxidants, while others can help clear your airways, fight bacteria, and even inhibit cancer growth.
Common Benefits of Terpenes
We know that terpenes help give your weed an extra kick, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Each compound’s effects are significant for medical patients, while some of these benefits appeal to recreational users as well.
Upon closer inspection, you’ll notice that terpenes all share some common roles, often overlapping. In other cases, you might have one highly stimulating terpene sharing a strain with a more soothing one. How this affects the overall experience depends on a variety of factors, such as THC/CBD levels and other terpenes.
That being said, let’s look at some of the common benefits.
The Entourage Effect
To better understand medical marijuana, it’s essential to know how terpenes and cannabinoids factor into the equation.
We can’t stress enough how vital the “Entourage Effect” is. If you don’t take advantage of this process, you’re depriving yourself of some serious medical benefits.
In the case of cannabis, the Entourage Effect is a synergistic relationship between cannabinoids and terpenes. When working together, these compounds help enhance the effects and benefits of cannabis. This is why it’s not the best choice to buy CBD isolate.
If you’re not using dry herb, make sure you opt for “full-spectrum” extracts. This means that the producer didn’t remove other terpenes or cannabinoids during processing.
With our CBD oil dose calculator, you can accurately determine how many drops to take with your full-spectrum oil.
The Entourage Effect doesn’t just apply to cannabis. It can happen between different terpenes, with or without cannabinoids. This is why there’s been a lot of attention on “whole-plant therapy” lately.
What About Recreational?
Unless you’re very particular about your experience, terpenes aren’t as critical as they are for medical users. Most recreational consumers value terpenes for their flavor. Others know about each terpene’s effects and use that knowledge to tailor their experiences.
Following legalization in Canada, licensed producers and online recreational cannabis retailers made it a point to list terpene content on their products. It’s pretty clear that more people understand and appreciate the value of terpenes.
Sources: https://www.fda.gov/newsevents/publichealthfocus/ucm484109.htm http://www.biologyreference.com/Re-Se/Secondary-Metabolites-in-Plants.html https://www.greenrelief.ca/blog/what-are-cannabis-terpenes/ https://strainprint.ca/news/terpenes-the-entourage-effect-whats-all-the-fuss/ https://greencamp.com/terpenes/ https://unitedpatientsgroup.com/blog/2014/09/16/top-5-terpenes-that-amplify-the-healing-power-of-cannabis https://www.fundacion-canna.es/en/terpenes https://www.leafly.ca/news/cannabis-101/terpenes-the-flavors-of-cannabis-aromatherapy https://www.greenentrepreneur.com/article/339066