What are Terpenes?
There are as many as 200 terpenes found in cannabis alone. That is a lot for a single person to remember, right? Well, I’m here to break it down for you. Recently I dove deep into this new podcast called Cannabis Nation; Susan and Professor Potnick detail educational cannabis news from around the nation. I specifically gave Episode 11: Terpene Train a listen and learned some interesting facts about terpenes that you probably need to know.
To start, terpenes are chemical compounds found most plants and some insects that help protect them from predators. The 6 most common terpenes you’ll find in cannabis are Pinene, Limonene, Humulene, Myrcene, Linalool and Beta-Caryophyllene.
Pinene is found commonly in pine trees, rosemary, and dill. The strong pine aroma creates a euphoric and alert high when in cannabis. Professor Potnick mentions that cannabis with Pinene in it, acts as a bronchodilator. Meaning it expands the capillaries in your lungs allowing you to absorb more oxygen, helping you breathe better! Not so much if you’re smoking cannabis, but a tincture high in Pinene might do the trick.
Limonene has a citrus or lemon aroma, common in citrus rinds. It gives anti-anxiety effects; And if you know Susan, she probably has told you at one point her anecdote that if you get too high, just drink, or eat something with Limonene in it (like lemon juice), and it can calm you down.
The next terpene mentioned is Humulene. It has an earthy and sort of spicy smell and taste to it. Most common in Basil, hops and cloves. In cannabis, Humulene has hunger suppressant effects which helps for those who tend to get the munchies often. Strains that carry this terpene are White Widow, GSC, Headband.
They shared that White Widow was originally bred for people who experience anxiety and helps calm people down. Susan personally tries to stay away from White Widow because induces anxiousness for her. This kind of explains how people’s body and brain chemistry differ from person to person. What might work for one person might not work for you.
Myrcene is next up on the terpene list. It has a spicy, peppery, and herbal taste to it. You can find it most commonly in Hops, Bay leaves, Mangoes, Lemon Grass, and Basil to name a few. Cannabis high in Myrcene gives you a relaxing high and can help in absorption of other cannabinoids! We currently carry tinctures from Fairwinds that have Myrcene in them to help your body take advantage of the other cannabinoids available.
Linalool is another very common terpene. This has a sweet, floral scent and taste to it. You can find it in lavender, mint, and birch trees. When used in cannabis, you get a nice sedative chill high. Also, can have an anti-spastic effect that can help those who need it. Linalool is frequently found in strains such as Lavender, G-13, and LA Confidential. Some other uses for Linalool are pain relief, mosquito repellent, and perfumes as well.
Our final terpene of the discussion is Beta-Caryophyllene. Closely related to Humulene, Beta-Caryophyllene has an earthy and spicy fragrance. Also prevalent in hops, black pepper, and rosemary. Cannabis containing Beta-Caryophyllene acts as a CB-2 receptor binder. Meaning it binds itself to the endocannabinoid system that you naturally have. CB-2 receptors play a huge part in your immune system, making sure it runs properly.
A few strains you should try when looking for Beta-Caryophyllene are GSC, Chem Dawg, and Bubba Kush.
With all that said, terpenes play a huge role in the weed you’re smoking. From smells to flavors, and even effects like relaxation; terpenes are found everywhere in the world around you.