You’ve probably heard about marijuana’s most famous components, THC and CBD, but did you know that hundreds of additional compounds work hand-in-hand with those cannabinoids to produce a cannabis high?
In this section of Cannabis University, we’ll take a look at what makes marijuana taste, smell, and hit the way it does.
Terpenes determine a strain’s flavor and aroma, but they also combine with cannabinoids to change what your high feels like. Rather than just looking at THC and CBD percentages, you can learn a lot about how a strain will affect you by digging into its unique terpene profile.
Terpenes — the hydrocarbons found in all essential oils – are responsible for the distinctive smells and flavors of nearly every plant. Even if you’ve never smoked weed, you’ve encountered terpenes in the form of Limonene in lemons, b-Pinene in pine trees, and Ocimene in mint and basil, just to name a few.
But these compounds also work directly with cannabinoids like THC and CBD to unlock and enhance each strain’s unique effects and medicinal benefits.
Although consumers have historically looked to THC as the end-all indicator of a strain’s quality and potency, we now know that cannabis is characterized by a complex blend of cannabinoids and terpenes working in harmony. When they’re consumed together, they deliver more robust and well-rounded effects that result in a product with a robust flavor profile and a more enjoyable high. This miraculous partnership is known as the “entourage effect.”
So how do we make sure our flower is bursting with terpenes? It’s been proven that the best terpene profiles are developed by growing cannabis in the full spectrum of sunlight. Botanists understand that specific wavelengths are responsible for increasing the density of terpene-rich glandular trichomes, which in turn enhance the final plant’s terpene concentration. So try as they might, indoor cultivators will never be able to replicate the superiority of a sun-powered crop.
At Maggie’s Farm, we only cultivate our flower in natural sunlight out in the open air. This results in our final product having a richer and more reliable terpene profile than any other brand or product. Try any of our strains and experience the difference for yourself!
Below are some of the most common terpenes that power your favorite strains:
The most common terpene found in nature, a-Pinene is responsible for the distinctive pine scents, and it lends a hand in some of our favorite energizing strains.
Known for its distinctive peppery, spicy scent, Caryophyllene is prevalent in strains that are said to provide stress and anxiety relief as well as providing potential anti-inflammatory benefits.
Though closely related to a-Pinene, this terpene stands apart as a mental stimulant, countering the short-term memory loss associated with THC and invigorating the mind to new levels. Unsurprisingly, it’s found mostly in sativa-dominant cannabis strains, as well as sharply fragrant plants like eucalyptus, basil, parsley, and (of course) pine trees.
Camphene is known for its pungent smell, and is found in conifers, nutmeg, and sage. It is most commonly used as a fragrance and flavoring additive. It is said to have potential therapeutic properties with antiviral , antimicrobial, and pain-relieving effects.
Ocimene can be found in common household herbs like mint, parsley, and basil, and lends a sweet, woodsy smell to cannabis strains. Ocimene has potential antiviral, antibacterial benefits, and is oftentimes found in uplifting strains.
Humulene is prevalent in ginger, ginseng, and hops, and has been used for centuries in holistic medicine. It contributes a woody, earthy scent, and can be an effective anti-inflammatory and appetite suppressant.
Found in orange and lemon rind, Limonene might be the most recognizable of the terpenes. Strains high in Limonene tend to be energizing, yet offer stress relief, and not surprisingly have a citrus or fruity scent.
The soothing characteristics of Linalool, which is also found in lavender, make it one of the most widely used substances to help reduce stress. Strains testing high in Linalool will oftentimes have a floral scent with spicy undertones.
Myrcene or B-Myrcene is a significant component of the essential oil in several plants, including lemon grass, mango, and hops. Expect strains high in myrcene to have an earthy, peppery scent, and a calming or relaxing personality.
Prevalent in lilacs, nutmeg, and apples, Terpinolene can provide a variety of scents and flavors, from sweet to floral. Potential benefits include antioxidant, and antifungal, and this terpene tends to be found at higher levels in strains associated with calm and relaxing personalities.