New users of medical marijuana products may wonder, what are marijuana terpenes? It can be quite confusing. Some products and strains list their terpene profile, but what does it all mean? Let’s explore terpenes, and why they matter.
What are Marijuana Terpenes?
Terpenes are fragrant oils. A large variety of plants and some insects have terpenes. The flower’s sticky resin glands secrete these oils. The same glands also manufacture CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids. The terpenes give the plant a specific smell.
The terpenes found in marijuana can also be found in other plants. For instance, Pinene is also found in pine needles, sage, and conifers. If you sniff a strain and think of piney woods, chances are it has the terpene Pinene in it.
More than Smell
Individual terpenes have effects and medicinal benefits. Some terpenes are calming and combat stress. Others can suppress appetite and sharpen alertness. Some are anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial.
Terpenes are an important part of the entourage effect. Different strains have different cannabinoid profiles, but they also have different terpene profiles. Understanding terpenes can help you choose the product that is best for you.
A Few Common Terpenes
These are a few of the more common terpenes found in marijuana. (A more comprehensive guide to individual terpenes is forthcoming.)
This terpene has a very musky, earthy smell, with a hint of fruit. It’s highly sedative. Myrcene, in high concentrations, can produce the “couch-lock” effect. It’s also found in citrus fruits, lemongrass, bay leaves, hops, and mangoes (among others.) It reduces the resistance between the blood to brain barrier. Thus, Myrcene enhances the effects of THC. It’s anti-bacterial, antiseptic, anti-fungal, and fights inflammation.
This terpene has a strong lemony citrus smell. It’s a mood lifter that allows for easy skin penetration. That makes this terpene ideal for cannabis infused balms, ointments, and creams. It’s found in the rinds of citrus fruits (the zest), juniper, rosemary, and peppermint. It’s known to suppress bacteria and fungi. It is the primary ingredient in lemon cleaners. It’s easily absorbed through inhalation and hits the bloodstream. It’s currently being studied as a breast cancer treatment and may be helpful with weight loss.
This terpene has a spicy, floral smell with a touch of citrus. It’s found in lavender, rosewood, birch, and cinnamon, among others. It’s been used for centuries as a sleep aid as it promotes relaxation and has calming effects. It boosts the immune system and has been shown to restore cognitive function. It’s being studied in conjunction with liver cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Caryophyllene is the only terpene known to interact with endocannabinoid receptors. It smells woody and spicy. It’s found in other plants like basil, cloves, cinnamon, and hops. When combined with CBD, it can provide relief to those who suffer from chronic pain. It shows promise in preventing nephrotoxicity (poisonous effects on the kidneys). That’s how it aids in chemotherapy treatment.
This terpene is another with a deep earthy, woody smell. It’s found in hops, coriander, and sativa strains. A traditional Chinese medicine, it acts as an appetite suppressant. It is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor. The anti-inflammatory properties combine with pain relief properties. This makes it popular with medicinal users.
Marijuana Terpenes- Part of the Entourage Effect
We have a lot to learn about terpenes and their benefits. They are an important part of the entourage effect. Do you have a medical marijuana product with a terpene profile that you like? We’d love to hear about it, so drop us a comment down below.