What are Cannabis Derived terpenes?
You already know what terpenes are because you’ve experienced them all your life. Simply put, terpenes are what gives an orange its citrusy smell. They give pine trees their unique aroma. They’re even responsible for the relaxing effects in lavender. They are chemicals that determine how things smell.
But wait. You thought that cannabinoids were the compounds in the cannabis plant that caused healing, right? Yes, but terpenes play a big role in that as well. In fact, cannabinoids and terpenes work together in something called the entourage effect.
The entourage effect happens when cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, hundreds of other compounds, and terpenes work together. It’s the whole plant that does the best job, not just a single compound. While relief does come from using a CBD oil or a THC oil, whole plant therapy has been the most common use. Utilizing all the compounds and terpenes in the plant may just be the best way after all.
Terpenes can intensify or downplay the effects of the cannabinoids. Have you ever noticed how two similar strains can produce profoundly different effects? One may leave you with couch lock and the other may energize you? The aspect of the entourage effect driven by both cannabinoids and terpenes.
Other Terpene Sources and How They Compare to Cannabis
Terpenes are the primary components of essential oils — aromatics responsible for a plant’s regeneration, oxygenation, and immunity defense. Essential oils have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, and extracted from a variety of plants and foods.
There’s no recognizable difference, for example, between isolated caryophyllene from hops or from cannabis. However, there’s difference between the other compounds at play in cannabis compared with other plants. Further research needed to know exactly how the remedial effects of cannabis terpenes compare with terpenes from other sources. What we have discovered is that cannabis terpenes support other cannabis molecules in producing desired effects.
Where Are Terpenes Found on the Cannabis Plant?
You’ve probably noticed the tiny glandular hairs that cover the surface cannabis plant, giving it a crystal-like sheen and sticky feel. They call them trichomes, and they’re responsible for terpene production in cannabis. Trichomes contain resin glands that make terpenes and cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), which turn into tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), respectively, when decarboxylated. In other words, almost everything a user wants from cannabis, including terpenes, are found in trichomes all over the plant’s surface.