If you’ve ever taken a hit of your favorite strain and wondered why it smells and tastes like oranges or strawberries, then you are already familiar with terpenes. Terpenes are a type of oil that is secreted by glands within the cannabis plant. They are responsible for the rich aromas and various flavors you taste when you smoke or vape cannabis. Those terpenes are not exclusive to cannabis, in fact, they can be found in nearly all plants, trees, and fruits and vegetables. Cannabis shares many of its terpenes with some of our favorite kitchen items, which is why your stash tastes so delectable. Here are just a few of the common terpenes found in cannabis and how they help improve your experience.
Limonene – Limonene, if you couldn’t guess, is responsible for the heavy citrus flavor found in many strains. It is also considered to add a soothing and relaxing feeling to your buzz. Limonene is also found in the rind of citrus fruit, peppermint and a wide variety of flowers. It is found in strains like Agent Orange or Tangerine Diesel.
Myrcene – Responsible for the musky and herbal smell and flavor possessed by many strains, myrcene is one of the more common terpenes found in cannabis. Myrcene is found to contribute a ‘couch lock’ effect to your buzz, and is thought to work as a pain reliever. Mycrene also aids in helping THC cross the blood-brain barrier, and for this reason strains higher in Myrcene can induce a strong THC buzz. Those prone to anxiety attacks should avoid strains higher in Myrcene. Myrcene is also found most prevalently in fresh mangoes and lemongrass.
Pinene – Pinene again has a name that is pretty indicative of its flavor contribution. Pinene is the cause of the heavy pine aroma not only in certain strains of cannabis, but in, you guessed it, pine trees. The incredible aromas found in your piney strains of weed are the same as those wafting through the dense forests. Pinene has shown to help improve with the symptoms of Asthma, as it is a natural bronchiodialator and believe it or not adds to alertness and memory retention.
Linalool – With its floral and citrus scents, Linalool is commonly found in Lavender flowers. Despite its unusual name, it is a common terpene but typically only found in tiny amounts. Linalool is thought to benefit those with anxiety and depression issues.
Caryophyllene – Most commonly found in black pepper and cloves, Caryophyllene has a spicy and peppery scent. It’s power lies in its effects on our gastrointestinal tract. It’s thought to be a powerful anti-inflammatory particularly for those disorders that centre around the stomach.
Humulene – This terpene naturally occurs in many plants such as hops and basil. It has a very subtle aroma, but it’s often described as woody and herbal. Humulene brings along the potential of offering effects such as being an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and also helps to suppress the appetite.
Cory Hughes is a former police officer turned cannabis cultivator and writer. After years of being on the wrong side of the law, Cory decided to hang up his badge and gun and move into an industry that truly has the potential of bringing people together. He has been an active part of the Colorado cannabis culture and has worked as a horticulturist in dozens of licensed grow operations. Cory now looks to share his knowledge of cultivation and horticulture with the world.