Terpenes: The Aromatherapy Flavors of Cannabis
When it comes to the aroma of cannabis, there is something soothing to the mind and body. Whether it is that skunky smell that comes from a cracked Sour Diesel bud, Watermelon OG, Strawberry Ak or that fruity sweet taste of the Pineapple Express, we know that under their flavorful and complex bouquets, there is something going on. What you smell are terpenes, and you will have a deeper appreciation for cannabis whether you are a recreational consumer or medical patient when you know what they are.
Terpenes are secreted in the same glands which produce cannabinoids which as CBD and THC, they are pungent of color cannabis types with flavors that are distinctive such as berry, pine, citrus, and mint. The development of terpenes from cannabis, much like any other strong smelling flower or plant, started for adaptive purposes; to lure pollinators and repel predators. The development of the plant´s terpenes are influenced by many factors; these include age, weather, climate, soil type, maturation fertilizers and even the time of day.
When it comes to the cannabis plant, more than one hundred various terpenes have been identified, and a unique terpene composition and type is found in every strain. On other words, a Cheese strain and its descendants will probably have a distinctive cheese like smell, and the offspring of Blueberry will smell like berries.
The varied palate associated with cannabis flavors is already impressive in itself, however arguably the most riveting characteristic of terpenes is how they are synergistically able to interact with other compounds found in the plant, such as cannabinoids. Over the last few deceased, most varieties of cannabis have been bred to have high THC levels; other types of cannabinoid such as CBD have been made to be mere trace amounts. This has caused many to believe that a key role will be played by terpenes in differentiating the various strands of cannabis.
THC binds to receptors of cannabinoids that are heavily concentrated in the brain where the production of psychoactive effects takes place. There are also terpenes who bind to these receptor sites, therefore, affecting their chemical output. Others can modify the amount of THC that goes through the blood-brain barrier. Their amount of influence can even reach neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine by altering their rate of destruction and production, the movement as well as the availability of the receptors.
The effects produced by these mechanisms vary from one terpene to the next; some promote acuity and focus, while others are very successful at relieving stress. For example, limonene elevates the mood and myrcene induce sleep. There are also imperceptible effects, such as caryophyllene´s gastroprotective properties.
Although the differences may be subtle, great depth can be added to the connoisseurship and horticultural art of cannabis. Most importantly, however, the additional medical value can be offered nu terpenes as they mediate the interaction our body has with therapeutic cannabis. Many analysis labs for cannabis are now testing the content of terpene so that consumers can have a better idea of the effects that their strain may produce. Terpenes have an unlimited amount of synergistic effect combinations, meaning that they will probably open up new medical and scientific terrains for the research of cannabis.