Cannabis has an aroma that relaxes the mind and body. Whether it’s Pineapple Trainwreck’s sweet fruity flavor or the skunky odor that emanates from a fractured bud of Sour Diesel, we’re pretty sure there’s something magical going on behind those complex and flavorful bouquets.
What you smell is terpenes, and learning more about them will enhance your appreciation of cannabis.
What are cannabis terpenes?
Terpenes are aromatic oils produced by the same glands that create cannabinoids like THC and CBD, including pine, mint, strawberry, citrus, and berry.
The formation of terpenes in cannabis, like in other strong-smelling plants and flowers, began for defensive purposes: to repel predators and attract pollinators. There are a variety of elements that influence a plant’s production of terpenes, including climate, weather, age and maturation, fertilizers, soil type, and even the time of day.
Terpenes are chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant that give it its distinctive flavor and aroma. Terpenes have been identified in the cannabis plant in excess of 100 different types, with each variety favoring a distinct terpene type and composition. In other words, a strain like Cheese will typically have a recognizable cheese-like odor, while descendants of Blueberry are likely to possess the scent of berries.
The terpene content of cannabis plants is also highly variable. Terpenes are aromatic plant compounds that can be found in many plants, including chamomile and eucalyptus. In addition to their flavor-enhancing effects on food, these molecules may have powerful therapeutic properties. They’re commonly utilized in commercial foods as flavoring components or taste masks because of this versatility. However, the exact role they play in differentiating the impacts of distinct marijuana strains has yet to be determined.
Terpenes are organic chemicals that give cannabis and a range of other species, including plants, their aroma and taste. Terpenes modulate the effects of cannabis by interacting with cannabinoids and operating together with them. Cannabis trichomes manufacture terpenes, which are affected by both light spectrum and intensity.
Terpenes, in scientific terms, are “a large class of hydrocarbons formed from five-carbon isoprene units that are linked together to generate a wide range of skeletons.” These fundamental molecular “skeletons,” after being “acted upon by various enzymes to add functionality and altered oxidation,” result in the numerous physiological effects produced by terpenes.
More About Terpenes
Terpenes are aromatic molecules that give each cannabis cultivar its own unique scent. The pleasant aromas and tastes we enjoy when we consume cannabis are due to terpenes. Because each cannabis cultivar has a unique terpene composition, it has its own distinct aroma. These chemicals are hard at work delivering delicious citrus, diesel, woody, pine, skunky, coffee, spicy, herbal, or tropical tastes to your taste buds whether you smoke flower , dab concentrates , or vaporize either.
The Nose Knows
Cannabis flower has been recognized for a long time as having a distinctive fragrance. The most high-quality cannabis is often characterized by a pungent yet pleasant odour. Flowers with a powerful aroma are frequently referred to as having a “dank” or “loud” odor, implying the quality of the flower in general.
The aroma and taste of marijuana are subjective, and various aromas will be appealing to different people. High-quality cannabis has a variety of names for the scents it produces, including “skunky,” “diesely,” and “piney.” The term “grassy” is sometimes used to characterize a scent that indicates low-quality flower; however, this does not always imply poor quality. Terpenes may be found in any Cannabis plant, regardless of its strength or flavor.
So, in this sense, what does it signify for marijuana users? Basically, our bodies and brains have a natural bias toward a particular terpene profile.
Some people enjoy the scent of gasoline in their marijuana. Others prefer a fruity aroma. In any case, purchasing cannabis based on fragrance might help a user locate cultivars that match their requirements.
Other Terpene Sources and How They Compare to Cannabis
Terpenes are the most abundant components in essential oils, whichplay a significant role in plant regeneration, oxygenation, and immunity protection. Essential oils have been utilized for medicinal purposes for thousands of years and come from a variety of plants and foods.
Isolated caryophyllene from hops is identical to isolated caryophyllene from cannabis. However, there is a distinction between the other chemicals found in cannabis and those found in other plants. Additional study is required to determine exactly how cannabis terpenes compare with terpenes from alternative sources regarding the therapeutic effects of cannabis terpenes. Cannabis terpenes help other cannabis components achieve their intended results.
Where Are Terpenes Found on the Cannabis Plant?
You’ve undoubtedly noticed the little glandular hairs that cover the surface of the cannabis plant and give it a crystal-like sheen and adhesive feel. They’re known as trichomes, and they’re responsible for creating terpenes in cannabis. Trichomes are tiny, microscopic structures that contain resin glands that produce terpenes and cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), which transform to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), respectively, when decarboxylized. To put it another way, trichomes cover the entire plant’s surface and almost everything a user looks for in cannabis, including terpenes.
Terpenes vs. Terpenoids
The terms terpene and terpenoid have been interchanged as the popularity of these fragrant molecules in the cannabis business has risen. There is, however, a significant difference between the two.
Terpenes are hydrocarbons, which are compounds consisting of hydrogen and carbon. Terpenes are oxidized when cannabis is dried and cured, becoming terpenoids.
Why Does the Plant Produce Terpenes?
Terpenes are plant chemicals that help protect plants against herbivores, insects, and other external threats. They’re also involved in a plant’s recovery and ventilation. It seems natural that some terpenes act as immunological stimulators in humans. Both people who consume these fragrant compounds and the plants that produce them appear to benefit from terpenes providing immunity protection.
More than 200 terpenes have been identified in the cannabis plant, but the majority of them exist in such tiny amounts that testing laboratories are unable to detect them. So, why does the cannabis plant create them all?
Several factors contribute to terpene diversity, according to current studies. Terpene synthases (TPSs) – enzymes that build the terpene structure – may either produce a variety of terpenes from the same basic structure or provide pathways for the creation of totally new ones.
It’s also conceivable that future cannabis species will develop and diversify their defenses as a result of terpenes evolving as part of an adaptive reaction to changing natural predators. It’s also possible that the chemical distinctions we find in cannabis today are due to years of cultivation and selection for specific traits.