Cannabasics: What’s The Buzz About Terpenes?

Posted in: Cannabasics | Posted on: October 9, 2018

Terpenes are an important part of your cannabis journey. They are the essential oils that give cannabis strains unique flavours, smells and contribute to the effects you feel.

When consumed, cannabinoids and terpenes work together to help enhance the overall effects of cannabis – this is referred to as the entourage effect.

A quick sidebar for cannabis newbies: The entourage effect is a concept that the plant’s individual benefits magnify and expand each other, so that the impact of the whole plant is greater than the sum of its parts. Simply, they work better together then alone.

Much like in aromatherapy, terpenes can make us feel lively or sleepy depending on which ones are present, and at what ratio. Some terpenes bind to the same cannabinoid receptor sites as THC and affect these receptors’ chemical output. Others can enhance how much THC passes through the blood-brain barrier. Understanding which terpenes are present in a strain of cannabis you want to consume will help you navigate and determine the effects to expect.

Over 200 terpenes have been recognized in cannabis, but here are the frequent flyers you should know about:

  • Caryophellene – no visible physical effects, but may have some therapeutic effects*
    • Smells like: Pepper, spicy, woody, cloves
    • Find it in: Pepper, cloves, hops, basil, and oregano
  • Limonene – Elevated mood and stress relief
    • Smells like: Citrus
    • Find it in: Fruit rinds, rosemary, juniper and peppermint
  • Linalool – Anxiety relief and sedation
    • Smells like: Floral, citrus, candy
    • Find it in: Lavender, citrus, birch, laurel and rosewood
  • Mycrene – Sedating, full body decompression
    • Smells like: Musky, cloves, earthy, herbal but with notes of citrus and tropical fruits
    • Find it in: Mango, lemongrass, thyme, hops
  • Pinene – Alertness, memory retention, found to counteract some THC effects
    • Smells like: Pine
    • Find it in: Pine needles, rosemary, basil, parsley, dill

So you can imagine, a cannabis strain with a high terpene profile of mycrene or linalool would likely produce effects related to feeling sleepy, relaxed, and decompressed.

Knowing if a strain is indica or sativa is only a small piece of the puzzle. Understanding the THC, CBD and Terpene profiles and ratios, as well as your personal tolerance of THC will help you better navigate cannabis and assist you in finding strains that produce an experience you desire.

Our RARE experience guides are here to help you find a strain that’s perfect for you. We believe that knowing the differences between the strains of cannabis can help gauge your expectations when consuming cannabis leading to a better, more informed experience.

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* If you would like to learn more about the therapeutic effects of cannabis, please speak with a medical doctor.