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What Are Terpenes?

Have you ever wondered why cannabis carries an aroma? The culprits for this are a class of chemical compounds, known as terpenes. And there’s more to terpenes than meets the nose! These aromatic chemical compounds actually carry an abundance of surprising therapeutic properties for everyday wellbeing.

Some people even say that terpenes are the best-kept secret of cannabis. In this article, we are going to explore the science behind terpenes.

When it comes to learning about cannabis, terpenes are simply too important to ignore. Terpenes are a game-changing component for cannabis-derived products on the pharmaceutical market. Let’s dive straight in!

What are Terpenes?

Terpenes are a diverse class of organic chemical compounds, produced by a wide range of different plants, including cannabis. They often present a pungent odour to firstly protect themselves from being eaten by herbivores, and secondly attract pollinators.

Over 100 different terpenes have been identified in the cannabis plant, and each cannabis strain usually produces several terpenes, each with their own unique aromas. Depending on the strain, certain types of terpenes can have a larger presence than others. For instance, some strains may contain more myrcene than limonene. Sativa and Indica strains can often have different ratios of terpenes.

Can terpenes get you high?

Terpenes cannot get you high. Unlike other chemical compounds in cannabis, such as the cannabinoid THC, terpenes by themselves do not get you 'high'. It is, however, important to remember that terpenes are a class of many different chemical compounds. This means that certain terpenes can offer different effects. Some may provide you with feelings of relaxation, whilst others can make you feel energized.

What is the difference between cannabinoids and terpenes?

Cannabinoids and terpenes are two groups of chemical compounds that can be found in cannabis plants. When you look at their chemical structures, terpenes are actually quite similar to cannabinoids. Alongside being aromatic, terpenes can help to amplify the effects of cannabinoids like CBD when consumed together.

What is the entourage effect?

Cannabinoids and terpenes can work together to produce something called the “entourage effect”. Rather than benefiting from just a small collection of compounds, you can receive the therapeutic benefits of many different compounds from within the cannabis plant working synergistically together at once. Terpenes have the ability to increase and intensify the positive effects of the cannabinoids.

How do terpenes smell?

From pineapple express to lemon haze, cannabis strains may carry a variety of rather attractive and exciting aromas. The aroma output can be significantly altered by the ratio of terpene types present in particular strains. For this reason, it is common for there to be contrasting aromas from strain to strain. It’s actually incredibly rare to find two strains of cannabis with an identical aroma.

What are the most common terpenes?

Myrcene is regarded as the most common terpenes to be found in cannabis. This terpene can give the cannabis plant a soil-like clove aroma and is also found in fruits and plants like lemongrass and mango. Myrcene also has the ability to enhance the effects of other terpenes and cannabinoids in the body.

In recent years, there have been some studies into the potential anti-inflammatory properties of this terpene. In a 2018 study, it was found that Myrcene does have some anti-inflammatory properties that could have the potential to provide therapeutic relief for those that are suffering from chronic pain.

Alongside myrcene, limonene is also a very common terpene that can be found in many strains of cannabis. This aromatic compound is a primary element in the oil of citrus fruit peels. Who doesn’t love the smell of citrus fruit? Limonene comes with a delightful lemon-orange aroma, which is often used as a flavouring agent in food manufacturing.

Chewy, orange and lemon flavoured sweets often contain limonene to modify and enhance the flavours that get lost through food processing. A study found that limonene potentially has antimicrobial properties. This means that it has the potential to kill microorganisms and stop their growth.

Pinene is another common terpene and you will almost certainly recognise when you smell it. This is the very distinct scent that can be found in pine resins, conifers, rosemary, basil and also cannabis. When inhaled in small amounts, pinene has been found to be a bronchodilator, decreasing resistance in the respiratory airway and increasing airflow to the lungs.

Why does cannabis smell different in the morning?

Did you know that cannabis has a tendency to present a strong aroma in the mornings? This is as a result of the terpenes in the plant. Terpenes can evaporate at high temperatures with the morning light vaporising the plant.

What terpenes are in Hiatus vape pens?

Our bespoke formulations have been created with specific terpenes to match each need state of Hiatus vape pen. The primary terpenes in each are listed below:

Final thoughts on Terpenes

With an increasing interest in the science behind cannabis, clinical studies on terpenes are continuing. As the findings continue to unfold, we believe that the true potential of terpenes is still yet to be uncovered. However, until that time, one thing is for sure: there is no doubt that terpenes play a vital role in enhancing the therapeutic benefits of cannabis products.