Let's Talk Terpenes
Aroma & Flavor
Terpenes are the organic compounds responsible for creating the unique aroma of each individual cannabis plant. Terpenes do more than determine the scent fingerprint, they also provide therapeutic benefits like their cannabinoid partners, THC and CBD.
Formed from the same shiny, resinous trichomes as cannabinoids, cannabis terpenes also bind to the same endocannabinoid receptors located throughout the brain and body. For example, depending upon which receptors they react with, different terpenes may help to induce sleep and relax muscles while others reduce stress and elevate mood, or reduce inflammation and increase energy.
When terpenes work together with cannabinoids, in a process known as the entourage effect, the therapeutic potentials increase dramatically. Terpenes can also modify how much of each cannabinoid is absorbed. This means the presence of certain terpenes can increase or decrease the amount of the psychoactive cannabinoid THC is absorbed, effectively controlling the potency. Consequently, a strain of medical cannabis with the perfect mix of terpenes and cannabinoids could be the equivalent of a hand tailored suit, designed to treat a particular disease or condition.
Terpenes are not unique to cannabis. They are produced by a variety of plants and insects including Hops - a common flavoring agent found in many beers.