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What are Terpenes?Terpenes are natural flavor molecules that give hemp strains their distinct personality, flavor and scent. They exist in all other fruits, veggies and botanicals and serve a biological function for survival. For instance, bugs cannot eat citronella grass because of its unpalatable oil created in part by its terpene profile. The terpenes in essential oils are utilized for aromatherapy because of the pleasant scents they emit.
Cannabis TerpenesHemp and marijuana plants naturally produce over 100 different terpenes. The same glands that secrete THC and CBD also secrete these aromatic compounds. Environmental and genetic factors, like soil and age, determine a plant's flavor profile. Today, terpenes challenge the old school thinking that cannabis effects are determined by whether it is an indica or sativa, though how and why this occurs is inconclusive. Terpenes may promote relaxation, focus, stress relief, or other results. Terpenes also support the entourage effect and enhance a hemp product's overall results.
Types of Cannabis TerpenesThe most abundant terpenes are myrcene, pinene, caryophyllene, limonene, and terpinolene, even though dozens of others exist.
- Myrcene is considered calming and exists in mango, lemongrass, and more.
- Limonene gives off a bright and citrusy flavor, like lemon. It’s found in citrus rinds and juniper and may serve as an anti-anxiety or stress-reliever.
- Caryophyllene is the only terpene that activates the endocannabinoid system. It is larger than other flavor molecules and may provide anti-inflammatory effects. Black pepper and cinnamon also contain caryophyllene.
- Terpinolene exists in lilac, nutmeg, apples, and cumin and is considered an uplifting terpene.
- Pinene is the most common terpene in nature and is prominent in pine needles, basil, dill, and other herbs. People often prefer pinene for pain and anxiety purposes.