The Importance of Terpenes
There have been over 200 different terpenes identified in the cannabis plant alone, and upwards of 30,000 terpenes have been discovered in nature –so far. It is no wonder why people have always been drawn to the natural use of fragrant oils, and the therapeutic properties of terpenes for the relief of a variety of ailments.
The various terpenes that are found in a cannabis plant can be a major distinction between the different strains, as well as how consuming that strain of cannabis will make you feel. This is powerful information for the cannabis community, especially when realizing that the cannabis flower may loose up to 90% of its’ terpenes during the drying process. Therefore, protecting these powerhouses of aroma, flavor and effect is critical to maximize our experience when using cannabis therapeutically or on their own. Terpenes and the aroma they provide tell a tale of the freshness of the cannabis
- Fresh Cannabis is Best (but not too fresh!)
It is a fine balance between curing the cannabis, to break down the chlorophyll and allow the true scents and flavours of the cannabis plant to come out, and over-drying the cannabis, which leads to evaporation and degradation of terpenes. Because of this, slowly drying the cannabis over a period of a few days/weeks is preferred over a flash drying method. Ensuring the proper relative humidity is critical to maintaining the maximum terpene content.
Frequently, the longer the cannabis ages, the lower the terpene content will be. Therefore, when selecting cannabis, it is important to check the following:
- Packaged date
- Terpene profile
- Scent of cannabis (if possible)
- Drying or curing process used
- Glass over Plastic
Plastic is a real terpene killer, and unfortunately much of the packaging used in the current cannabis industry is not doing your terpene profile any favours. Plastics degrade the terpenes and cannabinoids, so it’s best to avoid this packaging when possible. However, if you can’t avoid it entirely, it is best to transfer your flower into a glass container as soon as you can.
- Keep it Airtight
Terpenes are volatile organic compounds and tend to evaporate if left out in the environment, or in unsealed containers. For any connoisseur, it is always worth having some airtight glass jars to hold your prized strains. This ensures the quality of the product remains the same as they day you bought it.
- Keep Strains Separate
Mixing cannabis strains in the same jar will result in a terpene swap party. If your desired effect is a Frankenstein bud creation –be our guest. But for those who want to keep their bud top tier caliber, it’s best to keep these buds with their own strain mates.
- Keep it Clean
For those who love accessories and high-quality bud, it is important for your cannabis experience, to keep your glass clean. Often, the number one terpene killer is burnt on resin, it overpowers the subtle tastes of limonene and the floral linalool scents. You wouldn’t not shower for a month, throw some cologne on and expect to smell great, would you?
- Keep it Dark and Cool
Terpenes are delicate and break down in response to light and heat. Therefore, to give these terps the respect they deserve, it’s best to store your terpenes in a cool dark place, until they are ready for your to enjoy.
- Grind your Terps
We may be getting a little nitpicky with this one, but we are passionate about terpenes. To unlock the full power of the terpenes, it’s important to grind your cannabis well. This ensures airflow and heat is evenly distributed, to maximize the terpenes you get with each hit.
- Ditch the Bic
As we look at optimizing the terpenes within our cannabis experience, we recommend using a vaporizer when possible. This ensures to maximize the amount of taste, flavour and effects. However, if this isn’t your jam –we recommend using hemp wicks when possible, to prevent your hit from getting clouded with butane.
- Infuse Terpenes
When all else fails – You can infuse terpenes back into your dried cannabis buds. Just as you rehydrate dried buds, you can reinvigorate your cannabis by infusing fresh terpenes
- Always Respect the Terps
Finally – Always Respect Terpenes and do your best to preserves these to boost your experience.