If you are reading this article, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about when it comes to terpenes. After all, it’s not like they’re a new discovery; these aromatic molecules have been around for centuries. So, what is all the excitement about?
To put it simply, terpenes are what give things their signature scent and flavour. While they might not be the primary active ingredient in cannabis, they play a significant role in how the plant affects us.
In this article, we will dive into some frequent questions about terpenes. We will discuss what they are, what they do, and how they interact with the cannabis plant.
What Are Terpenes?
If you have ever wondered why certain flowers smell sweet while others have a more pungent aroma, you can thank the terpenes. These organic molecules are responsible for the characteristic scent of many plants and trees, including cannabis.
Additionally, terpenes play a role in the so-called “entourage effect” of cannabis. This theory suggests that the various cannabinoids, terpenes, and other molecules produced by the trichomes of cannabis work together to produce unique effects and benefits.
Basically, terpenes are what give plants, including cannabis, their distinctive smell and flavour. They also play an essential role in how cannabis and other plants affect us.
What Are the Health Effects and Benefits of Terpenes?
With over 400 different terpenes identified in the cannabis plant alone, it’s no surprise that there is a lot of interest in their potential health effects and benefits.
Here are some of the most common terpenes you can expect to see, and their potential health effects and benefits:
- Linalool: this terpene has a floral aroma and is often used in aromatherapy. Research suggests that linalool may offer soothing, mood-enhancing effects
- Pinene: as the name implies, this terpene has a pine-like aroma. Pinene is thought to improve alertness and memory retention
- Myrcene: has a musky, earthy scent and is thought to be one of the most abundant terpenes in cannabis. Research suggests that myrcene may offer sedative and pain-relieving effects
- Limonene: this citrusy terpene is abundant in cannabis and is believed to improve mood and relieve stress
- Caryophyllene: has a spicy, peppery aroma and is thought to offer anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects
- Humulene: has a woody, earthy aroma. It is thought to have appetite-suppressing effects and anti-bacterial properties
With such diversity in both scent and potential effects, terpenes may offer a wide range of benefits. However, keep in mind that research on terpenes is still in its preliminary stages, and many uses have yet to be discovered.
Can You Spray Terpenes on Cannabis?
Although we do not recommend this approach, you can technically spray terpenes on cannabis, however your results may vary. This method has started to become more common in recreational cannabis as it allows companies to boost the taste, flavour and effect of their products. However, when liquid terpenes are used to “enhance” the cannabis plant in this way, they can leave an oily residue and a localized area of excess moisture that can breed bacteria and mould.
Additionally, spraying terpenes on cannabis can alter how the plant burns, which can cause a less than desirable smoking experience.
If you’re looking to add terpenes to your cannabis, we recommend opting for a product that is already designed to enhance dried cannabis, terpene infusion pearls. These BudBooster pearls have a patent pending and are designed to improve not only the flavour but also the scent and effects of your cannabis as well.
To use, simply add the pearl(s) to your dried cannabis and allow to infuse for up to 24 hours. Once they have had a chance to infuse your buds with terpenes, you can enjoy your cannabis as usual. The pearls can then be sealed in their container for later or reused on new batches of dried cannabis. The key here is to keep everything as airtight as possible, before, during, and after the infusion, to help prevent the terpenes from evaporating.
Can Terpenes Be Used for Aromatherapy?
Absolutely! In fact, most essential oils that are used in aromatherapy are made up almost entirely of terpenes.
For example, lavender essential oils are a popular choice for relaxation and sleep. When further refining these oils, you can extract one of the primary active terpenes that is responsible for these soothing effects, linalool.
Terpenes are often referred to as “aromatherapy on steroids” due to the potency and purity of the compounds. Since they are so potent and have so many natural benefits, powerful blends like our terpene therapy line harness this therapeutic power.
Are Terpenes Food Grade and Can They Be Used in Edibles?
Although all our terpenes are food grade, that is not the case for all terpenes on the market. So, if you’re looking to use terpenes in edibles, we recommend doing your research to ensure you are using a product that is both food grade and safe for consumption.
When it comes to using terpenes in edibles and tinctures, you can easily add food-grade terpenes to carrier oils like MCT oil or coconut oil. You can also use them to add some flair to your favourite recipes and cocktails.
Just remember, a little goes a long way as terpenes are very potent. We suggest using 1% in the total product. It is extremely important to do your research, as well as to properly dilute your terpenes before consuming them.
What is the Difference Between Terpenes and Terpenoids?
Terpenes and terpenoids belong to a diverse natural class with over 30,000 members. As such, they exist not only in plants but also in microorganisms and animals at more complex levels.
The terms terpene and terpenoid are often used interchangeably, but there is a slight difference between the two. All terpenes are organic compounds that consist of isoprene units (the carbon backbone of the terpene). Each terpene contains a variable number of isoprene units which provide their unique scent, flavour and effects.
The key difference between the two is that terpenes are hydrocarbons, which means they are made up of only carbon and hydrogen atoms. On the other hand, terpenoids are modified terpenes that have undergone a process of oxidation which changes their molecular structure. Terpenoids therefore are secondary metabolites that are derived by terpenes and have multiple cyclic groups and oxygen.
Do Terpenes Get You High?
As far as we know, terpenes don’t get you high. However, they can affect your mood and how you feel. This is because each terpene has unique therapeutic properties, they can be used on their own, or can interact with the cannabinoids in cannabis to produce specific effects.
Although they won’t make you feel “high,” terpenes may help you feel more energized, relaxed, happy, or even sleepy.
Additionally, research into terpenes is still developing, and there is a possibility that we may find that some terpenes do have psychoactive properties. However, this has yet to be proven.
At CannTerp, we are passionate about terpenes and the role they play within your consumption experience. We offer a variety of naturally derived liquid terpene products, including strain specific terpene blends, terpene isolates and terpene infusions, that can be used to create unique cannabis products by tailoring your desired terpene profile. CannTerp is your top supplier of premium terpenes in Canada, within driving distance from Toronto. We are very proud to have been voted AdCann's 2021 Accessory Brand of the Year.
Visit our product selection today to learn more about how you can harness the power of terpenes.