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6 Cannabis Terpenes You Should Know About

Terpenes are fragrant oils found in the cannabis plant’s buds and flowers, and they are responsible for creating various distinct cannabis varieties based on particular scents, aromas, or flavors. However, more than that, each type is also believed to possess particular medicinal properties, so users go for certain terpenes that produce a desired therapeutic effect.

Terpenes are not exclusive to marijuana plants, though; they are a naturally occurring substance that is actually found in many other plants, fruits, and herbs. Because inhaling the various scents and flavors of cannabis is such an integral part of using the herb, terpenes have become a convenient and popular way by which various strains of marijuana are labeled and categorized.

Chemical Composition of Cannabis

Terpenes comprise the complex chemical composition of cannabis or marijuana, along with cannabinoids — the substances primarily responsible for the profound effects of the plant on the human body. Cannabinoids from plants such as marijuana enhance the natural endocannaboid system of the body, which controls many physiological functions and conditions such as mood, memory, and pain.

There are more than a hundred cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, but two are of particular interest for human consumption— these are THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, and CBD or cannabidiol. THC is the one responsible for the famous “high” that smoking marijuana brings, while CBD is known its curative properties.

Similarly, there are hundreds of types of terpenes found in marijuana plants. Just like cannabinoids, they also act on the human central nervous system by binding to receptors in the brain. Newbie cannabis users typically aren’t particularly concerned with terpenes, but seasoned herb consumers may prefer certain strains because how the terpenes affect their cannabis experience. Finding the right cannabis variety is mostly trial and error, and you will surely find the right terpene that is most beneficial for you.

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Top Six Terpenes

For starters, you might want to acquaint yourself with the following varieties of marijuana based on top terpenes preferred by current users and connoisseurs:

  1. Myrcene
    Myrcene emits an aroma classified as musk, clove, herbal, and citrus. This terpene is also found in mangoes, thyme, lemongrass, and bay leaves. It purportedly brings sedating and relaxing effects, and is used for its antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Myrcene also enhances the psychoactive effect of THC.
  2. Caryophyllene
    Caryophyllene’s aroma is perceived as peppery, woody, and spicy. It is actually also found in herbs such as basil and oregano, and in fresh pepper cloves and hops. It has not been observed to have profound physiological effects, but possesses anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, it is recommended for those who suffer from muscle pain and spasms, as well as insomnia.
     
  3. Linalool
    This terpene’s aroma is mostly floral, citrusy, and spicy. It has a sedating and calming effect. Not surprisingly, linalool is also found in plants and herbs such as lavender, laurel, birch, and rosewood. It is good for addressing insomnia, depression, stress, and anxiety. It can also help relieve physical conditions such as pain and convulsions.
     
  4. Pinene
    As the name implies, this terpene’s aroma is akin to pine’s naturally sharp and sweet smell. It is also found in actual pine trees, cones, and needles. It has been observed to have positive effects on memory, alertness, and comprehension. In terms of physical ailments, it can help relieve respiratory diseases such as asthma and other types of inflammation.
  5. Humulene
    Humulene is a woody and earthy terpene that is also found in hops and coriander. It helps suppress appetite, and is thus sought after by those seeking to lose and control weight. It also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, and can be used to relieve pain.
     
  6. Limonene
    Limonene is another popular terpene because its citrusy and lemony scent is very familiar and comforting. It helps elevate mood and relieve stress. It is a good antidepressant and can help relieve anxiety. It can also help address gastric problems such as acid reflux.

Choosing Cannabis Terpenes

There are a lot of other cannabis strains and varieties that you will encounter based on many other terpene flavors, aromas, and scents. You may want to try those that appeal to your sense of smell or those that carry benefits that you want to experience. As mentioned, going with the right terpene is a matter of experience. You should be patient in finding out which varieties work for you.

It would also be wise to choose your cannabis products carefully, because terpene content may vary depending on the factors surrounding a plant’s development, such as climate, plant age, soil type, and fertilizers that may have been used. Only lab testing can illustrate for sure the presence and potency of a strain’s terpene.

Finally, consider how you choose to ingest your marijuana or cannabis. Terpenes are destroyed if they are heated past their indicated boiling point, so you should do careful research and take note of the various properties of the particular terpene you are using. In general, smoking or inhaling terpenes using a low-heat device such as a vape pen is advisable but you should consider products such as cannabis oil, which can be ingested directly or incorporated into food such as salads and drinks to get the full benefits of the terpenes.

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Cannabis and You

The benefits of terpenes are just one of the reasons why millions of people continue to discover medical marijuana or cannabis. Compared to traditional pharmacological drugs and medical treatments, medical cannabis is an alternative solution that is more natural and sustainable. People find that medical marijuana is able to address many of their diseases and ailments that have eluded cure. If you believe that medical marijuana may be for you, consult a medical professional to see how you can take the first steps toward making it a part of your daily health and wellness regimen.