Ever since the Farm Bill was passed in 2018, the cannabis industry has begun seeing a massive wave of cannabis-infused products. This has also brought significant interest from the general public about hemp and marijuana plants in general, and more specifically, in these cannabis-derived terpenes.
So in this post, we talk about the hundreds of organic compounds found in the leaves, stems and buds of the cannabis plant. These are also known as terpenes. Every living creature has its terpenes, ranging from birds to insects. But what exactly is there to know regarding the molecules which give cannabis plants that signature scent? And how does it help cannabis in enhancing your experience after ingesting it? Plus, how do these terpenes contribute to providing you with the health benefits offered by cannabis? Just continue to read on, and you’ll instantly get fascinating answers to these questions.
As mentioned, the popularity of cannabis-infused products today is due to the American government implementing policies for the decriminalization, legalization and regularization of these products for medical, therapeutic, recreational and commercial use. This is also why more Americans are now starting to learn about terpenes, which are compounds derived from cannabis plants. So throughout our discussions in this post, we’ll also learn more about each item in a list of terpenes that we prepared below, along with the effects of each compound and their scientifically tested benefits, if any.
What Are Terpenes, Anyway?
A terpene is defined as an organic product found primarily on insects, fruits, and flowers. These molecules provide each of these organisms with a strong taste profile and aroma. You can find terpenes in a plant’s trichomes, also known as resin glands. And terpenes found in the cannabis plant can also affect how you feel after smoking or ingesting it, controlling your high. This is known as the entourage effect.
Plenty of these molecules can be found in cannabis plants, but not as much as the cannabis Sativa plant – So much so that these Sativa terpenes, instead of the strain itself or even the THC compound found in the same plants, can influence the amount of psycho-activity that goes on in your mind whenever you ingest it.
A terpene is an essential oil that lives in the same glands as a cannabinoid. Just like most cannabinoids, terpenes contain medical properties and will indeed affect the length of a person’s high, the strength of the cannabis strain you paired it up with, as well as its effects.
What Are Cannabis Derived Terpenes?
Cannabis-derived terpenes are known as CDTs. As the name suggests, these are terpenes from the cannabis plant. But in the entire cannabis industry, a “cannabis-derived terpene” can also be associated with many things, such as flavonoids and all of the other compounds that provide cannabis plants with that distinct taste and smell. Meanwhile, these terpenes only make up at least 30 percent of compounds found in the average cannabis plant, but the product you are growing or purchasing is wholly made from cannabis.
Since solvents and terpenes come in high concentrations, this reduced amount of terpene content found in cannabis-derived terpenes ensures that the terpenes look and taste much smoother compared to other choices of terpenes given in the same volume. These terpenes also have a stronger scent because they carry a more significant amount of cannabis compounds and terpenes inside the plants than a terpene that’s more botanical-derived. This can be advantageous if you want a more well-rounded effect when you ingest that cannabis.
Scientists specializing in cannabis have now begun to prove what aromatherapists have been saying for years regarding cannabis usage: That we do and can experience these psychological changes depending on our aromatic response. This is true when you consider the scent that comes from cannabis plants. Cannabis-derived terpene is something that occurs inside a cannabis plant. The primary purpose of these terpenes is to serve as a type of pest repellent. These will then help assist the organism in keeping the plant safe against certain parasites and as a way to attract prey to the plant for food.
When you look at a cannabis plant from a holistic view, these cannabis-derived terpenes will always be the right choice. This is because they are formulated by pulling in some nutrients that come straight from soils and the earth instead of being created in a lab (More on this later). Since pure cannabis includes essential molecules that help it maintain its look and structure, the terpenes extracted and derived from these plants are seen as more synergistic and crucial.
Can Cannabis Derived Terpenes Get You High?
Despite its controversy, cannabis is also known to provide relief thanks to a combination of terpenes and cannabinoids found inside its leaves. And as mentioned, terpenes can be found inside other plants as well, not just cannabis. So it’s not surprising that cannabis-derived terpenes themselves are also sold on the market and online stores because they are infused in cannabis-based products, similar to cannabinoids.
No, terpenes will not get you high, unlike cannabinoids. However, they can help you relax and feel energized after ingesting it. Plus, the fact that they can also interact with your endocannabinoid system to lessen physical or mental stress makes them a highly versatile plant.
And what’s more, terpenes aren’t psychoactive like THC is. So this means that when you smoke or ingest it by itself, it won’t give you that familiar high feeling that cannabis usually brings. Instead, terpenes are added into the cannabis strains to heighten the effects of smoking further or ingesting it. Consuming cannabis with terpenes means that your high will be more intense and last longer than usual. Of course, this will also depend on the type of terpene that you add to your cannabis product and its effects. And because of this, you still have to know about the terpene side effects you’ll add inside your cannabis. Some of these terpenes can leave you feeling energized and will help you focus, while others can cause you to feel sluggish and relaxed.
Types of Cannabis Derived Terpenes
Cannabis-derived terpenes can help you out with various physical and mental ailments, ranging from arthritis to insomnia. It can also relieve minor body aches like upset stomachs. You can find a combination of cannabis-derived terpenes mixed with CBD or THC concentrates if you want to feel relief and enjoy a lovely high at the same time.
- Mycrene – Mycrene is a terpene with an earthy aroma and flavour. One of the best benefits of using this terpene is that it helps your mind and body feel relaxed and calm. It can also lessen anxiety, which allows this terpene to assist insomniacs in feeling relaxed at night, so they can finally get proper sleep. The cannabis strains that contain a high amount of mycrene terpene include Member Fruit and Strawberry OG.
- Caryophyllene – This terpene helps remove inflammation and pain from your body. It carries the scent of your average cannabis plant, only much more potent. Popular strains with high amounts of Caryophyllene include Rocket Fuel and White Buffalo.
- Linalool – Linalool is famous for having a strong scent, and when you ingest it, you’ll get a spicy aftertaste. These two combinations are why many people seem to enjoy this terpene and why it’s beloved amongst cannabis smokers. The terpene also interacts with a person’s endocannabinoid system and lessens ailments in the body. Timewreck and Zkittlez strains are filled with lots of Linalool terpenes.
- Limonene – Named as such because this terpene has an aroma and taste that’s very citrusy, like lemons and limes. Smoking or ingesting this terpene will give you a strong sense of euphoria and lessen any inflammation in your body. Popular strains include Blueberry OG and Grape Pie.
- Carene – You can find this terpene in trees, which is the reason why it’s got a robust and cedar-like flavour. Studies have also mentioned that this strain can help boost your memory and keep you energized. White Cookies and Strawberry Cough are its popular flavours.
- Bisabolol – Bisabolol is a terpene commonly added to cannabis-infused products such as lotions and soaps, which can be good for sensitive skin. Its addition in those products can highlight its ability to heal skin irritations. Bisabolol is mainly found in cannabis plants that contain lower terpenes levels than its more dominant counterparts. Aside from its healing properties, it also helps promote relaxation, which means it can also treat mild symptoms of depression, along with insomnia, anxiety, and stress.
- Valencene – Similar to Limonen, Valencene has a citrus-like scent and taste that’s not unlike Spain’s famous Valencia oranges. Ingesting cannabis products with Valencene terpenes can provide some strong anti-inflammatory properties. Popular strains containing vast amounts of this terpene include Agent Orange and Jack Frost.
- Camphene – A pine-scented terpene, Camphene is prevalent amongst cannabis smokers as well. Camphene isn’t just limited to cannabis plants – It’s been known to appear in other plants as well, which is the reason why it’s been beneficial for so many decades now. Camphene’s effects are strong enough to relieve heart ailments temporarily. Great strains that contain Camphene include Venom OG and Fruitty Pebbles.
- Pinene – Another pine-scented terpene, but it can also carry a scent that’s similar to rosemary. This is the most common, not to mention the most popular, cannabis-derived terpene, because it helps get rid of stress, anxiety, and pain. Cherry Bomb and Purple Urkle are just two of the many cannabis strains that contain Pinene.
- Humulene is a relatively unique terpene because it only grows on plants that can be used as herbs. It has a robust and spicy flavour which packs a bit of a punch. Cannabis smokers enjoy this terpene, meanwhile, because of its earthy scent. Smoking cannabis strains with Humulene can help bring a sense of euphoria into your system and send you in a positive mood. Many strains that carry Humulene terpenes come from Florida, with examples being Triangle Kush and Shark Shock. Cannabis plants that have Humulene also thrive in areas with humid weather.
Difference Between Lab-Created Terpenes and Naturally-Grown Terpenes
A considerable difference between whole-plant terpenes and synthetic cannabis terpenes (Which are also referred to as a non-cannabis derived terpene) is that in comparison to naturally-grown terpenes located in both outsides and inside of hemp and cannabis growth, the compounds are all made inside a laboratory and are also referred to as ‘cannabis-related,’ according to the FDA.
A significant advantage of creating or growing your own set of cannabis-related terpenes is that you can be familiar with the cannabinoid profiles in the plants, thus allowing you to replicate them for complete accuracy. Experts scientists, along with other people who have chosen to look at the effects of terpenoid profiles after speaking to a choice number of cannabis consumers, have discovered a more sustainable and dependable list of data when it comes to gathering scientific research and learning about dosing.
Even though regular cannabis smokers have said that they enjoy using cannabis-derived terpenes, others have mentioned that sunlight exposure, temperature, cost, and a whole variety of other conditions are considered risk factors as to why they want to grow these terpenes in their backyard instead.
How do laboratories test cannabis-derived terpenes, anyway? One of the most common ways to determine what type of terpene is found in cannabis plants is through gas chromatography. This process separates the terpenes from their extracts or the cannabis leaf they came from. The next step is flame ionization detection (FID), which also goes by the term mass spectrometry (MS). During this process, chemists or scientists will find the exact amount of terpenes found in the product.
The outcome would be a terpene profile that they can take to the lab for analysis. However, as easy as this might sound, the whole thing isn’t that simple. Terpene testing not only deals with a highly-involved process that requires the full attention of an expert, but terpenes themselves are pretty sensitive and will require just more care than usual, incredibly when you’re isolating them.
Growing Your Own Terpenes
Growing your own set of cannabis plants can transform your backyard and garden into a terpene factory. People who have turned to cannabis as a way to relieve their pain are surprised by its results.
One of the more important things to remember about growing your cannabis is the legality of the place you’re growing them in. You won’t want to risk your freedom if you have to purchase your cannabis or cannabis products using a dispensary in your state, even if you’re using them for medicinal purposes.
It takes years before you can master the art of growing your cannabis because some strains are more fragile than the rest. Seeking the advice of a professional grower is always a good idea for you to enhance your skills. You can learn years of lessons in just one growing session with an expert, especially if they’re willing to teach you what they know.
Are Cannabis Derived Terpenes Legal?
Technically yes, because they can be found not just in cannabis plants but also in all plants. You can find terpenes in the fruits that you eat or other plants. You’d be surprised with just how many products contain terpenes in them. And because they are legal, you won’t have to worry too much about purchasing a cartridge to smoke with your favourite cannabis strain.
What is a Terpene High?
Terpene high refers to the effects of terpene when you’re getting high. Like we said a while back, your high’s positive and negative effects would depend on the type of terpenes you add to your cannabis. Terpenes can generally improve your high (For better or worse) and make it feel twice as intense, but certain specific types of terpenes can have a direct impact on whether you’ll feel more energized or focused or whether you’ll feel relaxed or sedated.
Can you Combine Terpenes with CBD Oils?
Yes – Some CBD-based products include terpene profiles combined with the CBD itself, a good example being CBD oil. Plenty of CBD oil manufacturers now offer products with a mixture of CBD and a specific tincture because they believe that terpenes will further increase the efficacy of CBD oil and let you feel its effects for a more extended period. But before purchasing a combination of CBD oil and terpenes, or a CBD oil with terpene blend, make sure you conduct some research first. Check the packaging to see which terpenes have been added, as well as the percentage. You can choose from plenty of CBD and terpene combinations, all of which can give you so many health benefits. For instance, if you have arthritis and joint pain, you need to look for terpenes that can lessen inflammation or give you pain relief. A great example of a product with terpenes is Daily Driver Blended Delta 8 Diamond Sauce.
Why are Terpenes So Hard to Preserve?
The reason why cannabis-derived terpenes are so hard to maintain is that they are also composed of several volatile compounds, which, if not taken care of, will degrade as time goes on. Humidity, air exposure, too much heat and light can degrade a terpene’s quality. Some terpenes are so sensitive that they even evaporate at room temperature. Even when the plant they’re in has enough terpene content inside it, these compounds will disappear anyway. However, terpenes are constantly replenished while the plant grows. They only stop being produced when the plant gets harvested.
So if they don’t have clear insight, it’s hard for growers to point out the terpene profiles that bring out a specific smell, taste, or how they affect a plant’s behaviour. This is the reason why replacing cultivars can be quite a challenge. Luckily, the rise of current terpene profiling methods has improved cannabis producers’ ability to replicate and build these terpene profiles consistently.
But there are still some cannabis extraction methods that tend to strip away a plant’s terpenes or get rid of its effects, making the process of saving them a tough challenge. To preserve terpenes even as the plants are harvested, certain cannabis-growing companies will throw in some terpenes extracted from other plants inside the final manufactured product. The terpenes can be taken from cannabis leaves or other plants and fruits then mixed with the cannabis plants to further enhance their aroma and flavours.
Can Terpenes Promote Natural Brain Boost?
Indica cannabis strains contain a high amount of Mycrene terpenes. Meanwhile, Sativa strains come with more limonene terpenes. When it comes to regulating one’s mood, terpenes are commonly used in aromatherapy sessions as a way to keep themselves relaxed or to bring up their energy levels. Researchers are now taking a closer look at how terpenes can affect one’s body, as well as the mental-physical side effects when combined with cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. A good combination of terpenes that you’ll use when ingesting cannabis is quite important to the effects you want to experience when smoking it. Keep in mind that without these cannabinoids, just consuming these terpenes won’t give you that high that you want to achieve. But similar to CBD’s effects, terpene ingestion can still help you feel relaxed and stay energized. This all depends on the type of terpenes you use and how fresh or potent they are.
Why is Cannabis Derived Terpene Testing Important?
This is an excellent way to tell the difference between lower-quality cannabis-infused products and those from top-grade cannabis. Cannabis smokers are highly confidential regarding the contents of the products that they consume (including the terpenes) and learning more about a product’s own set of terpenes. Acquiring a detailed breakdown of the terpene contents in a particular cannabis product can be a huge difference in selling fantastic products and losing to a competitor.