Tour de Terpenes!


Cannabis strains differ from each other based on the flavor and smell they give off.  Some strains provide a fruity flavor when smoked while others will fill your jar with a spicy aroma.  Not only are these strains classified based on the flavor profile, but these flavors determine what kind of effect the strain will have on your body.  Whether it is a cerebral high or body high, it all boils down to the flavor and smell of your cannabis.

So what gives off the cannabis plant’s unique smell?  How are these traits classified?  What kind of effects do they have on the human body?  How many traits are found within the cannabis plants?

These unique flavors and smells you hear about are called terpenes.  Terpenes are the pungent oils that color cannabis varieties with unique odors.  They originate within the same glands of cannabis as CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids.  The heavy, pungent odors you smell come from the terpenes nestled within the plant.

There have been over 100 distinct terpenes identified within the cannabis plant and each strain leans towards a unique terpene type and composition.  A strain like Mango Kush will produce a sweet, tropical aroma that makes your flowers smell like mangoes.  Lavender is different from Mango Kush because of its sweet lavender flavor it produces when consumed.  It’s not just the strain names that are different, but also the flavor profile that differs as well.

With all of these terpenes found, it can be overwhelming when figuring out what strains would work best for you.  Luckily there are some terpenes that are most commonly found in most cannabis strains.  Here are a few key terpenes to look out for:

Myrcene:  Myrcene gives off an aroma that is musky, earthy, herbal with some notes of citrus and tropical fruits.  You can find this terpene within lemongrass, mango, thyme, and hops.  This terpene produces a relaxing, sedating “couchlock” effect (the so-called “couchlock” strains that don’t get you off the couch!).  Cannabis consumers would appreciate its anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant medicinal effects that would help sleeplessness, depression, pain, inflammation, and muscle tension.  Some cannabis strains that contain myrcene include Himalayan Gold, Pure Kush, Skunk #1, and White Widow.

          Caryophyllene:  Our next terpene is the spicy caryophyllene.  Caryophyllene produces a woody, spicy aroma that you can find within cloves or black pepper.  There are no actual effects from caryophyllene, but it provides anti-inflammatory and gastroprotective medicinal effects.  This terpene is great for ulcers, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and other gastrointestinal complications.  The only know strain to contain caryophyllene would be Hash Plant.

          Alpha-Pinene/Beta-Pinene:  For that piney aroma, Alpha/Beta-Pinene is the way to go.  Alpha-Pinene’s effects include increasing alertness, counteracting some THC effects, and memory retention.  This terpene has an antiseptic medical effect and would be most useful for fighting asthma.  You can find alpha/beta-pinene within pine needles, basil, rosemary, dill, and parsley.  Trainwreck, Bubba Kush, Chemdawg, and Jack Herer are the go-to strains that contain Alpha-Pinene/Beta-Pinene.

          Linalool:  Those searching for a more calming effect should look into the terpene linalool.  Linalool produces a floral, citrus aroma that reminds you of candy.  It produces sedative and anxiety-relieving effects in your body.  Some of the medicinal effects within linalool are anti-convulsant, anti-acne, anti-anxiety, and even anti-depressant (great for those suffering from anxiety and depression!).  The linalool terpene can be found within lavender and within strains such as Amnesia Haze, LA Confidential, G-13, and Lavender.

          Limonene:  Another mood-elevating terpene on the list is limonene.  Limonene gives off a citrus aroma that you can find within rosemary, peppermint, fruit rinds, and juniper.  Similar to linalool, limonene’s effects elevate the mood and relieves stress.  Using limonene will help treat heartburn, depression, and other gastrointestinal complications.  The go-to strains that contain limonene would be Jack the Ripper, Super Lemon Haze, Lemon Skunk, and OG Kush.

And there you have it, the most common terpenes that are found within various cannabis strains.  Each terpene gives off a distinct effect after consumption.  Whether you are on high alert playing video games or snoozing on the couch, these common stoner scenarios are caused by the terpenes effects.  So the next time you find yourself glued to the couch after consuming LA Confidential, you can feel grateful knowing that the Linalool terpene is giving you that calming effect you were looking for.

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