What we know about terpenes and how you can use them to your advantage

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Terpenes are the chemical compounds that give marijuana its distinctive flavor, smell, and color.  And they also have medicinal properties.  For example, linalool is a terpene found in lavender plants that has calming effects when inhaled or consumed orally.  So it makes sense that many people would want to know how to use them for their own purposes.

But what do you need to know about terpenes if you’re just starting out, and how can you use them to your advantage?

Terpenes are the chemical compounds that give marijuana its distinctive flavor, smell, and color.  Terpenes also have medicinal properties.  One example is linalool, a terpene found in lavender plants that has calming effects when inhaled or consumed orally. It makes sense that many people would want to know how to use them for their own purposes.

But what does one need to know about terpenes if you’re just starting out, and how can you use them to your advantage?

As mentioned before, terpenes are the chemical compounds that give marijuana its distinctive flavor, smell, and color. They’re also responsible for the pharmacological effect of cannabis (e.g., sedating, relieving cancer-induced nausea). Terpenes work synergistically with cannabinoids to produce desired therapeutic effects.

The marijuana plant has over 200 unique terpenes. The most well-known of these is Myrcene which gives marijuana its “dank” smell.  Other common terpenes you might hear about include pinene, limonene, caryophyllene, and linalool.

Terpenes can also be found in other plants besides marijuana. Pinene another terpene is responsible for the distinctive smell of pine trees (which incidentally may be de-sensitized by exposure to THC). Lavender has linalool; lemons have limonene; oranges have beta-caryophyllene etc.

Some dispensaries are now using this knowledge to create products that help medical patients meet specific needs. But more on that later…

People have been using terpenes to select their favorite tasting strains for a long time.

Today, some people even add a few drops of terpenes to their weed before they smoke or vape it to customize the taste!

Some companies produce strain-based terpene flavors. So you can buy a “Northern Lights” or “Trainwreck”  terpene profile mix that’s been formulated to taste exactly like the real thing.

But not all terpenes that you can buy have to taste exactly like a marijuana strain. You can also buy food-grade terpenes that enhance the taste of your product without changing its flavor profile. For example, we found a “Fruit Flavor Collection” which includes dozens of flavors including Apricot, Watermelon, Cherry, and even Apple flavor.

Besides adding terpenes profiles to your weed before smoking or vaping, you can also add them to edibles, tinctures, or even mix them with cannabis concentrates!

Different terpenes have different medicinal effects. If you’re looking to treat a certain ailment, you may want to choose a marijuana strain high in a particular terpene that’s known to be effective for it.

Here are some of the most common terpenes, and their effects:

  • Myrcene is known to relieve stress and muscle tension which can make it very helpful for those people who suffer from insomnia.
  • Limonene is a strong anti-fungal/anti-bacterial agent with a citrus scent that’s good for mental energy and depression. It’s also used to treat heartburn and gastrointestinal reflux disorder.
  • Pinene is another medicinal terpene found in pine trees that have been known to help with memory retention, focus, and alertness. It’s also one of the terpenes that give cannabis its distinct smell.
  • Linalool is another well-known terpene that has anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anticonvulsive effects.
  • Caryophyllene is most commonly found in black pepper and has been known to help reduce inflammation and gastrointestinal discomfort.

Individual terpenes can be used to customize your cannabis high. Some people even claim that you can use them to create a more “psychedelic”, sedating, or energizing experience!

For example, if you wanted to feel more energetic and focused, you could choose a strain that is high in pinene. On the other hand, if you wanted to relax and relieve stress, you might choose a strain high in myrcene. Be careful though, Myrcene is also known for its sedative properties, so don’t use it too much.

Terpenes are the chemical compounds that give different marijuana strains their distinctive smells and tastes. They can also be used to create a more “psychedelic” or sedating high, depending on which terpene you choose. If you’re looking to relieve certain ailments, try to find a strain high in the appropriate terpene.

What we know about these organic chemicals is limited by current research. There are therapeutic benefits such as enhancing moods, anti-fungal, anti bacterial, reducing heartburn and the treatment of gastrointestinal ailments.

 
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