Terpenes and their effects
Smell, taste or even effects. Substances such as terpenes are a key chemical component of various plants or citrus, including cannabis. The so-called hemp resin contains high concentrations of both cannabinoids and hemp nutrients, such as flavonoids or terpenes. And while flavonoids are primarily responsible for the plant’s color, terpenes mainly affect its aroma. However, since both interact with the endocannabinoid system in the human body, their use is in every case similar to the use of active substances such as CBD, THC or HHC, with which they are combined in the vast majority of cases into one product.
So what else do we know about these interesting and sought-after nutrients from hemp? Why do many manufacturers combine them with cannabinoids? What do they actually have to do with the accompanying effect?
What is a terpene?
A terpene, like a flavonoid, is one of the substances that are a common part of the chemical structure of various plants or herbs. And like the cannabinoid CBD or THC, they also influence the effects of individual hemp varieties. However, since there is no nutrient as a nutrient, individual terpenes offer, so to speak, different effects of use. Especially when they are combined with other active substances (CBD, CBG or CBN) from the hemp plant. When used in such a case, an accompanying (synergistic) effect is created, which can significantly enrich all the basic effects, which ultimately only improves the experience of the user of the cannabis product.
“Cannabinoids produced by the hemp plant, or phytocannabinoids, interact with our body’s receptors and produce a number of psychotropic or therapeutic effects. Terpenes are the compounds responsible for the smell and taste of cannabis, supporting the cannabinoids in producing the desired effects.” WEEDMAPS.COM
How are terpenes formed?
Terpenes and flavonoids can be found throughout the plant, but the highest concentration occurs in the part of the hemp called the cannabis flowers. Trichomes with tiny hairs of different colors, which are an essential part of them, create both cannabinoids and hemp nutrients through biosynthesis, which then become part of the sticky, fragrant and crystalline hemp resin. Therefore, experts also call them cannabinoid factories.
Trichomes can be found on the flowers as well as on the leaves or stems of hemp, but already in a weaker concentration than in hemp seeds, where they are the most. There are glandular and non-glandular trichomes, which do not produce the same compounds (cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids) as glandular trichomes, but serve to protect the surface of the plant. We also know bulbous, capitate sessile or capitate stalked trichomes, which differ from each other mainly in appearance and size. Some of them are so tiny that they can only be seen through a microscope.
“Terpenes are thought to protect plants from adverse weather and predators. Cannabis consumers are increasingly looking to terpenes as a way to classify cannabis products and predict their effects.” HEALTHLINE.COM
What effects do terpenes have?
Since the accompanying effect is quite popular among users, the manufacturers themselves pay a considerable amount of attention to it. That is why it is increasingly popular to enrich their hemp products, such as CBD oil or CBD vape, with extra-standard amounts of terpenes and flavonoids. Although hemp extract also contains them, the terpene profile is different depending on the variety. Therefore, individual cannabis strains with significantly different terpene profiles also have significantly different looking cannabis flowers, different aromas, different tastes or different effects. So it can basically be said that terpenes have different effects on the human body.
So which hemp nutrients are among the most popular? What effects do they even have?
Known hemp terpenes
Popular and well-known hemp terpenes include the popular Limonene as well as Myrcene, Pinene, Linalool, Alpha-pinene, Eucalyptol, Terpinolene or Humulene. However, each has a different share in the so-called terpene profile. Some make up 10 to 20 percent of the total profile, while others do not even make up 0.1 percent. The ratio of terpenes, simply put, defines the effect of using a hemp product. That’s why specific terpene profiles are often mentioned on the packaging, such as the sedative INDICA, the energetic SATIVA or the balanced HYBRID. Thanks to this, the potential customer then knows what he can expect from the given product even before he buys it.
- substance Limonene : Limonene is one of the most commonly occurring terpenes in cannabis, with a citrus aroma including antidepressant effects
- substance Myrcene : Myrcene provides sought-after sedative and therefore also relaxing, antibacterial or antifungal effects
- substance Pinene : Pinene has a calming effect on the respiratory tract and bronchi, as it provides a very broad spectrum of anti-inflammatory effects
- substance Linalool : Linalool reduces pain signal transmission by creating the body’s natural response to block pain in the face of potentially dangerous stimuli
- substance Eucalyptol : Eucalyptol can help with pain caused by inflammation, or with respiratory diseases or pancreatitis
The terpene profile determines the color as well as the smell, taste or effects of cannabis. Some cannabis flowers can have a sedative effect, while others can have a stimulating effect. However, there are also profiles that are said to be balanced. Since it can be a variety with a ratio of 50 percent and 50 percent or 60 percent and 40 percent, neither SATIVA nor INDICA dominates anymore. That is why they are called hybrid strains with a hybrid effect.
“The strain’s terpene profile works in tandem with its cannabinoid content—abundance of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) and other cannabinoids—to produce the effects people associate with different strains.” HEALTHLINE.COM
Dominant cannabis strains with a clearly focused effect reach a ratio of 90 percent and 10 percent or 80 percent and 20 percent. Therefore, if someone is concerned exclusively with sedative, relaxing effects, then they should look for INDICA dominant varieties of hemp. On the contrary, if someone primarily wants to be stimulated, they should look for dominant varieties with a SATIVA terpene profile, which have an energetic effect of use.
The SATIVA-dominated terpene profile offers energetic, uplifting effects that focus primarily on the mind. Some strains support, for example, such creativity or imagination that several creative or artistic professions can use to their advantage.
The terpene profile, dominated by INDICA, is aimed at the whole body, including the mind. This time, however, it is no longer a matter of encouragement, but of sedative-relaxing effects that grow together with the amount of the active substance THC, which also has a sedative-relaxing effect. Therefore, the profile is used especially for poor sleep or chronic pain.
The hybrid terpene profile also combines both the INDICA profile and the SATIVA profile into one strain, but with the difference that no one dominates. Therefore, balanced effects are available that are both energizing and sedative. So the user won’t fall asleep and at the same time won’t be too fired up.