What are terpenes and why should you care? A terpene isn’t just a word that weed nerds use; terpenes are what give marijuana its delicious smell and many additional stony effects! Terpenes are the fragrant oils found in the glandular trichomes of marijuana flowers. There are approximately 140 known terpenes, and they all have different effects on the human body. This article will introduce you to some of the more common terpenes found in marijuana and help you choose the right terpenes to produce the effects you’re looking for.
Terpenes aren’t unique to marijuana! Terpenes are found in many plants including pepper, rosemary, sage, and lavender. In nature, the function of terpenes is to attract pollinators like bees, and repel predators such as insects and deer. They also help the plant to fight off fungus and bacteria. Some terpenes smell citrusy, some piney, some musky, some floral. What particular terpenes a plant produces is influenced by the maturity of the plant, strain variety, climate, soil quality, and other environmental factors. Some terpenes play a role in determining how much THC penetrates your body’s systems, while certain other terpenes can affect the brain’s cannabanoid receptors. These influences help determine the specific effects of the particular marijuana you’re using.
Terpenes are what these oils are called when they are found in the living, growing marijuana plant. At this point, the terpenes contain only hydrogen and carbon. Once the plant is harvested and the buds begin to dry out, oxidation changes the terpenes into terpenoids. So, not much difference really, but the two terms can be confusing if you don’t understand the distinction.
So, how do terpenes affect you exactly? The answer depends on the terpene. Here are some of the more common and most sought-after terpenes that can be found in marijuana, as well as some info about what strains contain which terpenes.
This terpene has an earthy, woody scent. It’s great for relieving pain and also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also useful as an appetite suppressant. OG Kush and White Widow both have high levels of humulene.
This terpene is known for its ability to elevate one’s mood, producing feelings of happiness, lightness, and euphoria. Stress-relieving with a citrusy scent, you’ll find limonene in OG Kush and Super Lemon Haze, to name a couple. Anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-carcinogenic, limonene is believed to help with gallstones and gastrointestinal complications, and it’s also good for heartburn and for treating the symptoms of depression.
With a floral, citrusy scent, linalool is a terpene that is great for stress relief and relaxation. It’s also good for treating acne. G-13, LA Confidential, and Amnesia Haze are some strains with a high concentration of linalool.
If you have trouble sleeping, this is the terpene for you. It will knock you out, producing drowsiness and generally slowing the mind. With an earthy, tropical scent, myrcene has a reputation for its cancer-fighting properties and amazing ability to end even the worst cases of insomnia. The most common of the terpenes, myrcene is also a muscle relaxer and anti-depressant, and it may even help your high to kick in a little more quickly. White Widow is a strain to look for if you’re wanting high myrcene levels in your buds.
This terpene has gastroprotective properties that aid in keeping your digestive system healthy. It has a woody, peppery scent and is also good for relieving the pain and stiffness of arthritis. It’s an anti-inflammatory that can be useful in treating ulcers and autoimmune disorders.If you’re looking for caryophyllene, you’ll find it in abundance in the hash plant, not in the type of bud that’s usually enjoyed.
This terpene encourages focus and mental acuity, and gives the herb a piney scent. It’s recommended for help with asthma and for use as an antiseptic. Jack Herer and Super Silver Haze are two strains rife with pinenes.
Now that you know what you’re looking for, all you need to do is head to a dispensary and buy a marijuana strain that has a high concentration of the terpenes you want. CannaSaver is a great resource for finding a dispensary near you, and you’ll also find loads of money-saving coupons for dispensary deals on top-shelf ounces, dabs, and more. Just choose a deal, then call the store to ask about specific strains to verify that they have what you’re looking for. Your budtender can also recommend additional strains based on the terpene effects you desire. Of course, the best way to discover which terpenes you prefer is to experiment--so stock up on a few different varieties and see for yourself which strains and terpenes you like the most. Happy toking from your friends at CannaSaver!