What are Terpenes and What Makes Them So Special?
A Brief History of Terpenes
Over the last few years, the word “terpene” has become somewhat of a common phrase among cannabis connoisseurs, however, terpenes have been in existence and utilized medicinally for thousands of years in the form of essential oils used for aromatherapy. Essential oils have been used by various cultures for centuries making it quite challenging to pinpoint exactly when the first essential oils gained popularity medicinally—but eventually the use and popularity of essential oils led to the study and analysis of turpentine in 1818. Today there are now more than 50,000 types of terpenoids that have been discovered from various plants and fungi across the globe.
What are Terpenes?
Like any other strong-smelling plant, flower, or herb—the development of cannabis terpenes started in efforts to repel predators and pests, or to attract pollinating insects. Climate, age, weather, soil, fertilizers used, and even the time of day can influence how a plant develops terpenes. In cannabis, over 100 different types of terpenes have been discovered and every strain has a unique profile and composition.
The array of cannabis flavors is impressive to say the least, but the most impressive part of terpenes is their capability to interact synergistically with other compounds like cannabidiol and THC. In fact, terpenes are secreted in the exact same glands where THC and CBD are produced.
Each terpene possesses its own unique effect—some produce feelings of peace and relaxation, and some promote concentration and focus. It is common for most cannabis analysis labs to test the terpene content now to enable users to determine what effects they need or would be best suited for their individual concerns.
Most Common Cannabis Terpenes
Below we will discuss the most commonly used and studied cannabis terpenes, including their smell, vaporizing temperature, side effects, and what ailments they may address.
Vaporizing Temperature: 311ºF
Side Effects: Attentiveness, memory retention,
Therapeutic Value: Treatment for asthma, inflammation, pain, anxiety, cancers, or ulcers.
Commonly Found in: Rosemary, Pine needles, Parsley, Basil, and Dill
Smell: Cloves, Cardamom, musky, herbal, earthy,
Vaporizing Temperature: 332ºF
Side Effects: Relaxing and Sedating
Therapeutic Value: Insomnia, pain, inflammation, and an antioxidant
Commonly Found in: Lemongrass, Mango, Hops, and Thyme
Vaporizing Temperature: 348ºF
Side Effects: Stress relief, Elevated mood
Therapeutic Value: Depression, anxiety, pain, inflammation, and cancer.
Commonly Found in: Rosemary, Fruit rinds, Peppermint, and Juniper
Smell: Spicy, Pepper, Cloves, Wood
Vaporizing Temperature: 266ºF
Side Effects: Stress relief
Therapeutic Value: Anxiety, depression, pain, ulcers.
Commonly Found in: Cloves, Black pepper, and Cinnamon
Vaporizing Temperature: 388ºF
Side Effects: Sedation, Mood enhancement
Therapeutic Value: Anxiety, depression, insomnia, inflammation, pain, and neurodegenerative disease.
Commonly Found in: Lavender
Smell: Woody, Earthy, Hoppy
Vaporizing Temperature: 222ºF
Therapeutic Value: Anti-inflammatory
Commonly Found in: Coriander, Cloves, Hops, Basil
Smell: Herbal, Sweet, and woody
Vaporizing Temperature: 122ºF
Therapeutic Value: Anti-fungal, anti-viral, antiseptic, antibacterial, decongestant.
Commonly Found in: Parsley, Mint, Basil, Pepper, Kumquats, Mangoes, and Orchids
Smell: Floral, Piney, and herbal
Vaporizing Temperature: 366ºF
Side Effects: Relaxing
Therapeutic Value: antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-fungal, anti-cancer, and a sedative.
Commonly Found in: Tea tree, Nutmeg, Apples, Conifers, Lilacs, and Cumin.
We have many users that feel using extracts in conjunction with a full spectrum of terpenes and cannabinoids are more effective and beneficial than isolated cannabinoids. The result is connoisseurs are now on the hunt for not only high THC and CBD percentages, they are wanting terpene percentages too.
We personally think one of the best ways to find product with high levels of terpenes, and a smell that is personally pleasing to you is to take the advice of Toucan Sam— and to “follow your nose!”
Check out this video from YouTube for a quick visual and audio breakdown of terpenes and their benefits!
Breckenridge Organic Therapy carries a variety of cannabis products that are naturally sourced and high quality. Feel free to stop by or contact us with any questions you may have and we will be happy to help!