The Importance of Terpenes In Cannabis:
Terpenoids are secreted inside the Cannabis plant’s glandular trichome. More than 100 terpenoids have been identified in Cannabis, and they exist in all plants and are responsible for smells and tastes. They do play an important role in the medicinal properties of each cannabis strain as well as foods you eat. The most common and most studied in cannabis include limonene, myrcene, alpha-pinene, linalool, beta-caryophyllene, caryophyllene oxide, nerolidol and phytol. To help you better understand we are including information below to explain some of the properties of the various terpenes that are common in cannabis
Anecdotal evidence suggests that alpha-pinene is alerting, limonene is “sunshine-y,” and beta-myrcene is sedating. As the names suggest, pinene is abundant in pine needles and limonene in lemons. Myrcene is found in hops (Humulus).
The fact that most terpenoid compounds are common components of the human diet and “generally recognized as safe” by the Food and Drug Administration has made research possible, and scientists employed by flavors and fragrances manufacturers have investigated their properties over the years.
– About 10-29 percent of marijuana smoke resin is composed of terpenes/terpenoids
– Drug Sniffing Dogs are able to smell odorous terpenes, not THC
– Age, Maturation and Time of Day can affect the amount and ratios of terpenes. They are constantly being produced but are vaporized by heat and light of the day… so harvest in early morning!
– Climate and Weather Also Affect terpene and flavonoid production. The same variety, even genotype, can produce a different terpene profile when grown in different soils or with different fertilizers.
– In Addition to Many Circulatory and muscular effects, some terpenes interact with neurological receptors
– Others Seem to Alter the permeability of cell membranes and allow in either more or less THC
– Others Affect Serotonin and Dopamine Chemistry (Neurotransmitters)
Common Terpenes found in Cannabis:
Borneol – menthol, camphor, pine, woody. Can be easily converted into menthol. Found in Cinnamon and Wormwood. It is considered a “calming sedative” in Chinese medicine. It is directed for fatigue, recovery from illness and stress.
Caryophyllene – spicy, sweet, woody, clove, camphor, peppery. Found in black pepper(15-25%), clove(10-20%) and cotton(15-25%). It binds weakly to CB2 receptor. As a topical it is one of the constituents of clove oil, an anti-inflammatory and analgesic treatment for toothache. In high amounts, it’s a calcium and potassium ion channel blocker. As a result, it impedes the pressure exerted by heart muscles.
Cineole/Eucalyptol – spicy, camphor, refreshing, minty. Found in rosemary, eucalyptus. It is used to increase circulation, pain relief and easily crosses the blood-brain-barrier to trigger fast olfactory reaction. Eucalyptus oil is considered centering, balancing and stimulating. It is possibly the stimulating and thought provoking part of the cannabis smoke stream.
Delta3Carene – sweet, pine, cedar, woodsy, pungent. A constituent of rosemary, pine and cedar resin. In aroma therapy, cypress oil, high in D-3-carene, is used to dry excess fluids, tears, running noses, excess menstrual flow and perspiration. It may contribute to the dry eye and mouth experienced by some marijuana users.
Limonene – citrus (orange, tangerine, lemon, and grapefruit), rosemary, juniper, peppermint. Repulsive to predators. Found in the rinds of many fruits and flowers. With the presence of other certain terpenes, Limonene can be an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-depressant and anti- carcinogen. It can synergistically promote the absorption of other terpenes by quickly penetrating cell membranes. The result can be increased systolic blood pressure.
Linolool – floral (spring flowers), lily, citrus and candied spice. Possesses anti-anxiety and sedative properties (also in lavender).
Myrcene – clove like, earthy, green-vegetative, citrus, fruity with tropical mango and minty nuances. The most prevalent terpene found in most varieties of marijuana, it is also present in high amounts in Mangos, hops, lemon grass, East Indian bay tree, verbena and Mercia. It’s a building block for menthol, citronella, and geraniol. It possesses antimicrobial, antiseptic, analgesic, antioxidant, anti-carcinogen, anti depressant, anti-inflammatory, and muscle relaxing effects. Myrcene affects the permeability of the cell membranes, allowing more THC to reach brain cells.
Pinene – Alpha: pine needles, rosemary Beta: dill, parsley, rosemary, basil, yarrow, rose, hops, the familiar odor associated with pine trees and their resins. It is the major component in turpentine and is found in many other plant essential oils including rosemary, sage, and eucalyptus. Pinene can increase mental focus and energy, as well as act as an expectorant, bronchodilator (the smoke seems to expand in your lungs), and topical antiseptic. It easily crosses the blood-brain barrier where it inhibits activity of acetylcholinesterase, which destroys acetylcholine, an information transfer molecule, resulting in better memory. It may counteract THC’s activity, which leads to low acetylcholine levels. Largely due to the presence of pinene, rosemary and sage are both considered “memory plants.” Concoctions made from their leaves have been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine to retain and restore memory.
Pulegone – mint, camphor, rosemary, candy. It is implicated in liver damage in very high dosages. It is found in tiny quantities in marijuana. Pulegone is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. That is, it stops the action of the protein that destroys acetylcholine, which is used by the brain to store memories.
Sabinene – Found in oak trees, tea tree oil, black pepper and is a major constituent of carrot seed oil.
Terpineol – floral, lilac, citrus, apple/orange blossoms, lime. It is a minor constituent of many plant essential oils. It is used in perfumes and soaps for fragrance. It reduces physical motility 45% in lab rat tests… Couch-lock effect.
Try at home!
– Inhale the herbal aromas prior to consumption. Break up the bud, releasing volatile terpenes and INHALE deeply through your nose. Wait 5 minutes and you will maximize the benefits from that bud.