What Are Terpenes and Why Are They Important for Cannabis?

What Are Terpenes and Why Are They Important for Cannabis? - Acres Cannabis

It’s not exactly news that all the various cannabis strains can have different effects on people. Some people were happy to chalk it up as one of the great mysteries about this remarkable plant, but industry leaders and scientists weren’t ready to let it go that easily. Some of the best and brightest in cannabis were determined to find out why strains could have such different effects, even with the same (or nearly the same) THC potency. It turns out we can chalk that exciting part of the cannabis experience up to something called terpenes.

What Are Terpenes?

Terpenes aren’t unique to cannabis. Also known as terpenoids, these natural organic compounds are a lot like the essential oils you can find in just about any type of plant. Different cannabis strains have different chemical footprints, and terpenes are the hydrocarbons mostly responsible for those differences. At the most basic level, terpenes can change the way a cannabis strain smells and tastes. They’re the reason every strain has its unique aroma, but they can also play a part in what’s become known as the entourage effect.

Do Cannabis Terpenes Make a Difference?

It turns out that cannabinoids like THC and CBD are like some people, in a way– i.e., they may behave differently depending on the entourage they bring with them. In the case of cannabis strains, the way active ingredients (CBD and THC) interact with the human body can change depending on the strain’s unique terpene profile. The same is true for edibles and concentrates, as long as the terpenes haven’t been burned off during processing.

The differences go way beyond our historical understanding of indicas, sativas, and hybrid strains. Some terpenes could make it easier for cannabinoids to navigate the blood-brain barrier, increasing the effect of certain cannabis strains. Still, other terpenes might have potential health benefits or even work to offset some of the less desirable effects of consuming cannabis.

Examples of Common Cannabis Terpenes

There are far too many known cannabis terpenes to list here, and scientists are always at work discovering more. There may come a time in the not so distant future when every cannabis strain will come with a detailed lab test of its terpene profile. Until then, we can start to get a grasp on the importance of terpenes by examining a few of the most common ones, their distinct flavors, and some of their reported effects:

  • Limonene – Popular in citrusy-smelling cannabis strains, this natural compound is also found in lemons, oranges, and juniper. People have said essential oils with limonene can help them feel less stressed and experience an elevated mood.
  • Myrcene – also found in hops, lemongrass, and thyme, Myrcene has an earthy aroma that may remind you of cloves or other spicy herbs. It’s been associated with relaxed feelings and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Pinene – This particular terpene has a strong pine flavor and scent. It’s also found in rosemary, sage, and (as you might have guessed) pine trees. People often say that high-pinene breeds are some of the best cannabis strains for alertness and energy.

Where to Buy Terpene-Rich Cannabis in Las Vegas

Here at Acres Cannabis, we’re proud to offer some of the most terpene-rich cannabis strains in Nevada. We work with some of the best growers in the industry to find potent strains that have been carefully harvested and cured, preserving their natural chemical profile. Ask our experienced budtenders how to find a cannabis strain with the terpene you’re most interested in.

Image Credit: Gleti

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