What Are Cannabis-Derived Terpenes?

Cannabis bud and leaf with hoppy, pepper, lemons
Table of Contents

Introduction

In addition to familiar cannabis words such as cannabinoid, Sativa, and Indica, you may have lately come across terpenes. This is another chemical discovered in cannabis.

But what exactly are terpenes? How crucial is it to understand the different types of cannabis before purchasing a product?

Terpenes were the rookies in the cannabis industry a few years back. Terpenes reign supreme today. Products created without them have a lower taste and impact profile.

Therapists, Scientists, doctors, and other regular cannabis users are all taking these substances seriously.

Here’s a closer look at cannabis-derived terpenes and what distinguishes them from botanical-derived terpenes and synthetic terpenes.

What Are Cannabis-Derived Terpenes?

Cannabis-derived terpenes are simply what they sound like: terpenes generated only from cannabis plants.

Terpenes are produced and stored by the plant in the trichomes, which are the glittering, sticky crystals seen on the leaves and buds. The precise terpenes present in cannabis, known as the terpene “profile,” vary per strain.

The combination of terpenes gives each strain its flavor and is mostly responsible for your preference for one strain over another.

Cannabis cultivators have generated strains with distinct terpene profiles via breeding. As a result, one strain may promote sleep while another promotes creativity or attention.

Benefits Cannabis-Derived Terpenes

Terpenes, including CBD and THC, attach to chemical receptors in the body and brain, delivering signals that assist control the systems for maximum health, according to research.

Relaxation, anti-inflammatory support, sedative, and pain reduction are some of the advantages. Cannabis contains hundreds of terpenes.

Only terpene profile testing can determine their exact quantity. The most well-known and concentrated terpenes are Myrcene, Limonene, and Pinene.

One advantage is the “entourage effect,” which implies that non-THC cannabis molecules interact in tandem with THC to produce a strain’s distinct euphoric effects.

The entourage effect of each plant is determined by the cannabis chemicals and the strain’s distinct terpene profile.

The good news is that some cannabis producers are now evaluating their buds for terpene levels and composition.

For example, someone who is susceptible to Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome may benefit from a strain that includes antiemetic terpenes.

A strain containing anti-anxiolytic terpenes may be preferred by someone who experiences paranoia after consuming cannabis.

What are Botanical Terpenes?

canopy of a cannabis bush
canopy of a cannabis bush

A botanical terpene is an organic terpene found in plants other than cannabis and their fruiting bodies. These terpenes are the same as those found in cannabis, such as linalool, pinene, caryophyllene, etc.

Because the amount of each resident terpene varies depending on the plant, we can’t provide a list of the most prevalent terpenes here – it would be beyond the length and depth of this page.

We can assure you that these terpenes will not have any intoxicating effects. For example, if you want a terpene for sleep, such as myrcene, but don’t want to consume cannabis, you may substitute a botanical terpene. Some myrcene is generated from hops, which is one of the primary constituents in beer.

Terpenes Found in Nature

Terpenes present in cannabis can also be found in other plants. A quick online search will yield some excellent charts detailing the most common terpenes and where to locate them in nature. You’ll know where to seek botanical terpenes and what to expect when you find them.

Pinene is abundant in pine trees and orange peels, for example. Great! If you require pinene, you will most likely receive a product that smells like pine, orange, or a blend of the two.

Botanical Terpenes Have Many Benefits

Apart from having no psychotropic effects, these terpenes are frequently less expensive than cannabis-derived terpenes. Because they are the same molecules, this does not imply “cheaper” in the qualitative sense.

Botanical terpenes can bind to cannabinoid receptors and may assist cannabinoids to pass cell membranes for greater efficiency. Botanical terpenes are a valuable asset in states where marijuana is still prohibited.

Synthetic Terpenes: What Are They?

In a lab, the synthetic terpene is produced. It is either cannabis-derived, botanically produced, and referred to as cannabis-related, or it is synthetic and synthesized in a laboratory.

While it appears to be a word salad, there is a substantial difference owing to legal categorization.

Terpenes are not synthesized from plants.

Synthetic Terpenes' Advantages

While others argue that synthetic terpenes are more dependable in quality and easier to create in the lab, their utility is debatable.

Botanical terpenes and cannabinoids typically have safety data sheets so that consumers can make their own decisions.

Cannabis companies that use terpenes in their products are certified from each test batch to provide to the consumer, so there isn’t much of a competitive advantage here.

Some Predominant Terpenes

Some terpenes are more common in cannabis than others, although their percentages and combinations vary greatly depending on the strain.

The terpenes contained in the cannabis plant are listed below. As the list proceeds, the total amount of a specific terpene in a strain may be decreased, but it will still play a role in the strain’s overall distinctive profile and the entourage effect.

Limonene

Cannabis bud and leaf with sliced lemon depicting limonene terpene.
Cannabis bud and leaf with sliced ​​lemon

Description: Cannabis bud and leaf with sliced ​​lemon depicting limonene terpene

Limonene is the most common terpene in nature. Limonene may be found in a variety of plants, including lemons, cannabis, junipers, and oranges to mention a few.

Strains with a high limonene content have a citrus flavor and aroma, as well as an uplifting effect.

Aroma And Side Effects

  • Aroma of citrus
  • Energizing
  • Stress relief
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antimicrobial properties

Common Strains

  • Pre-98 Kush Bubba
  • Tangerine dream
  • GSC (Cookies)

Myrcene

Close up of cut mango fruit with cannabis leaves and bud
Close up of cut mango fruit with cannabis leaves and bud

Another prevalent terpene discovered in cannabis is myrcene, which is also present in hops, mangos, thyme, and lemongrass.

Myrcene has been demonstrated to lower resistance in the blood-brain barrier, allowing the body to easily absorb the complete spectrum of cannabinoids found in marijuana. Furthermore, Myrcene has individual therapeutic advantages.

Aroma And Side Effects

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Sedative
  • Anti-pain
  • The relaxing fragrance of earth
  • Antioxidant

Common Strains

  • Grape Stomper
  • Chemdawg
  • Agent Orange
  • Fire Alien Kush

Pinene

Cannabis leaves with pine cone and fir needles
Cannabis leaves with pine cone and fir needles

Cannabis, Rosemary, pine trees, and sage all contain pinene. It acts as an antiseptic and a natural insect repellant.

Pinene has also been shown to help prevent memory impairment induced by high THC levels. Pinene, like limonene, is more energetic.

Aroma And Side Effects

  • Energizing
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • The fragrance of wood promotes memory recall
  • Antibacterial
  • Bronchodilator

Common Strains

  • Cookie Cross
  • Vanilla Kush
  • 9lb Hammer

Linalool

Cannabis bud and leaf with levander depicting linalool terpene.
Cannabis leaves with pine cone and fir needles

Linalool is a floral terpene found in cannabis, lavender, basil, orange flower, and coriander, among other plants.

It has calming and anti-anxiety properties and may be found in some of the most popular strains.

Aroma And Side Effects

  • Aroma of flowers
  • Anti-Inflammatory

Common Strains

  • Pain reliever with anticonvulsant properties
  • Locomotion
  • 9lb Hammer Sour Diesel Bubble Gum

Eucalyptol

The eucalyptus tree has the highest concentration of this strong-smelling terpene. Eucalyptol, which has been anecdotally promoted for its medical properties, is frequently added to cough and cold medication to help with respiratory function and open the airways.

Eucalyptol, which is found in rosemary, cannabis, bay leaves, sweet basil, sage, and the camphor tree, has a cold and soothing aroma.

As a result, several firms use this ubiquitous terpene in lotions and skin balms. It is a terpene that is commonly found in Headband, Girl Scout Cookies, and Super Sour.

Terpinolene

Terpinolene is distinguished by flowery, citrus, and piney smells. This terpene, found in sage, nutmeg, lilac, rosemary, cumin, tea plants, and apple, has been reported as somewhat sedative anecdotally.

Although it is found in cannabis, it is normally in small concentrations and is more prevalent in cannabis sativa strains with greater THC content.

It is used to smell soaps, perfumes, and other cosmetic items in addition to being employed as a preservation and flavouring ingredient in the food sector.

Terpinolene levels should be high in strains like Sour Lifter, Golden Pineapple, and Super Sour.

Alpha-Humulene

Alpha-humulene was first discovered in the essential oils of Humulus lupulus, or hops, and is believed to have a “hoppy” beer-like flavour and smell.

Other alpha-humulene sources besides cannabis and hops include ginger, basil, cloves, ginseng, black pepper, and Vietnamese coriander.

Alpha-humulene has a herbaceous, woodyodour and is primarily present in sativa cannabis strains.

Cannabis with high quantities of alpha-humulene may influence appetite regulation. A humulene may be found in White Widow, Candyland, and Cherry Soda.

The Problems With Cannabis Terpenes

Terpenes are necessary for experiencing marijuana’s whole-plant medical advantages, but they are also unpredictable.

Cannabis plants contain hundreds of terpenes, with a diverse combination at various concentration levels in each plant.

Depending on where and how the strain is cultivated, even two batches of the same strain might have a varied terpene profile.

Plants growing outdoors, for example, have a larger percentage of total terpenes due to the changes that natural sunshine and environmental stresses produce.

Outdoor cannabis also develops additional terpenes, such as Pinene, in order to repel pests and flourish in this harsh climate.

Cannabis terpenes are particularly volatile in addition to being variable. Terpenes can easily evaporate without proper drying and curing processes, making extraction difficult.

Extraction of cannabis flower terpenes is also exceedingly costly and frequently yields far less than extraction from other plants.

Customers will pay more because of this costly, inefficient procedure. As the demand for tasty whole-plant products develops, modern cannabis entrepreneurs are looking to nature’s lemons, mangos, and pine trees for help.

Reasons For Terpene Inconsistency In Cannabis

Several variables can cause terpenoid profiles to change between plants, even if they are of the same strain and were grown from the same batch of seeds. Consider this:

  • The terpene profile of a cannabis plant can be affected by where and how it is cultivated.
  • Terpenes are heat sensitive and light, therefore how hot and how much light the plant receives will impact its terpenes.
  • The nutrients that a plant receives have an impact on how it grows. There are likely to be some variances since it is difficult to be certain that plants receive the exact same water, soil, and other environmental conditions.
  • The terpene profile of a cannabis plant is affected by how it is treated. Even after it has been harvested, light and heat continue to effect the cannabis flower.
  • Even if they come from the same plant, we can’t be certain that all seeds are identical. There are several intricacies to this, which is why we have diverse phenotypes of the same strain.

It’s also part of what makes cannabis so distinct and fascinating—every plant is unique in some way.

Conclusion

There’s no denying that cannabis has an assortment of unique aromas that can vary from herbaceous and funky to flowery and fruity — and terpenes are responsible for all of this beauty.

Terpenes, together with an ensemble cast of cannabinoids such as CBD and THC, not only give cannabis its distinct scent but may also assist direct you to the therapeutic comfort you seek.

Terpenes are supposed to protect plants against predators and severe weather. What they do in people is still a bit of a mystery.

Terpenes are increasingly being used by cannabis researchers and users to identify cannabis products and forecast their effects.

The fundamental concept is that a strain’s terpene profile — the dominating terpenes — collaborates with its cannabinoid content — the quantity of cannabidiol, tetrahydrocannabinol, and other cannabinoids — to generate the effects that people associate with various strains.