What Exactly Are Terpenes?
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Terpenes are the essential oils that are derived from cannabis. Every terpene has its own profile that include characteristics such as aroma, boiling points, medical effects and benefits. Moreover, terpenes are not just found in cannabis; they can also be found in fruits and vegetables of all kinds.
They act as a natural defense system that guards the plant against pests, bacteria and pretty much all other invaders that try to cause it some harm. They're also a primordial sunblock, so to speak, offering protection to the buds from the harmful UV rays of our benevolent sun.
Terpenes have a relatively lower boiling point than more commonly extracted cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. Do Terpenes and Terpenoids Get You High? Terpenes and terpenoids won't get you high, no matter how hard you try. You may get dizzy, however, if you continuously breathe in concentrated forms of terpenes.
Terpenes are the organic compounds responsible for creating the unique aroma of each individual cannabis plant. Terpenes do more than determine the scent finger print, they also provide therapeutic benefits like their cannabinoid partners, THC and CBD.
Cannabis isn’t the only plant that produces terpenes. According to Wikipedia, terpenes “are a large and diverse class of organic compounds, produced by a variety of plants, particularly conifers.” Terpenes give these plants their unique scents and assist plants in a variety of ways.
Terpenes attract pollenating insects for plant reproduction. They also ward off or even kill predators. They slow plant maturation and regulate metabolism. Terpenes are a major component of plants’ essential oils. Aromatherapy treatments frequently use terpenes due to their medicinal properties. Some terpenes develop because of stress to a plant, like excessive heat.
The exact number of terpenes found in the cannabis plant ranges between 100-200 depending on different variations in scientific classification.
Here we discuss nine primary terpenes found in hemp and share the healing properties of each:
Mycerne is the most common terpene found in hemp. In some strains, over 60% of the essential oil is made up of mycerne. It smells very similar to cloves. Scientists consider myrcene a potent analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antibiotic.
Mycerne blocks cytochrome, aflatoxin B, and other pro-mutagenic carcinogens. It has a relaxing, calming, anti-spasmodic, and sedative effect. Myrcene works synergistically with THC and may also increase the psychoactive potential.
For example, the popular terpene limonene gives citrus fruits their unique smells. It is found in both lemons and oranges, but in different concentrations thus creating a different scent, or variations.
Limonene is a terpene that creates the unique smell of citrus fruits. is often the second, third or fourth terpene found in cannabis resin and produces the smell we find in citrus fruits. Like mycerne, limonene contains anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-carcinogenic properties. It is also said to protect against Aspergillus and other carcinogens found in smoke.
As with the previous two terpenes, caryophyllene has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-fungal properties. It has affinity for our bodies’ CB2 receptors making it a common ingredient for anti-inflammatory topicals and creams.
Pinene, as the name implies, creates the smell associated with pine and fir trees. Doctors use pinene in medicines as an expectorant. Pinene also improves concentration, personal satisfaction, and energy
Linalool has a calming action, antianxiety, and produces sedative effects. Linalool is responsible for the sedative effects of certain psychoactive cannabis strains. In tests on mice their activity decreased by 75%. bronchodilator, anti-inflammatory and local antiseptic.
Eucalyptol relieves pain, improves concentration, and inner balance. Plants containing eucalyptol enhance meditation and concentration. Again, these are just some of the most common terpenes found in hemp and cannabis. There are many more.