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What is a Terpene?

Terpenes are a large, diverse group of organic compounds that are produced by nearly every plant in nature, including cannabis. Terpenes interact with your cannabinoid receptors.Even before you become a cannabis consumer you've experienced terpenes daily in fruits, vegetables and plants of all kinds. Even some insects produce terpenes. Terpenes produce a strong odor to deter herbivores from eating the plants.




Each terpene has its own distinct smell, which plays a defining role in determining the plant's aroma and flavour. Terpenes are a vital part of cannabis medicine

  Let’s compare terpene profiles to baking cookies, you may put eggs in the cookies but you don’t necessarily taste them. All terpenes combine together to create their own unique profiles. There are over 100 terpenes that have been identified in the cannabis plant.  Some terpenes promote relaxation and sleep while others energize and give you focus.


Here's a breakdown of the popular terpenes.


Myrcene

  • Aroma; Musky, earthy, herbal, clove.

  • Found in; Mangoes, lemongrass, thyme, & hops

  • Effects; Couchlock, sedative, relaxing

  • Potential Medical effects; Treatment of pain, insomnia , and inflammation

Myth debunked!
I bet you've heard that eating a mango before consuming cannabis gives you a " better high". Even though mangoes have high myrcene levels, it doesn't help strengthen the THC effects or increase the absorption rate.

Caryophyllene

  • Aroma; Spicy pepper woody clove scent

  • Found in; Cloves, black pepper,cinnamon,basil, & oregano

  • Effects; Stress relief

  • Potential Medical effects; treatment of pain, depression, anxiety, and ulcers

Terpinolene

  • Aroma; Spicy pepper woody clove scent

  • Found in; tea tree, apples, lilacs, and nutmeg

  • Effects; Relaxing.

  • Potential Medical effects; Sedative, Antibacterial, Potential anti-cancer, antioxidant.

Limonene

  • Aroma; Citrus

  • Found in; Fruit rinds such as lemon, rosemary, and peppermint

  • Effects; Elevated mood, stress relief

  • Potential Medical effects; Anxiety, depression, pain and inflammation

Limonene also has the potential to help treat gallstones and may treat gastrointestinal problems such as acid reflux & heartburn.

Linalool

  • Aroma; Floral

  • Found in; Lavender

  • Effects; Mood enhancement, Sedation

  • Potential medical effects; Treatment of anxiety/depression , pain/inflammation, insomnia & neurodegeneration.

Linalool has the potential to reduce and or reverse the progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and alzheimer's.


Alpha-Pinene

  • Aroma; Pine.

  • Found in; Pine needles, rosemary, basil, dill

  • Effects; Alertness & can counteract some THC effects

  • Potential Medical effects; Treatment of asthma , pain, ulcers, anxiety, and cancer.



A few cannabis companies in Canada are realizing the potential of terpenes and they're making an effort to include terpene levels on their packaging.

An example of a company partaking in this is Crystal Cure.



Crystal Cure is located in the small seaside community of Shediac Cape, New Brunswick. Their cannabis is grown in certified living organic soil in small craft batches. You can check out their latest offerings here. https://www.crystalcure.ca/portfolio/


I've tried their Wedding Cake(BX1) and Apple Chem strains. Both are incredible and list the terpene levels on their packaging. I'm particularly fond of the Wedding Cake due to the high levels of Linalool, which is my favourite terpene.


Wedding Cake, their first release to the recreational market !


We are slowly making the shift from the typical "Indica & Sativa" and shifting our focus to terpenes. Next time you're shopping around for a new strain , inquire about the terpene levels! Also examine and research your favourite strains and find out what draws you to them. You may learn why your body appreciates the particular strain based on it's terpenes.


Cannabis is so vast and we are learning more everyday.



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