Terps! Terps! Terps!

Terpenes, what are they and what do they do?

As cannabis consumers become more aware of the variety of options and information available to them and how that plays into their overall experience, they are starting to realize that simply aiming for the highest THC they can find isn’t the route to finding the product that works best for them. That’s where terpenes come into play. Put simply, terpenes are what give smell and flavor to a wide variety of different plants and fruits in the world. This is, however, just the tip of the terpene iceberg.

So, what are they?

Terpenes are aromatic chemical compounds that occur naturally inside of many different plants in nature. Everything from mangoes to lavender contain terpenes which contribute to the smell and flavor of the plant or fruit. They exist for a variety of reasons but are primarily used by the plant to attract pollinators or repel predators. Terpenes also happen to show up in large concentrations in cannabis and is one of the fundamental pillars of having a complete cannabis experience.

And what exactly do they do?

The effect of these flavor enhancing compounds varies from terpene to terpene but all of them appear to have a bioactive effect upon our physiology. For example. Myrcene is one of the most common terpenes that appear in cannabis and lend the flower a spicy, earthy smell and flavor. If you’ve ever had GMO Cookies or Blue Dream, then you’ve had Myrcene as both feature that terpene heavily. In addition to tasting and smelling amazing, Myrcene has been shown to increase the psycho activity of THC. In other words, it gets you higher! This is due to what some people refer to as the ‘entourage effect’ and could potentially be a deciding factor in what makes your favorite weed, your favorite. This is however, still not as deep as the terpene rabbit hole goes.

What else do they do?

Each terpene has shown evidence of properties that have benefits outside of simply enhancing your cannabis experience. As with the smell and flavor the effects vary so we’ll stick with Myrcene since we’re on a role. Besides the THC enhancing effects Myrcene brings, it appears to also act as an anti-fungal agent potentially, an anti-inflammatory and a host of other benefits. The regulation of Cannabis in Canada has helped to stimulate the research being put towards investigating the many benefits of cannabis and the terpenes that they carry, so we’re learning more every day!

Myrcene has a lot of incredible potential, and it’s just one of the many terpenes that can be found within the versatile cannabis flower. I could write an entire article about each individual terpene (and I might!) but suffice to say that if you find a strain of cannabis that seems to really work for you, it is probably because it contains one or more terpenes that your system finds particularly agreeable. Take the time to find out what those terpenes are, and you’ll begin to learn more about the strains you love as well as what they can potentially do for you overall health.

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