Terpenes exist in all strains of cannabis. The types of terpenes or cannabinoids that appear in cannabis depend on the strain. These terpenes and cannabinoids have different impacts on different users. These molecules are found in cannabis at varying degrees and can cause a strain with lower THC content to make a user feel higher because of the entourage effect.
These molecules contribute to the smell and medicinal uses of cannabis. There are also cannabinoids that have a variety of therapeutic uses. With legalization slowly spreading around the United States state by state, there has been a boom in information associated with terpenes, cannabinoids, and how they intermingle.
Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THC-A) is found consistently in both sativa and indica strains. While this compound is not psychoactive, it is a precursor to Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis. Burning THCA turns it into THC, a process called decarboxylation.
Cannabidiolic Acid (CBD – A) this typically turns into CBD when the cannabis is cured or smoked, according to Leafly. CBD is great because it slows or stops cancer cells from growing, reduces nausea and vomiting, and reduces inflammation. For someone with celiacs, cancer, or any other disease that causes nausea CBD will help them keep food down.
When THC is exposed to heat or oxygen it creates Cannabinol (CBN.) This cannabinoid has similar effects on a person as CBD, but can also be used to combat insomnia.
While there’s a handful of other cannabinoids, these are the most common ones that you will be able to locate within specific cannabis products.
Terpenes are natural essential oils secreted by all plants, including cannabis and hop plants. Terpenes are responsible for aromas and flavors and add to the entourage effect by dragging more cannabinoids across the blood-brain barrier along with having their own specific effect.
Alpha-pinene is found in numerous coniferous trees and cannabis plants. This terpene releases the pine aroma smelt in certain strains. Alpha-pinene promotes memory retention, alertness, and can be used to improve lung function in patients with asthma according to Herb.
Myrcene is found in both cannabis, lemongrass, and one of Washingtons biggest exports hops. This terpene provides cannabis with its earthy and citrus aromas. Users can expect to experience a reduction in pain, muscle spasms, and inflammation.
Limonene, if this name makes you think of lemons or lime, you are on the right track. This terpene relaeses a lemony-lime aroma, limonene can benefit users with depression and anxiety. It also has antibiotic and antioxidant properties.
Occasionally, cannabis has a herbal aroma to it, similar to lavender. Linalool provides cannabis with that specific smell. Users with epilepsy should attempt to locate strains with linalool in them, it provides users with a sedative or anti-anxiety properties.
Caryophyllene is what gives cannabis that skunky aroma traditionally found in dank strains. According to Royal Queen Seeds, Caryophyllene can be used to help protect the cells lining the digestive tract.
As an essential oil in hops and cannabis, humelene is the most common. Providing an odor similar to beer, according to Herb. It is also an appetite killer that fights cancer cells.
Other terpenes include eucalyptol, terpineol, menthol, and citronellol. The medical benefits of these terpenes and cannabinoids will continue to grow as more research is conducted.
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