Cannabinoids, Terpenes, & You
If you’ve spent any amount of time reading about hemp or cannabis, you’ve likely seen these two words mentioned over and over again. In our own strain descriptions and lab test results, the cannabinoid and terpene profiles take center stage, because they tell you what’s in the flower and in what percentage, giving you an idea as to the effects. Cannabinoids and terpenes are very different, but they work together to create the unique profile of any given strain.
Typically people hear about cannabinoids first, since both THC and CBD are cannabinoids. If you purchase flower from any dispensary, the two metrics printed on the jar will be THC and CBD content, since these are the two compounds associated with medicinal value, which is not to say that other cannabinoids do not have medicinal value, just less commonly known. Most people will take a look at the percentages for just these two cannabinoids however, to have a rough idea as to how ‘potent’ the flower will be. But if you’re really interested in knowing exactly how you hemp flower will affect you, understanding terpenes as well is important.
Terpenes and cannabinoids are produced by the resin glands, which is why typically the ‘stickier’ the flower, the more potentially aromatic it will be. Terpenes can be thought of as essential oils, and are produced by many other plants and herbs other than cannabis or hemp. In cannabis/hemp, there have been over 100 terpenes discovered, and every strain has some combination of these terpenes giving it its own unique properties. Interestingly, not only are terpenes responsible for the aromatic profile of the flower, they also work with cannabinoids to create unique effects from strain to strain. Two different strains can have the same percentage of THC and CBD, but can have very different effects because of the addition of terpenes. Terpenes themselves have the ability to create certain effects by directly affecting your brain’s neurotransmitters, and in combination with cannabinoids can create a wide array of different effects to address different conditions.
The most commonly found terpene in cannabis/hemp is myrcene, known to have anti-inflammatory and pain relieving effects. Limonene, which smells like, you guessed it- lemons, is the second most common terpene, and has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial effects. It is also thought to be anti-carcinogenic. As far as feel, it is known to increase focus and reduce depression and anxiety. Linolool is a lavender like terpene, known for its calming effect, also good for reduction of anxiety. It is also a known analgesic and anti-epileptic compound. Caryophyllene is reminiscent of cloves and has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and pain relieving properties. Pinene, which smells like pine, is anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. It’s also good for elevating energy and concentration.
When combining these terpenes with cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, the entourage effect combines all of these compounds effects to create a unique feel, whether its sedating and relaxing, or uplifting and energetic. The only way to experience this is to use a full spectrum product such as hemp flower, which contains the full unadulterated combination of cannabinoids and terpenes. We make sure to include a copy of our lab tests, so you can see exactly what combination you’re getting. As you experience different strains and understand what these compounds are and what combinations work best for you, you can make informed decisions about the kind of you need for different situations.