Terpenes in Cannabis: What are they, and how we can use them.

Terpenes in Cannabis: What are they, and how we can use them.

What are terpenes?

There is nothing quite like the smell of cannabis and you either love it or hate it. But why do certain strains and products smell and make us feel so differently? 

Just like so many other plants, cannabis secretes aromatic oils called terpenes and in nature, these compounds act as natural protective mechanisms against environmental factors like diseases, pests, and animal grazing. So not only do terpenes smell nice, they protect the plant and have a slew of mental and physical health benefits. This is why terpenes are used in so many products even outside of the world of cannabis.

Although the word “terpene” might be new to you, it is more than likely that you have experienced terpenes without realizing it! Terpenes are found in everyday things like perfumes, cleaning agents, antibacterial soaps, but you can also find them in plenty of food we eat as well. For example, myrcene is a very common terpene found in cannabis, but you can also find myrcene in hops and mangoes. Myrcene is a wonderful terpene for relaxation.

Why are they important?

Most people are familiar with the terms indica, sativa, and hybrid, but unfamiliar with what makes them different. You may have thought “why does one strain make me feel focused and energized, while some make you relaxed and sleepy?” Depending on that product’s terpene profile, you will have different experiences! 

As we discussed, myrcene is a popular terpene and has more “indica” type effects by promoting muscle relaxation and sleep along with its pain relieving characteristics. There is another terpene called limonene that is not only common in cannabis, but in many different citruses! Limonene tends to create more of a “sativa” effect and can promote focus, energy, and an uplifting feeling. As for “hybrid” products, they normally contain a balance of terpenes. Depending on the percentage of particular terpenes a hybrid product may lean more sativa or indica in their effects.

If you ever have a hard time remembering what the terms indica and sativa are, you can think of this to help you! Indica → in da couch and sativa → stimulate

Because terpenes have their own effects they can enhance the overall experience of cannabis and can be added to products to help make them stronger. Terpenes play a big part in the “Entourage Effect”, which is when there are more compounds of the plant coming together, the effects will be enhanced! CBD and other phytocannabinoids come together with terpenes and play off each other's strengths in full spectrum or terpene enriched products. So just because CBD percentage is high, it is important to look at the terpene profile to match what you are looking for.

Your Terpene Profile

By understanding your terpenes you are more likely to achieve the experience you're looking for with your cannabis use. By checking the lab testing and terpene profiles of your products you can understand why some products might treat you better than others. There are so many terpenes to pick and choose from and the best way to find your own profile is trial and error! As always you can reach out to your qualified local professionals here at the Hemp Farmacy if you have any questions as we help guide you on your wellness journey.