That terp temptation
We know everyone gets excited about THC levels. I mean, who wouldn’t?! But let’s not forget about terpenes, which play a big role in the cannabis experience.
Terpenes are the aromatic compounds found in many plants, although most people associate them with cannabis. And rightfully so—cannabis plants are full of terpenes. These compounds create the characteristic fragrances of a plant that produce a unique taste or scent. Like the scent of lavender, or pine, or the taste and smell of citrus.
Manufacturers isolate terpenes to develop flavours and scents for many everyday products; items like colognes, foods, bath and beauty products.
The tastes and aromas of the terpenes in cannabis products are extremely diverse and, in some cases, unique to cannabis. Strains can feature a terpene profile that is earthy, gassy, sour, spicy, citrusy, tropical or sweet—the list goes on and on.
But terpenes go far beyond taste and smell. Many terpenes are bioactive, meaning they can affect the body. These effects vary, depending on terpene concentration and how the terpene is being used. There are beliefs that terpenes enhance or alter the effects of THC and CBD in the body—this is commonly referred to as the entourage effect.
Studies on terpenes and the entourage effect are limited, but legalization has increased the popularity of terpene testing. While there can be more than 100 terpenes found in a single cannabis flower, there are certain terps that are more abundant than others. Here are three terpenes that are commonly found in cannabis products:
- Limonene: As the name suggests, limonene gives strains a citrusy smell reminiscent of lemons. Predictably, citrus fruits contain a high concentration of this terpene, and it can also be found in cosmetics and cleaning products. Therapeutically, limonene is thought to be a mood booster, and research is being conducted to determine its role in reducing tumor size.
- Myrcene: With its earthy, musky scent and undertone of fruity notes, myrcene is the most plentiful terpene in cannabis (although you’ll also find a hefty concentration in mangoes). While there’s no conclusive evidence to support these claims, reports suggest myrcene is helpful in reducing inflammation and treating chronic pain.
- Linalool: Not only is it fun to say, but linalool is the terp responsible for the unmistakable smell of cannabis. A mixture of spice and florals, this terpene profile can also be found in lavender, mint and coriander. Recent studies have shown linalool can benefit those who suffer from arthritis, depression, insomnia and more.
This is just a sampling of the more than 100 terpenes found in a cannabis plant. Knowing what these terpenes are and understanding their unique properties is critical to selecting the best strain and experience for you (Leafly has an excellent guide.). Fortunately, some cannabis brands list terpenes on their packaging, giving customers the luxury of knowing the terpene profile of the product that’s inside.
Unsure of which terpene profile is the one for you? Experts suggest relying on your nose. If you have the opportunity to smell the product ahead of time, select the scent that most appeals to you. This indicates that your individual endocannabinoid system is likely to be receptive to those particular terpenes. Our nose So if it smells great, give it a whirl!
While there has been research on the various effects of terpenes, it's important to understand terpenes—whether natural or synthetic—don't have uniform effects. Fortunately, the associates are Kiaro are well-versed in terps. Our terpene bar, slated to reopen following the pandemic, offers customers the chance to put their nose to the test and discover which terpenes are most enticing.
Our experts can deftly guide consumers, both newcomers and seasoned enthusiasts, in their exploration of terpenes on their quest for an elevated cannabis experience.