How Are Terpenes and Cannabis Related?
Just like in other plants, terpenes occur naturally in cannabis. However, the type of terpenes can vary based on the specific strain of cannabis, the climate, soil, and other factors the plant was raised in. In any case, cannabis terpenes have distinct aromas, which also give their respective cannabis strain interesting and unusual flavours.
That said, for cannabis plants, terpenes are not just there to make nice smells and flavours. In fact, they serve a very important purpose for cannabis cultivation. The aromas produced by cannabis terpenes serve as a deterrent to herbivores (like deer and other potential threats), while also working to attract potential pollinators.
There are at least 100 different kinds of terpenes in cannabis, and the number and variation can change depending on the strain and even the individual plant. These terpenes play a significant role in cannabis consumption, as they also interact with many cannabinoids. These interactions can produce very specific effects that are different for each kind of terpene.
How Do Terpenes Affect the Consumption of Cannabis?
When shopping for cannabis, most people tend to focus on cannabinoid percentages, such as THC and CBD. However, it is less common to focus on terpenes, even though they potentially have a significant impact on the effects that a particular strain produces in users. Since terpenes are so complex, even many cannabis researchers do not understand their full effects and interactions.
Many believe that the real distinction between the effects felt by different types of cannabis strains are the result of terpenes.
The deep and pungent terpenes commonly found in Indica-dominant strains are associated with relaxing, sedative effects. Terpenes associated with Indica-like effects include Myrcene and Beta Caryophyllene.
The bright and fruity terpenes that are abundant in Sativa-dominant strains are often associated with uplifting, energetic effects. Terpenes associated with Sativa-like effects include Pinene and Limonene.
Common Kinds of Terpenes
As previously stated, there are more than a hundred kinds of terpenes in any given cannabis plant, though each strain will generally have a concentration of only a select few terpenes. Nonetheless, there are a few terpenes that are very common and are known to produce certain effects in most cases. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common terpenes: