More and more as cannabis and other herbal therapies become researched, the more the word “Terpenes” is being heard in the industry, but unless you are well versed in chemistry you probably don’t know too much on the topic…so WHAT THE HELL ARE TERPENES?
Well you see terpenes (terpinoids for the science buffs) or “terps” as the kids are calling them these days don’t just land in the cannabis realm, they aren’t even held to the plant world. There are 20,000 terpenes in nature emitted by both plants (mostly conifers plants) and insects like termites and butterflies. The terpenes are the reason for strong odors that are given off by the plants and insects; these are used as a defense mechanism, protecting the emitter from predators or herbivores alike. Terps also play a major part in the essential oils world that has exploded over the last 5 years; the oils are derived from plants and flowers, and are used in both perfumes, and traditional and alternative medicines.
So what do terpenes do in Cannabis? Well you know that skunk smell you’re always trying to hide, or the earthy spicy after flavour when you get a certain strain? Thank terpenes for all of the above and more! The terps are created in the trichomes of the cannabis plant, which hold over 200 terps alone, and the higher the temperature the Cannabis is burned or vapourized at the more terpenes are released by the plant. These arrays of terpenes also have an array of medical benefits to them, including proving to have as much medical value as Cannabinoids such as CBD and THC.
Check out the Leafly Turpene wheel below OR this High Times Article to get informed on the different types of terpenes out there OR check out this Leafly Terpine 101 Video.
Article By: Miranda Parker