Thanks to the power of the Internet, we are able to research almost anything about cannabis and the many ways it can benefit our lives. However, we are faced with an alarming number of products to choose from on the marketplace. But how can a plant have so many names, smells, and tastes? After all, what’s the difference?
What are terpenes
This can all be explained through a single word: terpenes. Terpenes, like cannabinoids, are found in cannabis trichomes, they are responsible for the unique tastes and smells we know, unlike the cannabinoids, which have none of the above. So the reason for the variety of there being several different flavors, smells, and effects are due to the combination of terpenes and cannabinoids, resulting in the strains we have available today in the market. Here in the blog, we have already described how these compounds work in the series Anatomy of the Cannabis Plant: Terpenes, which you can check by clicking here.
What many people do not know is that terpenes are found throughout the natural world, and are produced in various plants, fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices. They are common in the human diet and recognized as safe by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in America.
These compounds are essential to identify the many strains already created. However, terpenes are increasingly becoming an important agent of how cannabis works in our body since they not only contribute to taste and aroma as the majority of the population believes; they also change the way THC interacts with our bodies.
The Entourage Effect
A few years ago, the creator of the Strunk # 1 hybrid, David Watson, was one of the first people to emphasize the importance of terpenes and its modifying impact on THC. Ten years after opening his company with Robert Connell Clarke, HortaPharm, Watson experimented by comparing the subjective effects of 100 percent THC to lesser amounts in terpene-infused cannabis resin. The consensus among Watson and several associates was that terpene-infused resin with 50 percent THC was more potent by dry weight than an equivalent amount of pure THC. That is, terpene also causes THC to reach differentiated psychoactive levels, distinguishing itself from strain to strain.
Each terpenoid has different properties, that change the way THC and CBD interacts with our body and helps to improve various types of treatment. For example, the terpene Pinene dilates the capillaries in the lungs, allowing cannabinoids to be more readily absorbed by the lungs. On the other hand, Nerolidol, known as a sedative terpenoid, has the power to increase permeability and potentially facilitate the absorption of cannabinoids directly applied to the skin, ideal for the use of topicals to treat local pain.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.
*Commonly accepted medicinal effects
As it turns out, terpenes enhance cannabis much more than just by adding smell or taste, in fact, they may be the key to increasing the effectiveness of various cannabis treatments. It’s worth mentioning that although strains may have different names or patterns, their terpene profiles can be the same. For this reason, be sure to check with your doctor to determine what terpene profile is best suited for you and your needs, and look for reliable resources when purchasing the strain and terpene combination that will most benefit you.