Why Cannabis Smells - Terpenes Explained
Terpenes are an organic group of compounds in charge of a plant’s scent. Terpenes are found in a variety of plants, not only in cannabis. They play essential roles in being the communicators between plants and other organisms. Marijuana contains over 200 different types of terpenes, making it the with the highest variety in nature.
Terpenes are an essential part of cannabis as they are also carrying medicinal properties. With concentrations over 0.05% they can protect the human body against diseases.
Cannabis is a very versatile plant, containing many different groups of compounds, every single one of them working together with others to create the ultimate use and experience, it’s that kind of plant synergy that is referred to as the 'Entourage Effect' and helps makes cannabis so effective as a medicine.
The cannabis plant is bursting with essential molecules and each flower has its own exclusive, distinct chemical structure. Terpenes are produced in the cannabis flowers sticky resin glands, giving it a distinctive smell.
For example, if we take the terpene called Limonene, that is also found in peppermint and citrus rinds. We find that it gives the cannabis flower a citrusy, lemony aroma and works as a mood booster and fights against stress.
Another example is a terpene called Linalool; we find this terpene also in lavender and rosewood. It has a spicy floral aroma and has a calming effect.
Terpenes play a vital part when looking at the effect of cannabis on a human body. Working together with CBD and THC the so-called “entourage effect” (term by S. Ben-Shabat and Raphael Mechoulam,1998) is created, the idea here is that if we combine terpenes with cannabinoids, we can get a multiplier effect. Natural compounds working together in synergy can give a much more meaningful effect compared to when we would use those compounds by themselves. That also explains why different strains can cause different effects in different people.
Some other well-known terpenes are Pinene with its pleasant pine tree smell and anti-inflammatory and alertness effect, anti-bacterial spicy and hoppy Humulene, THC enhancing and analgesic mango-like Myrcene, and pain fighter peppery Caryophyllene also helps to control the “getting high” effect.
Honestly, we believe that without terpenes choosing your medicine would be a much more boring process, selecting a medicine that has a specific smell can be very personal and can help with the healing process. It’s an excellent way to choose the cannabis strains that are well suited for your condition, as there are many out there.
When terpenes combine, they can create a fast variety of smells and flavors and also different effects on the individual. You can get scents ranging from strawberry, blueberry and ending with bubble gum and diesel. There is something for everyone.
Become a medical cannabis connoisseur and enjoy all that this magical plant has to offer!