What Are Terpenes + Why Do They Matter?
What are Terpenes?
Different Types of Terpenes
Humulene: a.k.a Hops; one of the components of the essential oil from the flowering cone of the hops plant known for its anti-inflammatory and hunger suppressing properties.
Terpinolene (Terpinene): A smokey or woody aroma that is slightly sedative, antioxidant, anti-cancer and antibacterial.
Myrcene: It could in principle be extracted from any number of plants, for example wild thyme. Many other plants contain this terpene, sometimes in substantial amounts. Some of these include cannabis, hops, lemon grass, mango, and many more. Known for a highly sedative effect ( a.k.a couch-lock).
Beta-Caryophyllene: Found in plants like cannabis, cloves, hops, basil, oregano, lavender, rosemary and more. Known to be gastro-protective and exhibit strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Limonene: One of the more common cannabis terpenes, found in citrus and known to provide highly energetic and anti-depressant effects.
Alpha-Pinene: α-Pinene in particular is thought to reduce the memory deficits commonly reported as a side-effect of THC consumption. It likely demonstrates this activity due to its action as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, a class of compounds which are known to aid memory and increase alertness.
Terpenes or Terpenoids?
Terpenes and terpenoids are definitely related, yet different.
Terpenes can be considered the natural “on-the-plant” version of terpenoids – which are transformed by drying and curing the cannabis flower. The drying process and conditions change the way the molecules react (and taste) at the end of the day.
Before modern research on cannabis and terpenes was conducted, and the market grew to include licensed producers and legal varieties, many people decided on cannabis based primarily on the characteristics and effects of indicas and sativas.
Now, new research has shown that terpenes significantly influence the flavor and smell of flower, but can also increase, change, or lower the intensity and duration of effects.
Flavonoids vs. Terpenes
Flavonoids sound like they're connected to flavors… but they’re actually the color-giving nutrients in living plants.
They’re also one of the largest nutrient families known to modern scientists with over 6,000 different members.
Around 20 of these compounds have been identified in the cannabis plant, which is great because they’re also known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health benefits.
Flavonoids are what gives cannabis plants a purple or green color.
Further research is needed to fully understand the role flavonoids play in therapeutic cannabis treatments, but the research on terpenes is much further along.
Cartridge Supply Co. Notes:
At the end of the day, terpenes are what determine the flavors of the cannabis plant, similar to how a wine sommelier can distinguish notes in wine or a beer cicerone can identify the various flavors found in beer. In addition to flavor, they each are purported to have a host of medical benefits and properties that influence how your body processes cannabinoids.
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disclaimer: All studies, sources, links, etc. are the words of their respective authors. We are not endorsing any information contained within these resources and we encourage you to do your own research before forming an option.