Overview of Terpenes


What Are Terpenes And What Do They Do?

Terpenes are the aromatic elements of a cannabis flower that we are able to smell - the fragrant, organic molecules that are produced by the flower's resin glands, secreted from the plant in the form of an oil. Taking form in much the same way as THC and CBD, Terpenes are chemically similar to cannabinoids. They are volatile at room temperature, which is what allows us to detect them via our olfactory sense.

"cannabis users can actively optimize their strain selections based on terpene profile"

Hundreds of distinct terpenes have been identified in cannabis. They are categorized as "primary" or "secondary" and the medical community has long acknowledged their distinct, therapeutic values. Terpene analysis has proven critical in distinguishing among cannabis strains, as terpenes have been shown to play a major influence on a strain’s medical and psychological effects. It is the relationship between cannabinoids and terpenoids, called “the entourage effect,” that ultimately distinguishes one strain of medical cannabis from another. And as our understanding and scientific know-how increases, we are entering a world where cannabis users can actively optimize their strain selections based on terpene profile, in accordance with their medical needs, personality types, or simply their palates.

Terpene analysis is beneficial for patients, vendors, and breeders alike. It is essential to helping patients identify the right strain for their symptoms. Terpene analysis allows collectives and budtenders to customize treatment programs for their clients and optimize a strain’s pharmacological effects. Through understanding terpenes, breeders can selectively modulate the terpene ratios of their strains, in order to maximize desired benefits.

It is important to also consider that a plant’s terpene profile is highly dependent upon growing, harvesting, drying, and storage conditions. If 2 strains from the same genetics are grown and manufactured similarly, consumers can expect that both products will to accomplish the same effect. If treated differently, the terpene profile will differ.

Primary Terpenes