Updated: Nov 2
Medical decisions should not be made based on advertising. Consult a physician on the benefits and risks of particular medical marijuana products. What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are the primary components of essential oils — aromatics responsible for a plant's regeneration, oxygenation, and immunity defense. Essential oils have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years and extracted from a variety of plants and foods.
Why are Terpenes Important?
You have probably noticed the tiny glandular hairs that cover the surface cannabis plant, giving it a crystal-like sheen and sticky feel. They are called trichomes, and they are responsible for terpene production in cannabis. Trichomes contain resin glands that make terpenes and cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), which turn into tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), respectively, when decarboxylated. In other words, almost everything a user wants from cannabis, including terpenes, are found in trichomes all over the plant's surface.
Terpenes do more than provide flavor and aroma. They also support other cannabis molecules in producing desired effects. This is called the entourage effect, and it's the reason these aromatic compounds have become such a critical area of cannabis research. When multiple cannabis compounds are integrated, their medicinal effects may be altered or enhanced. The flavors and psychoactive capacities may also be affected, creating distinct products with varying characteristics.
Whether consuming cannabis for personal or medical use, we all go to cannabis for the
same thing — the effect. The entourage effect presents a reality in which the right cocktail of cannabis compounds will prove more potent and effective than an isolated compound.
Terpenes and cannabinoids may either exaggerate or suppress one another's effects, depending on which combination is present in a given cultivar and how an individual respond to it. Mounting scientific evidence suggests that terpenes play a considerable role in not only tempering the intoxicating effects of THC,
but also creating synergy with phytocannabinoids and even increasing their therapeutic value.
Some terpenes might promote relaxation and stress-relief, while others potentially promote focus and acuity.
Disclaimer: This evidenced-based information is provided for general informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
Sources: CCTKC, LLC; Leafly.