Mmmmm. Ever wonder why most of your favourite buds smell like lemon or cloves? Or perhaps pine or lavender?
Terpenes are basically the organic compounds that make up the essential oils produced by a number of plants; in this case, marijuana. The terpenes of marijuana are what give it aroma, flavour, and medicinal properties. They are precisely what give your weed those distinct mouthwatering scents that many people often base their decisions on when choosing strains at a dispensary.
In nature, terpenes are produced by plants to attract or repel pollinators and predators. There are over 120 terpenes created by the cannabis plant; many of which offer medicinal effects much like cannabinoids. Terpenes are released by the trichomes (hair-like outgrowths of the plant which secrete oils) of the plant and are beneficial in helping us pick our perfect medicine. Naturally, we are more drawn to strains that may be particularly good for our own individual needs.
The wide variety of strains available can make it seem overwhelming when trying to choose a strain. Once you know the fragrances to look for, the task becomes much less difficult.
The nose knows!
Check out below for quick info about some of the most common terpenes found in marijuana, including a brief description of their aromas and effects.
Herbal, balsamic, rooty, or spicy scent.
Eases pain and inflammation.
Makes cell membranes more permeable, making it easier to transport THC to the brain.
Citrusy, fresh scent.
Fights tumors and bacterial infections.
Stimulates immune system.
Reduces depression and anxiety.
Eases gastric reflux.
Spicy, minty, camphor scent.
Found in rosemary and eucalyptus.
Found in pine trees and other coniferous plants.
Dilates the bronchial tubes and reduces inflammation.
Increases cognitive function.
The terpene that gives clove and black pepper rich flavors.
Binds to the CB2 receptor (mostly within the immune system).
Antibacterial and antiseptic.
Eases inflammation and nerve pain.
Found in many plants including lavender.
Reduces anxiety and stress.
Potentiates SSRI antidepressants.
Reduces epileptic activity.