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What are Terpenes?

Terpenes, or terpenoids, are generally natural chemical compounds found mostly in plants, fruits, and vegetables. These compounds are primarily essential oils that give plants their aroma and flavor. Incidentally, terpenes appear in higher concentrations in the trichomes of the cannabis plant’s flower.

Top 5 List of Terpenes

Scientists have discovered roughly 400 cannabis terpenes. Different cannabis terpenes contribute to the noticeable tastes and scents. However, the following five are among the top most dominant terpenes:

Myrcene
HERBAL

Pinene
PINE

Caryophyllene
SPICY

Limonene
CITRUS

Humulene
EARTHY

Myrcene is known as the most abundant cannabis terpene and gives off an earthy, herbal flavor and aroma. The chemical compound is present in high concentrations in indica cannabis. The sedative or relaxing effects in indica strains link back to the presence of Myrcene. Scientists found evidence that suggests myrcene may support alternative relief for certain medical complaints. Learning the beneficial value of terpenes helps medical marijuana consumers understand why certain strains may be recommended for relief.

Like any other terpene, the percentage of myrcene in a particular strain will depend on how the plant was grown, harvested, and processed. Also, keep in mind that manufacturers can infuse terpenes from other botanicals to enhance the terpene profile and biological effects.

Terpenes vs THC vs CBD

The marijuana plant is as complex as it is misunderstood. It contains hundreds of cannabinoids and terpenes and another important compound known as flavonoids. Terpenes, THC, and CBD are three separate compounds. Even though they are found in every marijuana strain, they have different purposes and potential benefits.

Terpenes

You already know terpenes determine aroma and flavor. Additionally, they are not psychotropic, meaning they do not create euphoria.

THC

THC and CBD are two of the more important of the more than 100 cannabinoids present in cannabis. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive compound found in cannabis. It is responsible for creating a mental state called euphoria.

CBD

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive compound. In other words, it does not cause a high or affect a person’s mental state when used by itself. In fact, pure CBD is extracted from the hemp part of the cannabis plant. Hemp is not considered cannabis since it typically contains trace amounts or less than 0.3% THC. Because of its wide range of medicinal properties, CBD may provide natural relief when consumed or applied to the skin.

What Cannabis Products Contain Terpenes?

Terpenes, THC, and CBD are present in cannabis products, such as flower, concentrates, tinctures, vapes, and gummies. Since terpenes play such a vital role in the “whole plant’ benefits of cannabis, manufacturers now infuse cannabis derived terpenes into various products. This helps enhance the flavor and aroma profile as well as the product’s overall therapeutic abilities.

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