Terpenes - What are they? What do they do? Are they good for you? When you are around cannabis you may not realize that you’re around it until you smell it, many people will smell cannabis before seeing it or seeing people use it. The smell comes from terpenes, cannabis can contain up to 150 types of terpenes! Many terpenes in cannabis are only in small amounts but the most potent ones come together to give cannabis a specific type of smell which is why specific cannabis strains smell in specific ways.
Some of the specific scents that you can smell would be "sour diesel" which has a potent, gas-like aroma to it when you take a whiff. Other strains can be sweeter like birthday cake or apple pie, for example, will have a more relaxing and sweet aroma when you smell them. Not only do terpenes hold the ability to make cannabis smell a certain way but they also help produce the ability to boost moods and have calming effects when you use it!
What exactly are terpenes? There are four major types of terpenes: Myrcene, Limonene, and Pinene. Myrcene is known for having a relaxing effect, found in most indica strains, it has a more raw earth-like smell to it. Limonene sounds similar to how it tastes, it has a citrus taste and carries a sweet smell to it, this terpene aids in the “euphoric” feeling in the brain. Last but not least, Pinene, this terpene carries notes of pine trees and fresh cut wood, pinene products will help bring down a strong high, and Pinene is widely known to be able to balance out the other types of terpene effects.
Terpenes also play a role in helping with cannabis growth, they come from the female cannabis plant and help create the color or pigmentation that are found within the leaves and buds of the plants. Terpenes also help repel or attract certain animals from eating them so when a "sour" terpene is growing some animals may steer clear of it while others that are sweeter will attract insects that will help pollinate the plants.
You may be wondering "how do terpenes affect my body when I ingest them while using cannabis?" Terpenes react to the body in the same way essential oils do, you can use essential oils to help relax you or even motivate you to do things, and terpenes similarly react to the body. Terpenes help give the body a feel-good or stress relief when ingested, terpenes can help aid in antiviral, anticancer, antidepressant, antimicrobial, and pain relief medications. Terpenes help in these ways because they activate the body's CB1 receptors which influence pain, they help kill or stop the progression of microorganisms inside the body, they can be extracted for certain medications, and they can help stop the activity or growth of cancer cells within the body.
If you are interested in learning more about terpenes and what they can do for you, stop into Greenlight Natural here in Omaha! Our knowledgeable staff will be happy to assist you with any and all questions!