What’s a Terpene anyway?
Terpenes are the primary constituents of essential oils and are responsible for the aroma characteristics of cannabis. Together with the cannabinoids, terpenes illustrate synergic and/or entourage effect and their interactions have only been speculated in for the last few decades.
Terpenes are naturally occurring compounds found in the trichomes of female cannabis plants. Trichomes are sticky, translucent glands that cover the surface of buds, and in much smaller amounts, on leaves and stems. Critically, trichomes contain resin glands that produce terpenes. Terpenes play an integral role in a cannabis plant’s growth and survival. Besides producing distinctive aromas, these organic compounds also enrich color and pigmentation in leaves and buds and contribute to the flavor of cannabis. In short, terpenes help to enhance the plant’s attractiveness to some creatures, while deterring others that can do harm.
Awareness of the aromatic properties of terpenes is not new. Humans have long harnessed the vibrant scents associated with terpenes to formulate essential oils for practices such as aromatherapy. For example, anyone who’s dabbed lavender oil—which contains linalool—behind their ears knows that it can potentially help you relax you. Similarly, terpenes in certain cannabis strains can add to its effects. Some studies show over 150 terpenes found in cannabis plants, with the three most common being Myrcene, Limonene, and Caryophyllene. Over the past few years, there have been a number of studies and research on terpenes and their effects so quite a bit of information lives online.
We pulled some of this copy from Leafly and suggest checking out their news site for a deeper read.