Terpenes 101

We’ve come to the general conclusion that there are two types of cannabis consumers: those who understand the botanical science behind cannabis and those who don’t. Today we’re speaking directly to those who don’t because while terpenes are a common buzzword in the weed industry, many everyday consumers don’t fully understand them. 

 

If you’ve ever stumbled across the word and found yourself asking, “What exactly are terpenes?” Or if you’re curious about how they help to define your overall experience, you’ve come to the right place. 

 

Whether you’re a cannabis connoisseur or just learning the ins and outs enough to feel confident placing your next delivery order, keep reading to discover everything you need to know about terpenes. 

 

What are Terpenes?

 

Cannabinoid… Resin vs. Rosin… THC… CBN… it’s easy to get lost in the lingo and discouraged by the vast array of knowledge that most veterans of the cannabis industry seem to possess; however, it’s never too late to begin compiling your arsenal of cannabis terms to drop in casual conversation. 

 

With that being said, we’re keeping it simple and starting with one of the most common words that you’ll see pop up again and again: terpenes. 

 

By definition, terpenes are fragrant oils released from the resin glands of flowers that provide aromatic diversity. In other words, terpenes are the chemical compounds that give plants their unique scent. 

 

Since terpenes are most commonly referenced while discussing marijuana, it’s a common misconception that they are only found within the cannabis plant; however, while all plants possess their own unique terpene profile, the term is almost exclusively associated with marijuana because terpenes play a huge role in defining your experience with a specific strain or particular brand — which leads to our next point…

 

How do Terpenes Define Your Experience?

 

Let’s pause here for a moment. 

 

To fully understand how terpenes define your experience, it’s important to mention the entourage effect, which is essentially just the idea that cannabis compounds work together to influence the overall psychoactive effects of the plant. 

 

Okay, resume. 

 

You may be asking yourself how exactly a compound that gives a plant its smell plays such an important role in the overall experience you have with the strain — other than the obvious, of course. 

 

Since terpene molecules are quite small, they have the ability to bind to different receptors in the brain, resulting in the different physiological and psychoactive effects of the plant. Ultimately, the connection between the terpenes and cannabinoids in a specific strain—aka the entourage effect—is the differentiating factor that determines your experience. 

 

Common Terpenes 

 

To conclude this edition of HyperWolf education, we’d like to touch on a few of the most common terpenes to watch out for:

 

Myrcene: Arguably the most common terpene in cannabis, Myrcene makes up approximately 65% of the complete terpene profile in some strains. It’s earthy, musky, and fruity, but more importantly, it’s commonly reported to be useful in treating inflammation and chronic pain. 

**Fun fact: Mango contains high amounts of myrcene. That said, enjoying a mango before consuming cannabis will strengthen the psychoactive effects and increase its absorption rate. 

 

Limonene: What’s the first word that comes to mind when you hear limonene? If you said lemons, then we’re on the same page! As its name suggests, limonene is the terpene responsible for giving some strains their citrusy aroma. It’s known to improve mood and reduce stress, so it’s no surprise that it is one of the most common terpenes in cannabis. 

 

Linalool: Have you ever breathed in the fresh air and immediately recognized the smell of weed? If so, you’ve most likely picked up on the smell of linalool, the terpene that gives marijuana its recognizable spicy and floral smell as well as its strong sedative and relaxing effects. 

 

Hopefully with this general understanding of terpenes you’ll be one step closer to becoming a self-proclaimed cannabis connoisseur, and one step closer to Finding Your High. For more cannabis and HyperWolf knowledge, check out our blog!