Have you ever noticed the magnificent smell of a pine forest, the unmistakable scent of fresh coffee beans or the zest of a freshly cut lemon? All of these unique olfactory experiences have one thing in common: Terpenes. These aromatic compounds are found throughout most of the natural world; in the leaves, the needles, the fruits, flowers, and vegetables. They play a number of roles for each plant. Some terpenes attract pollinators, while others deter predators or pests. Some assist in repairing damage to the plant, and others serve a role in the plant’s immune system to protect from infections. Specific to Cannabis Sativa (the scientific name for cannabis/marijuana) multiple terpenes are found in high concentrations varying from stain to strain. With over 150 identified pungent compounds, few other plant species contain such a variety of terpenes as cannabis.
October 1st, 2020
What are Terpenes?
A brief introduction to these delightful compounds
Terpenes are all around us
Terpene molecular structures
What do they do?
Terpenes have a variety of bioactive properties, meaning they have a direct effect on the cells of the body. This is especially true when combined with cannabinoids to produce a reaction called “The Entourage Effect”. For reference, cannabinoids are the main chemical compounds found within cannabis, with the two most prevalent being the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and “non-intoxicating” cannabidiol (CBD). A handful of terpenes in cannabis have been involved in studies that found noticeable effects on the user. This study claims Limonene has “anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antinociceptive, anticancer, antidiabetic, antihyperalgesic, antiviral, and gastroprotective effects, among other beneficial effects in health”. The vast majority of positive effects of terpenes are unknown, and will continue to be discovered with time and research.
"..terpenes themselves may prove to be just as effective in stimulating wellness and creating optimal effects."
Terpenes are not to be overlooked
Terpenes are truly a delight for the senses, the body, and the brain. More studies are needed to truly grasp their individual effects, and how they can be combined in targeted ways to create lasting, positive effects. Although cannabinoids such as THC and CBD play an important role in the way cannabis affects the brain, terpenes themselves may prove to be just as effective in stimulating wellness and creating optimal effects. Considering scent is most closely associated with memory, terpenes are linked with our bodies in ways science has yet been able to fully comprehend.
Written by - The Mode Team
The Mode team is passionate about cannabis and its ability to make the world a happier, healthier and more productive place. The scientific revolution is just starting with cannabinoid research and its use as personalized, precision medicine. We are excited to be part of the solution and usher in a new decade of smart cannabis consumption.
Join us on the journey!