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Alana Rossi
August 19, 2023

Terpenes refer to the diverse class of fragrant essential oils produced in abundance within the same cannabis trichome glands that manufacture major cannabinoids like THC and CBD. Terpenes provide cannabis with its wide spectrum of aromatic qualities ranging from citrus, pine, fuel, mint, berry, spice and other plant essences. Research specifically isolating how individual terpenes and terpene blends shape the subjective and therapeutic effects of different cannabis strains remains extremely limited. However it is strongly speculated based on observational evidence that terpenes likely interact synergistically with other components present in the plant such as cannabinoids and flavonoids to help influence reported experiential differences in effects and benefits between consuming strains. For example, myrcene may promote relaxation and serve as a mild sedative, while limonene tends to elevate moods and provide invigorating effects. At this stage, scientists have successfully identified and characterized over 100 distinctive aromatic terpenes present in measurable quantities within the cannabis plant and within each subsequent strain, each carrying its own unique scent and associated purported effects. While most commercial testing labs still do not routinely test or provide breakdowns for terpene contents, the diverse presence and concentrations of key terpenes ultimately serve to differentiate cannabis strains, enhance subjective experiences and augment overall therapeutic outcomes whether the final product is ultimately smoked, vaporized, processed into an extract or ingested.

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