When you visit a dispensary, you’re generally provided with THC and CBD percentages for the available products. There’s also a tendency to classify strains by whether they’re indica or sativa-dominant. At ECO Cannabis, we believe there’s a better way to help people shop for cannabis products.
Cannabis flower is full of compounds beyond cannabinoids. In fact, terpenes (or terpenoids) can have an amazing effect. Let’s take a look at what terpenes really are and why they matter when choosing a strain.
What Are Terpenes and Why Are They Important?
Terpenes are the naturally occurring organic compounds that give plants their smell and flavor. They’re the reason you can tell the difference between a strawberry and pineapple without even looking. Just like how rosemary and lavender essential oils have their unique aromas and therapeutic values, the terpene profile of a strain will set the tone for how it will affect you. Understanding terpenes, then, can be a vital part of including cannabis in a wellness routine.
There are over 20,000 different terpenes with at least 100 that can be found in the cannabis plant. Before current cannabis research, people mostly chose cannabis strains based on the basic effects of sativas and indicas. We now understand that terpenes not only influence the smell and flavor of buds, but can also enhance, change, or reduce the duration and intensity of a strain’s effect. This synergistic relationship between terpenes and cannabinoids is known as the “entourage effect,” and plays a significant role in how cannabis makes you feel.
Terpenes to Look for When Choosing a Strain
We’ll be covering individual terpenes in more detail soon. For now, here are a few the most common terpenes you will come across when shopping for cannabis:
Limonene – Found in citrus fruits and your favorite cleaning products, this high-energy terpene can boost mood, reduce stress, and help with digestion.
Caryophyllene – Known for its spicy and woody aroma, caryophyllene boasts strong anti-inflammatory properties and can help with ulcers, arthritis, GI problems, as well as anxiety and depression.
Myrcene – With its musky, earthy scent, myrcene is the most common terpene found in cannabis. It can help ease muscle pain and tension and promote sleep. Indica strains often have large amounts of myrcene, which contributes to the stoned, “couch-lock” feeling they produce.
Linalool – With its sweet, floral scent, linalool relieves stress and boosts mood. It can balance out the anxious feeling that THC sometimes produces.
Pinene – Perhaps unsurprisingly, pinene smells like pine as well as orange peels. It is the most common terpene in the plant world. It can help fight inflammation and reduce the memory loss associated with THC. It can also promote alertness and boost airflow to your lungs.
One of the best outcomes of cannabis legalization is that consumers now have such a large selection when it comes to choosing strains. Making selections based on terpene profiles rather than just the amount of THC or CBD can bring a whole new dimension to the way you use an enjoy cannabis. You’ll be able to utilize synergistic effects to enhance the benefits of cannabis for treating conditions like pain, insomnia, anxiety, depression, infections, and more, or just for boosting your overall wellness.
Not sure where to start with terpenes? No problem! Visit our new Oakland dispensary. Our Experience Guides are highly trained and ready to help you find the perfect strains for the experience you desire.