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Terpenes

Terpene Profiles: Terpinolene, a Potent and Rare Essential Oil

If you visit our cannabis blog with any frequency, you know that we expend a lot of effort examining terpenes, the fragrant hydrocarbons—in other words “essential oils”—that give different strains of cannabis their distinctive and characteristic flavors and aromas.

It’s part of what we like to think of as a fresh new approach to cannabis, one that takes the whole plant into account, not just the name of its strain or even its cannabinoid content.

But why terpenes? It turns out they have a lot to do with the effects any particular strain has on our bodies and our minds. They contribute aromas, flavors, and a whole lot more, ranging from the powerful anti-inflammatory effects of bisabolol to the analgesic properties of caryophyllene and beyond.

Terpenes flowers and vials

Terpenes occur everywhere in the natural world, giving many plants their distinctive characteristics. But today we’ll focus in on a single terpene—terpinolene—and the qualities it gives our favorite all-natural product: The cannabis plant!

What Does Terpinolene Smell and Taste Like?

Terpinolene sounds an awful lot like another terpene, terpineol. But while that terpene occurs in abundance in the cannabis (and many other) plants, terpinolene may be the most elusive terpene of all. Though it’s found in many strains of cannabis—we’ll share a few in a moment—it typically only appears in very small quantities. Still, when it does show up, it adds a lot.

Terpinolene is often described as having a complex, citrusy, floral and piney aroma, not too dissimilar from the superficially similar terpineol. But above all, terpinolene has an intriguingly “fresh” scent associated with it, one reason it’s often used as an additive in soaps, cosmetics, and perfumery. Elsewhere in the natural world, it appears in cumin, nutmeg, lilac flowers, and the tea tree.

What Does Terpinolene Do For Us?

Again, as with terpineol, the fact that Terpinolene occurs in tea tree is a hint to its antibacterial properties. Research published in 2015 examines the role the terpene—as well as other natural extracts and oils—can play in fighting some common (but dangerous) bacteria including Salmonella and E. coli.

Like several other terpenes, terpinolene may play a role in combating insectile pests. According to a 2009 study, the terpene may help drive away both mosquitoes and boll weevils.

Terpinolene oil and dropper

What’s more, terpinolene may even help safeguard our heart health. A 2005 study found that the compound might help us avoid coronary heart diseases.

How to Get Terpinolene from Cannabis

As we noted earlier, terpinolene typically occurs in very small amounts in cannabis strains. That said, its powerful aromatic and medicinal qualities help make them particularly unique. Some of the more popular terpinoline-rich strains include:

Dutch Treat: A notably head-clearing strain, announced by an earthy pine aroma. While it’s powerfully euphoric, this strain is popular for folks who want to keep on a generally uplifted, creative roll.

Sour Tsunami: This strain is notable for being one of the first to be bred specifically for high CBD over THC content. It’s effective for treating pain and inflammation without producing significant Psychoactivity. Its CBD levels can test as high as 10 – 11%, while THC is usually under 10%.

Shipwreck: Characterized as a sativa, this unusual strain gives users a mellow lift that syncs well with getting things done. It can also impart a strong body buzz, so watch out: Shipwreck can be sleep-inducing depending on dosage and your individual tolerance.

Terpinolene bud

Looking for some terpinolene-rich strains? Stop by our Oakland dispensary or check out our online dispensary menu!

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Terpenes

Terpene Profiles: Terpineol, the Cannabis Plant’s Relaxing, Pine-Scented Powerhouse

Even if you haven’t visited our beautiful Oakland dispensary yet, we’re pretty sure you know what we’re about: A fresh and new approach to cannabis, one that takes into account the whole plant, not just its strain, its cannabinoid content, or any of the other ways to characterize this most beneficial of plant medicines.

We spend a lot of time focusing on the subject of terpenes, the fragrant hydrocarbons—that’s “essential oils” to you and me—that give individual cannabis plants their distinctive and characteristic flavors and aromas.

Terpineol nugget and pine needles

Why terpenes? It turns out they’re are a big deal, contributing a lot more than aroma and flavor. For literally thousands of years now, Chinese physicians and practitioners of “folk medicine” have known that different cannabis plants elicit specific responses in our bodies: The linalool in many strains (as well as lavender) has relieved stress for eons; eucalyptol has calmed our bronchial passages since we first inhaled its cooling, mentholated aroma.

Terpenes occur in abundance in the natural world, giving many plants their identifying characteristics. But today we’ll focus in on a single terpene—terpineol—and the qualities it gives our favorite all-natural product: The cannabis plant!

What Does Terpineol Do For Us?

Like many other terpenes, terpinoel is found in abundance in the natural world. You’ll find it in pine, bitter orange, tea tree, and roughly 150 other sources. Many describe it as having an agreeable sweet lime flavor and an aroma similar to fresh lilacs. For these reasons it’s often used in perfumes, soaps, and as a flavoring in foods.

Chemically speaking, “terpineol” is actually a family of four closely related terpenes, each with slightly different characteristics. A-terpineol, for instance, is one of the most important aromatics found in lapsang souchong tea (no surprise, as this intense and lovely tea is dried over pinewood fires.)

Terpineol and pine needles

The fact that terpineol occurs in tea tree is a hint to its antibacterial properties. In fact, at least one study has found that the terpene is effective against E. coli, one of the most feared and troublesome food-borne pathogens. This is noteworthy, as these food-borne bacteria can cause very serious illness or even death.

What’s more, terpineol has noted sedative and anxiolytic properties as well. In addition to anecdotal reports of “couch lock” associated with high-terpineol cannabis strains, a study concluded that terpineol and other similar terpenes had anesthetic qualities associated with them.

How to Get Terpineol from Cannabis

Terpineol is considered one of the “primary terpenes,” so it’s reasonably common in many cannabis strains. Some of the more popular include:

Terpineol strains

White Widow is a potent, crystal-dusted strain, known for imparting a strong euphoric and energizing effect. Those resinous crystals should serve as a warning: This is an extremely potent strain with a high THC content.

GSC (formerly known as Girl Scout Cookies) is a potent high-THC strain also known for a robust CBD and CBN content. Be forewarned: The high is an enjoyable experience, but not one noted for high productivity!

Jack Herer: A legendary strain among medical cannabis users, this strain—named for the legendary cannabis activist and author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes—lends a blissful, clear-headed, and inspiring. Again, these qualities are all in accord with limonene’s noted mood-enhancing gifts.

If you have thoughts, questions or know-how about terpineol, stop by our Oakland dispensary! Already know which strains you want? Feel free to order online!

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Terpenes

Terpene Profiles: Geraniol, a Floral Anti-Bacterial Powerhouse from Cannabis

If you’ve visited our beautiful Oakland dispensary, you’re probably well aware that we’re big on the subject of terpenes, those fragrant hydrocarbons—or “essential oils”—that give cannabis strains their distinctive and characteristic flavors and aromas.

What’s the big deal? For one, we think that describing a cannabis plant’s terpene makeup is a fantastic way to determine its attributes — one that ultimately provides the end user (that’s you) with more descriptive and actionable information.

Geraniol geraniums and vials

Plus, terpenes contribute a lot more than odors and flavors. Although practitioners of “folk medicine” have known it for thousands of years, terpenes elicit specific responses in our bodies. The linalool in lavender has been used as a natural stress-reducer for eons; eucalyptol has eased respiratory symptoms since we humans first inhaled its cooling, menthol aroma.

Terpenes occur everywhere in the natural world, giving many plants and other beings their characteristic odors and flavors. But today we’re going to focus in on a single terpene—geraniol—and the qualities it gives our favorite all-natural product: The cannabis plant!

What Does Geraniol Do For Us?

As you might have guessed, geraniol is commonly associated with the geranium flower and its distinctive, delicate scent, which some describe as a cross between roses and fresh green leaves. It’s also found in the tobacco plant and in lemons (geraniol sometimes goes by “lemonol,” not to be confused with limonene.

Whatever you call it, one of this terpene’s primary uses is as an all-natural repellent for insects and certain parasites. But inside our bodies, research suggests that geraniol helps fight Candida, a fungus responsible for yeast infections and thrush.

But there’s more. According to one study, geraniol can also help fight some truly nasty intestinal bugs, including Campylobacter, E. coli, and Salmonella. This is potentially a huge deal, as these food-borne bacteria can cause very serious illness or even death. In our book, any all-natural remedy that helps boost our resistance to these pathogens is worth investing more research and study in.

Other studies point to powerful anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant and even anti-tumor effects, suggesting that there’s much more to learn about this lovely and floral terpene.

A note of caution: Be aware that high levels of geraniol in topicals like skin creams are associated with skin irritation for some users; research thoroughly before using any such products that may have a high concentration of this terpene.

geraniol anti-inflammatory

How to Get Geraniol from Cannabis

Geraniol is considered one of the “primary terpenes,” so it’s reasonably common in many cannabis strains.

When you stop by our Oakland dispensary, our Experience Guides can help you find the perfect strain or cannabis product to help you achieve your desired effects. Let your guide know that you’re looking for cannabis strains high in geraniol or which have inflammatory effects and she’ll point you in the right direction!

Already know what you want? Our online dispensary menu makes ordering easy! Quickly find your desired product , then swing by our Oakland dispensary to pick it up!

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Education Terpenes

Terpene Profiles: Camphene, Cannabis’s Unique Heart-Health Booster

If you’ve spent any time at all perusing our website or our blog (or, better yet, visited our beautiful Oakland dispensary), you know that we approach cannabis a little bit differently than most. We’re of the opinion that a particular cannabis plant’s terpene profile determines its qualities, not only in terms of flavor or aroma but more importantly, its effect on our bodies.

How? Simple, really: Terpenes are a class of fragrant hydrocarbons (that’s “essential oils” for the non-scientific). They occur in huge abundance in the natural world, giving plant products like fruits, herbs, and spices their specific characteristics.

Camphene tinctures

We humans have known for eons that specific terpenes elicit particular effects. Since time immemorial, Chinese doctors have used borneol as a digestive aid and treatment for respiratory issues; limonene has imparted a general sense of uplift and mood enhancement since humans first cultivated the lemon.

Nor is this “mere” folk medicine. Whether or not you believe we have something to learn for thousands of years of medical wisdom, modern research is validating many of our hunches about plant-based medicines like terpenes. And that brings us to the star of today’s blog: Camphene, a musky and pungent terpene with some very potent implications for improved heart health.

What Does Camphene Do For Us?

As the name suggests, camphene has a strong camphor-like odor. Some compare its aroma with fir or other evergreen needles, and musky, damp earth. In this regard, it’s superficially similar to myrcene, the most abundant terpene in cannabis. However, camphene is typically present in far smaller concentrations, if at all.

If camphene isn’t that common in cannabis, it makes up for it in medical promise. A 2011 study on rodent models found that it reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels, two major factors in heart disease and stroke. Interestingly, the study was designed to compare the effects of terpenes; it found that camphene exhibited beneficial effects above many more common terpenes.

Camphene Heart in Flower

Another study in 2012 bolstered these findings, also finding that camphene reduced some types of pain. It could be used as an alternative to statins, currently one of the most common classes of cholesterol-lowering drugs. While they’re effective, they come with a host of serious side effects that can limit their long-term use.

How to Get Camphene from Cannabis

Camphene isn’t one of the “primary terpenes,” so finding it in concentrated doses here can be a challenge. A complicating feature is that the smoke produced by burning camphene can be acrid and irritating. We recommend that if you seek out camphene-rich cannabis strains, you try to obtain them in tinctures or some other form that doesn’t involve heating the material to high temperatures.

Camphene Ghost OG

Ghost OG: Derived from the popular OG Kush strain, its fans describe a balanced body / mind effect, and a marked ability to cut through pain, insomnia and anxiety.

Camphene Mendocino Purps

Mendocino Purps: With a “woodsy pine” aroma characteristic of camphene, this award-winning variety is linked with pain and insomnia relief. Be careful; some users report it has a heavy and immediate sedative effect.

Camphene Strawberry Banana

Strawberry Banana: A resinous and THC-heavy strain, this sweet-tasting variety is known for inspiring “happy, peaceful” effects and enhanced sensory awareness.

Stop by our Oakland dispensary to get help choosing the strain that’s right for you. Know what you want? Order online and skip the wait!

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Terpenes

Terpene Profiles: Borneol, a Powerful and Unique Pain-Fighter from Cannabis

As an educated cannasseur, you’re probably already familiar with cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. But we believe that terpenes are perhaps the most important determinant of a particular cannabis plant’s essential character, not only its taste or smell but its medicinal properties as well.

And when it comes to borneol, we’re not alone. In traditional Chinese medicine it’s known as “moxa,” and when harvested from the artemesia family of flowering plants—such as mugwort—it’s compacted into fragrant “sticks” used to relieve pain and correct other bodily imbalances.

Borneol sticks

As with everything related to cannabis, there’s more to the story. Borneol brings some very powerful and unique pain-fighting and other qualities to bear.

What Does Borneol Do For Us?

Borneol has been known to Chinese physicians for at least 2,000 years and possibly much longer. Its aroma is often characterized as “earthy” with distinct notes of “camphor” and a “cooling” quality.

Borneol

Like many other terpenes, borneol has powerful pain-fighting applications. What distinguishes it is the absence of sedative qualities. In other words, it tends to numb pain but not knock you out.

A rodent-based study from 2013 found a significant decrease in nociceptive pain—or that incurred from physical injury—as well as anti-inflammatory effects. Another study showed that borneol was an effective topical to combat pain, merely confirming what Chinese acupuncturists had known for centuries.

In addition to fighting pain, borneol has been used in the following ways:

Safeguarding Heart Health: Borneol appears to have anti-coagulative qualities as demonstrated by a 2008 study. Another rodent-based study showed that borneol had a role to play in preventing strokes.

Neuroprotectant: A 2011 study demonstrated that borneol acts as a protectant against toxicity on the cellular level. This holds promise for those suffering from neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Natural Insect Repellent: There’s a growing awareness of the damage synthetic pesticides wreak on the environment, and borneol may have a role to play here. A 2015 study suggests its effectiveness in controlling mosquitoes who transmit potentially fatal diseases such as West Nile Virus.

How to Get Borneol from Cannabis

Borneol cannabis flower

Borneol isn’t one of the “primary terpenes,” so finding it in concentrated doses here can be a challenge. That said, many “haze” strains such as K13-Haze commonly feature this elusive terpene. K13-Haze is often described as having a strong citrus and nearly metallic flavor with spicy notes (another characteristic of borneol). It’s typically a high-THC plant, with moderate- to high-psychedelic effect.

Looking to get specific effects from your cannabis? Our Experience Guides would be happy to help you find the right terpene-rich strains and products! Stop by our Oakland Dispensary, or check out our online menu.

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Terpenes

Why Terpenes Matter When Picking a Strain

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?

Why Terpenes Matter When Picking a Strain: buds around cbd oil

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.

Lemon surrounded by cannabis buds with terpenes

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.