The cannabis plant has appealing aromas and flavors for consumers to enjoy. The different molecules give each plant a distinctive smell. Each cultivar or strain comes with its unique character, scent, and test used to determine the name.
Cannabinoids and unique, organic compounds present in the plant are responsible for certain aromas found in cannabis. Apart from the flavor, the interaction between these elements has physiological and cerebral effects on the human body and mind.
But what makes the cannabis plant therapeutic?
There’s a class of organic compounds known as terpenes that cause the entourage effect. These molecules have a profound impact on the intensity of certain fragrances and influence the user’s experience.
We will shortly take a closer look at terpenes and the entourage effect, but first, let’s see how these terpenes interact with your body and other elements found in the cannabis plant.
What Are Terpenes?
Many plant species contain this class of molecules known as terpenes. They are present in plants such as conifers and citrus fruit trees. Primarily made up of essential oils, these fragrant compounds influence the plant’s distinctive scent and character.
In cannabis, the plant has more than 200 terpenes that come in different combinations. Because of this, they are the largest group of phytochemicals found in marijuana. However, out of the 200, only a substantial number are identifiable by smelling.
Trichomes produce terpenes in cannabis. These are the same glands that produce cannabidiol (CBD) and THC, which are cannabinoids. So all the scents and flavors you get from cannabis are a product of terpenes.
Once you apply heat to a CBD flower, the terpenes are the first molecules to vaporize. The aroma produced sends signals to your brain and boosts your psychoactive senses. Modern scientists continue to study how terpenes contribute to the entourage effect when choosing cannabis products for their fields.
During plant extraction, the scent found in natural terpenes may be lost. Therefore, they will be added to concentrate cannabis products to boost the aroma and flavor or develop new flavor combinations.
Because of their aroma, terpenes are utilized in holistic healing methods such as aromatherapy and other forms of holistic healing. They can be used in the fragrance industry in scented products, perfumes, and colognes.
Whether you prefer CBC oils, concentrates, or flowers, here are some of the most common terpenes you can get.
This is one of the most common terpenes in the plant world. Alpha-pinene is a terpenes which is found in forests and most trees, such as pines and conifers.
Cannabis strains have high concentrations of alpha-pinene, which boosts alertness and memory retention. It’s also a bronchodilator, therefore a perfect choice for asthmatic individuals.
When taking cannabis with pinene one encounters THC adverse effects such as short-term memory.
Alpha-humulene is well-suited for medical conditions, especially as an antibacterial or anti-inflammation. The aroma is primarily earthy or woody and is also found in ginger and sage.
This powerful terpene has an earthy and herbal scent. Well known for its sedative effects, it’s an excellent choice for pain relief.
Myrcene, especially in high concentrations, combines well with THC and other cannabinoids to help cross the blood-brain barrier. This terpene also is anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory.
As the name suggests, this terpene is mainly found in citrus fruits. However, cannabis has a scent that is just like a lemon or lime. Cultivars with this scent can help relieve stress, treat anxiety and depression, and relieve heartburn and gastrointestinal reflux.
Caryophyllene is present in herbs such as black pepper, rosemary, and cloves. Therefore, if you have this terpene in your cultivar, your marijuana will have a spicy clove-like aroma.
Beta-caryophyllene is suitable for your gastro-intestines. In addition, because of its ability to bind directly to the CB2 receptor, it’s therapeutic for inflammatory conditions and autoimmune disorders.
A prominent terpene in lavender and some cannabis strains, this compound counters anxiety and alleviates stress. It’s also a potent anticonvulsant and helps with depression. Furthermore, individuals can use it for external application on acne and skin burns.
How Do Terpenes Interact with Your Body?
You are probably wondering what the common terpene side effect is. The reaction to cannabis is due to various terpenes and cannabinoids with your endocannabinoid system (ESC). The ESC is the body’s biological system that regulates your everyday mood and experiences.
Discovered in 1992, the ESC has two receptors, CB1 and CB2, whose role is to receive and bind cannabinoids such as CBD and THC. While CB1 receptors are found in the brain and reproductive organs, CB2 receptors are primarily in the immune system, especially in the spleen.
Once you have terpenes in your body, they affect how the cannabinoids interact with your ESC. Furthermore, they will interact with ESC to regulate sleep, pain, pleasure, memory, immune system, and appetite.
Apart from aromas, terpenes interact directly with the body. According to research, if you consume both alpha- and beta-pinene simultaneously, they work together and exhibit anti-tumor characteristics.
Do Terpenes Get You High?
Most CBD enthusiasts use these products for different needs. But do terpenes get you high?
Since they don’t contain any THC, consuming extracted terpenes alone will not get you high. Instead, these aromatic compounds contribute to several benefits of smoking marijuana but need a combination of other compounds to get any psychoactive effects.
Using products with terpenes will probably make you feel a little dizzy. However, since they work by enhancing the benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids, they will not make you high.
The THC molecules are what makes you high. Terpenes work in reverse by boosting the potential benefits of cannabinoids and reducing extreme adverse side effects.
Before choosing a cannabis flower or concentrate, it’s best first to know the distinct combination of terpenes in your cultivar to meet your specific needs. Different plant terpenes provide varying therapeutic benefits.
All About the Entourage Effect
[Photo by Binoid CBD from Pexels]
What does the entourage effect feel like? This is a common question when it comes to smoking marijuana. The entourage effect is a phrase used to describe the combination of synergies from different parts of the cannabis plant.
According to this phenomenon, a cannabis extract containing terpenes, CBD, THC, and any other cannabinoids is superior to one with just cannabinoids. Therefore, all these compounds don’t act alone.
Terpenes contribute to this entourage effect by influencing how THC and CBD interact with other cannabinoids. They also make the experience much better by boosting their performance. For instance, terpenes will help THC get through the blood-brain barrier.
According to research, the addition of terpenes to cannabinoids produces the entourage effect, which enhances the cannabinoid activity on psychiatric symptoms. Because of this, a combination of these elements can be used to treat mood and anxiety disorders.
Based on this study, products with CBD and terpenes could be an important potential source for new medications in place of antidepressants. Therefore, when terpene is combined with other compounds found in the cannabis plant, it can be a good alternative for some of the medication and treatment provided in hospitals.
For these synergies to work, research stated that whole-plant cannabis is more effective than using compounds from an extract to get the entourage effect. Therefore, if you want to experience the entourage effect, you have to consume cannabis products with multiple interacting components simultaneously.
How Terpenes and Entourage Effect Affect Cannabinoids
The relation between terpenes and entourage effect affects how the body absorbs cannabinoids. When a diverse set of molecules is absorbed by the body simultaneously, the undesirable effects of cannabis are reduced.
Consuming CBD and THC at the same time significantly reduces paranoia and anxiety. This phenomenon improves when there are terpenes in the cultivar. A combination of the three compounds reduces stress and enhances the experience.
According to a report, terpenes and cannabinoids increase blood flow and kill respiratory pathogens, including the antibiotic-resistant bacteria MRSA. This molecule’s synergy also helps with the treatment of pain and inflammation.
When one uses marijuana with both cannabinoids and terpenes, the compounds hit different targets. This combined effort on different cellular pathways and receptors works much faster when dealing with the issue.
Cannabis cultivars have distinctive aromas. Terpenes play a significant role in the aroma, flavor as well as therapeutic benefits. Once these essential oils interact with cannabinoids, they have an impact known as the entourage effect.
The relationship between terpenes and entourage effect is necessary for alleviating some medical conditions such as pain and inflammation. By selecting cultivars with these compounds, scientists and medical professionals can utilize the benefits of the entourage effect to work on better cannabis products.
There is also room for more research to understand the positive impact of terpenes on the body and mind due to the entourage effect.