Why Understand Terpenes?
To get the most effective results from Cannabis it is important to know several things about choosing a strain. In addition to knowing the plant species, and what the THC and CBD content is of each strain; it is also important to know what the main Terpene profile is. Not until recently did we, as a consumer, have the luxury of choosing specific Cannabis strains through the legitimate government sources; not to mention to be able to consider the Terpenes that are present.
As Many As 200 Terpenes
What exactly is a Terpene you ask? These are organic molecules or components found in a variety of plants, including Cannabis and even some insects. Terpenes are responsible for the flavors, the smell and some of the medicinal effects found in Cannabis.
There are as many as 200 Terpenes in Cannabis and the amount of each vary from plant to plant, which is one reason so many different types of species exist. Some factors that affect the development of the Terpenes are soil conditions, weather and crop maturity.
Terpenes, like Cannabinoids, bind to receptors helping to control the amount of THC that passes through the blood-brain barrier. It also helps control the release of Dopamine and Serotonin. This is what’s known as the “Entourage Effect.” Each Terpene has a different boiling point, which is why vaporizing the herb is recommended so you do not burn off all the medicinal components.
Pain, Nausea, Inflammation and Relaxation
Cannabis is high in Humulene, which can be effective to treat pain and can be used as an appetite suppressant. Some of these strains are named: Afghan Kush, Sour Diesel and White Widow. While Myrcene is best for managing nausea and stimulating appetite. This is also one of the more common Terpenes found in Cannabis and as mentioned, is also responsible for appetite stimulation or the munchies. One well-known strain high in Terpene is Jack Herer.
Caryophyllene has anti-Inflammatory effects and could possibly fight cancer, look for Rock Star or Sour Diesel. Trans-Nerolidol can provide sedating effects, the strains highest in this Terpene are Jack Herer and Tilray’s Island Sweet Skunk. Pinene is good for treating asthma and can possibly fight cancer. The strains highest in this Terpene are again, Jack Herer and Tilray’s Island Sweet Skunk.
My personal favorite is Bisabolol, it works great as an anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant. Is also great for treating sun burns and can enhance the percutaneous absorption of certain molecules. These Terpenes can also be found in Chamomile and is commonly used in the cosmetic industry. If you make your own Cannabis infused beauty products, like I do, I recommend finding strains high in this Terpene. Such as; Nuken, Headband or Tangerine Dream and even some varieties of Kush.
I'm amazed at the medicinal capability Cannabis and all its components have and we still have a lot to learn about this plant! Thanks to nature we have the ability to customize our medicine to fit our individual needs.
*These strain recommendations are guidelines, Terpenes profiles change from crop to crop. Check with your provider for their recommendations.