What are Terpenes and How are They Used?

What are Terpenes and How are They Used?

Terpenes are classified as hydrocarbons that produce smell, flavor, and effect characteristics of specific substances such as Cannabis. Research shows that a large amount of plants originally produce terpenes in order to ward off invasive harmful insects, or to attract helpful pollinating insects. Terpenes are not just found in Cannabis, they can be found in most oils and resins of spices, herbs, and fruits.

When Cannabis plants enter their flowering state they begin to excrete a very potent smell due to the terpenes seeping out of the plants trichomes. There are well over 100 different identified terpenes, therefore there isn’t exactly a standard describable “terpene scent”. 

Terpenes are often categorized by researchers based on four broad flavor profiles:

  • Sweet
  • Sour
  • Spicy
  • Bitter

Terpene analysis may be conducted in order to create a terpene profile for a selected strain. This terpene profile is important because it allows for consumers to understand the projected effects of the selected strain. This is because changes in terpene variation and content have been found to alter the physiological effects then felt of the consumer. Some terpenes for example are more energizing for the body, while others tend to be more sedative. 

Terpenes participate alongside cannabinoids in order to enhance their effect through what is known as the entourage effect. The entourage effect is the enhancement of the binding of cannabinoids to our endocannabinoid system based on chemical pairing. The entourage effect is so important because it allows us to feel and receive the effects of more minor cannabinoids that otherwise would have a hard time or not be able to connect with receptors at all.

Article By. Exclusive Hemp Farms

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