The unique, skunky, pungent, and musky aroma of weed is unmistakable. Regular consumers can smell the same, even without actually seeing it. These aromatic compounds are known as terpenes, also called Tarpenes. Terpenes are known for determining the real scent of several herbs and flowers, thereby bestowing cannabis with that distinctive odor.
These compounds also contribute to the flavor of cannabis. Did you know that cannabis actually comprises over 150 different kinds of terpenes? Although these are usually present in traces, the stronger ones collaborate together, contributing to their exclusive and signature scents.
For instance, the blend of terpenes in a strain like sour Diesel signifies the strain’s gassy, pungent character – similarly, the sour as well as sweet fresh cherry pie can be spotted in the Cherry Pie strain.
But this is not all that these compounds are responsible for – there’s more to these compounds than just their aromatic functions. And that’s why we are here – stay tuned to read about Terpenes in detail.
What Are Tarpenes? All About Terpenes!
Beyond just providing marijuana with its elusive range of scents, tarpenes also come with diverse functions related to the marijuana plant. These, in fact, have several mood-altering and therapeutic effects on different cannabis consumers.
The point is: terpenes don’t just contribute to your high. These also have other functions! If you have ever tried out any CBD isolate with terpenes, then you would know what we are talking about. For now, let’s not waste any more time and instead spend time finding out more about these aromatic compounds.
Origins: Where Do Terpenes Come From?
You might not know your terpenes, but that’s cool, considering we are here to help you. Have you ever wondered where do tarpenes come from? These naturally-occurring compounds originate inside trichomes of the cannabis plants, and that too only in female plants.
In case you don’t know, trichomes are translucent, sticky glands which act as a surface cover for buds, and that too in comparatively smaller amounts on stems and leaves. Critically, trichomes comprise resin glands – these resin glands are responsible for producing terpenes.
Did you know that these terpenes actually play a vital role in the growth as well as the survival of cannabis plants? Besides just producing different aromas, these compounds are also responsible for enriching both pigmentation and color in the buds and leaves while contributing to the strain’s flavors.
Then there are several terpenes, such as Geraniol, for instance, that repel herbivores or real insects that might just get tempted to start snacking on cannabis. Other kinds of terpenes, such as linalool and terpinolene, attract smaller creatures like insects which can enhance the spreading of pollen.
Moreover, these also support the immune system of plants by simply conveying information related to the environment around them, triggering immune responses, and even protecting plants from pathogens and stressors.
There are several terpenes that are volatile by nature – is means that these are simply lost during standard cannabis extraction. But just the increasing awareness about the therapeutic effects of these compounds can lead to relatively sensitive methods of extraction like live resin.
Did you know that live resin is, in fact, made from frozen cannabis plants? This means that growers have to maintain freezing temperatures during the whole extraction process to protect volatile compounds within the plant, simply leading to a cannabis experience that’s flavorful and aromatically complex.
Impact: How Do Terpenes Affect The Body?
You don’t need to try out any terpene isolate to find out how these affect the human body. For instance, these tarpenes have aromatic properties – humans have harnessed different vibrant scents from terpenes for a long time now. We have been formulating essential oils for some time now with the help of these terpenes.
For instance, if you have ever used lavender oil containing linalool right behind your ears, then you know how well it relaxes you. Similarly, there are different terpenes that can enhance the effects of the strain.
Moreover, the different effects of these terpenes extend over the feel-good benefits or even standard stress relief. These compounds have been identified in the world of cannabis medicine as a new development. Until very recently, the whole spotlight has been exclusively focused on the different therapeutic attributes of cannabinoids like CBD and THC.
However, our basic understanding of tarpenes becomes relatively more sophisticated when it becomes apparent that such aromatic compounds happen to also be medicinal powerhouses. These aromatic compounds boast various combinations that have different therapeutic properties.
The Medicinal Benefits Of Terpenes
Several preclinical studies on different animals have been conducted in various test tubes for identifying the therapeutic benefits related to tarpenes. In this context, it must be noted that terpene research at its roots has to be basically performed on all humans. But again, there’s no denying that we need a lot more research to solidify our overall understanding of the same.
And just saying there’s no point looking for ‘odorless terpenes’ when it’s all about the aroma. Anyway, scroll down and check out the medical benefits of terpenes.
Researchers are pretty much always hunting for different antiviral compounds. There are several terpenes that come with strong abilities for killing viruses, inclusive of both alpha as well as beta-pinene camphor, carvone, and caryophyllene.
The increasing rate of different types of cancers is only enhancing the quest for compounds which can fight the deadly disease. Certain terpenes, inclusive of the ones you can find in cannabis, exhibits plenty of anticancer activity to deal with cancer cell growth. In fact, Limonene has been particularly noted for representing itself as an antitumor and anticancer agent.
Did you know that 25% of different antidepressant drugs use herbal extracts containing terpenes? Both Beta-pinene and Linalool are common plant extracts often used for the formulation of various antidepressant medications.
A huge range of terpenes might display a range of antimicrobial activities or even possess the ability to stop multiple harmful microorganisms in their tracks. There are several terpenes like geraniol, eucalyptol, terpinolene, alpha-bisabolol, and menthol, all of which can be used to stop or even kill the progress of these microorganisms.
Researchers have come across certain cannabis tarpenes that mimic cannabinoids in terms of providing pain relief. In a study conducted in 2021, cannabinoids were combined with terpenes, and as a result, the pain-relieving impact was amplified while the negative side effects did not experience an increase. The pain-relieving terpenes are linalool, β-pinene, humulene, and geraniol.
And It’s A Wrap!
So now you have a fair idea about the benefits of terpenes, or should we call them tarpenes like most people on the internet? Tell us your thoughts on these aromatic compounds – we will be waiting to hear back from you soon! Don’t forget to share your experiences with us in the comments below.
Barsha Bhattacharya is a senior content writing executive. As a marketing enthusiast and professional for the past 4 years, writing is new to Barsha. And she is loving every bit of it. Her niches are marketing, lifestyle, wellness, travel and entertainment. Apart from writing, Barsha loves to travel, binge-watch, research conspiracy theories, Instagram and overthink.