In the previous post "What are cannabis terpenes?", I covered the basics that every cannabis consumer should know about terpenes, and how they work.
For this post, I wanted to take a deeper dive into a few of the various types of terpenes, and the different types of effects they can provide cannabis consumers.
When you are able to identify the cause and effect of a certain terpene, product choices become a breeze. It is good to trust your body chemistry when choosing a strain based on its terpene content. Some of the most prominent terpenes have calming effects on both the mind and body. Oftentimes, you can tell by the flower’s scent if the strain will have similar effects for you. Relaxing terpenes have a great deal of nose appeal. They are found in almost all Kush strains, Purple Punch, Grape Ape, and many more.
Lavender is a common scent used to soothe the mind and promote relaxation due to its dominant terpene, Linalool. It can be used to calm restlessness and promote healthy sleep. Lavender Kush represents the true power of Linalool.
Consumers seeking physical relaxation will discover that Myrcene is key. It has a subtle citrus aroma tempered by earthy tones. It occurs naturally in thyme, lemongrass, and mangoes, which speaks to its flavor.
While Linalool relaxes the mind, Myrcene is known to relieve minor pain in the body. It can be found in almost every strain because it is the most common cannabis terpene, debunking the idea that cannabis cannot provide a sense of relief. Some Myrcene-dominant strains include Granddaddy Purple, Pure Kush, and even sativa-leaning strains like Tangie. You may have heard the phrase that “indica means in-da-couch,” when in fact, that can be attributed to Myrcene’s naturally sedating effects.
Other selections can provide an energy-boosting sensation, such as those that contain high percentages of Alpha Pinene, Limonene, or Beta Caryophyllene. When inspecting a bud, the simplest way to remember these terpenes is by their unique scent.
Alpha Pinene can aromatically transport you to a forest of pine trees. This terpene tends to make users feel alert and mentally reinvigorated. God’s Gift and Blue Dream are two popular strains that contain high levels of Alpha Pinene.
Similarly, Limonene can enhance energy and mood. Some liken it to the tart scent of lemon cleaner, which is certainly true in Jack Herer. Limonene can be found in fruits but also in rosemary and mint leaves.
Beta Caryophyllene may be the easiest terpene to determine through a simple smell test, due to its fragrance that mirrors black pepper. This focus-enhancer can be found in White Widow, Gorilla Glue #4, and Purple Punch. These terpenes can keep the mind feeling agile and the body feeling active.
Cannabis can be used to help diminish bacteria and protect against infection. Strains with a pine or hoppy aroma can indicate this kind of outcome.
Cultivars high in Humulene can help consumers overcome nausea and reduce their appetite. A popular strain that produces this outcome is Sour Diesel. Humulene is found in hops, cloves, and basil. It emits an incense-like, herbal essence. This terpene acts as an organic antibacterial and has many other medicinal functions.
Alpha Pinene and Terpinolene also function as antibacterial agents.
Each strain provides various dominant terpenes and therefore differing effects. The “entourage effect” is a culmination of multiple terpenes working together to produce an all-encompassing high. There are almost an unattainable number of combinations, and thus a range of “hybrid-like” effects. Over 100 different terpenes have been identified in cannabis plants, and scientists have only begun to discover the most prominent terpenes. Recognizing terpene-rich products in nature can help you become more attuned to what your nose is telling you.