Understanding terpenes and how they impact different cannabis strains

By @chelean on
Terpenes
Terpenes are a capable and important element of cannabis that can amplify its medical use. Leonora (Ellie) Enking, Creative Commons

More than its recreational purpose, the cannabis plant has gained prominence due to its medical potency. Cannabis compounds known as cannabinoids are gaining a considerable following because of a number of health benefits. There are hundreds of cannabinoids but cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are considered to be the most popular.

CBD vs THC

THC and CBD are known for a number of medical benefits like controlling seizure, treating insomnia, addressing mild depression and treating chronic pain, but the two also have significant differences. THC is the compound that causes the high associated with marijuana, while CBD is non-psychoactive.

This characteristic proves to be more appealing to most cannabis brands as CBD is deemed safer to use. In fact, the compound was used to develop the world’s first FDA approved pharmaceutical drug from cannabis and has been proven to be effective in patients suffering from two rare types of seizures.

Cannabis can contain different concentrations of THC and CBD, with those looking to enjoy the euphoric sensations endorsing higher levels of THC, while consumers seeking out the health benefits without the high have turned the CBD industry into a massive segment in the market.

Knowing terpenes

There’s another aspect of cannabis that’s also gaining ground in the market. Terpenes are another part of the cannabis plant that is rapidly gaining increased attention due to its unique scent, taste and health benefits in conjunction with cannabinoids. Increased amounts of people are seeking terpenes to enhance their cannabis use and have become an additional source of revenue for cannabis companies.

Vape cartridge companies and cannabis edible producers are among the businesses that are beginning to capitalise on the integration of terpenes to their products to accommodate the different demographics of terpene consumers.

Breaking it down

Terpenes are considered healthy for people to consume. It contains Beta-caryophyllene, a sesquiterpene found not just in cannabis, but in various herbs and vegetables as well. Terpene is effective in treating ulcers and is the only one to directly attach to cannabinoid receptors to promote healing in the body by enhancing the effects of cannabinoids such as CBD.

Originally, terpenes were actually used to deter predators and attract pollinators in cannabis plants. Factors such as climate, soil and fertilisers would ultimately determine the development of terpenes in various plants. Terpenes play a significant role when added to the formula, and aside from giving cannabis strains their distinctive smell, it also has a major impact on the output and effectiveness of other cannabinoids that it interacts with.

Terpenes can actually modify the effects of other cannabinoids and compounds, allowing for increased effectiveness in treating health conditions. It is similar to how CBD has a calming effect on THC’s psychoactivity, and this ability of cannabis compounds to alter the effects serves to further cater to the specific needs of consumers.

Entourage effect

The synergy between terpenes and other cannabinoids can trigger a unique experience by mirroring the full spectrum effect found in the cannabis plant. This is referred to as the entourage effect, which was initially coined in 1998 from studies conducted by the father of cannabis research Dr Raphael Mechoulam on how the variety of compounds found in cannabis affected each other.

Today, the full spectrum effect refers to the synergistic effects of all cannabinoids and terpenes that are found in the cannabis plant, as varying combinations can result in different tastes and experiences. Full spectrum CBD, for example, contains the various compounds found in the plant to promote a wider and more effective range of therapeutic effects that could not be accomplished with just CBD alone.

With over 200 different terpenes found in cannabis, each one brings different benefits to the table, and by maximising the entourage effect in combination with other specific cannabinoids, these terpenes can effectively promote a wide variety of effects.

Terpenes can form a powerful synergy with cannabinoids , such as using limonene and linalool to maximise CBD’s capabilities or using caryophyllene, myrcene and pinene to help people with addictions. Terpenes have different effects and have become popular for cannabis consumers looking to further customise their experiences.

These cannabis part plays a pivotal role in inducing the full spectrum effect and is an important factor in the utilisation of cannabis as a source of medicinal relief that can help people suffering from anxiety, depression, insomnia and other conditions regulated by the endocannabinoid system.

By triggering receptors located throughout our body, both cannabinoids and terpenes stimulate the body’s ability to regulate key physiological functions such as sleep, emotion, judgment and appetite to maintain one’s wellbeing and health.

cannabis-313051_1920 Cannabinoids can be greatly enhanced by the presence of terpenes  stankx, Creative Commons

Other uses of terpenes

On their own, terpenes can also regulate levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin is critical to maintaining emotional balance and combating against depression, while dopamine is what gives people pleasure when indulging in food or sex. This enables terpenes to echo some of the recuperative properties of CBD and THC.

Terpenes can also increase gamma-Aminobutyric acid, or GABA, which promotes relaxation by reducing neuron activity. This allows terpenes to be effective in assisting people suffering from anxiety, depression and other problems stemming from the mind.

As cannabis users continue to seek out terpenes to balance out or alter the effects of THC and CBD, cannabis brands are increasingly targeting terpenes as an attractive source of commercialisation.

White Label Liquid Inc. (OTCMKTS:WLAB) provides various white label cannabis services along with branding options to cater to the various cannabis businesses in the sector. For those looking to expand into terpene products to meet the increasing demand, WLAB’s professionally developed terpenes CBD oil will help cannabis operations capitalise on this new and growing segment.

Their branding services are ideal for any company looking to fuel their marketing ventures with a fresh design and product such as terpene oil to get a leg up on the competition. A unique logo will serve as an effective calling card for cannabis brands, and WLAB features all-inclusive marketing services to launch a new product or enhance already existing lineups.

While terpenes aren’t as well-known as cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, they also play a vital part in promoting different medicinal properties of cannabis to assist those suffering from various ailments. Although they are mostly known for their differing scents, terpenes can be an extremely capable component of a cannabis strain by inducing the entourage effect and maximising the capabilities of medicinal cannabis.

IBTimes Australia does not endorse any product or practice mentioned here. The article is based on press releases sent for consideration.