When you’re new to the world of cannabis, it can be confusing sometimes and hard to keep all the lingo straight. Terpenes and terpene profiles are two of the terms that come up when talking about cannabis and CBD products, but what are terpenes, anyway? Simply put, terpenes are chemical compounds that occur naturally in many different plants and some animals. Pine trees, for instance, have terpenes that help ward off insect pests like bark beetles. These chemicals give certain aromas and flavors (even colors) to different types of vegetation, and they are what gives each strain of cannabis its own unique smell and taste. Some terpenes are thought to have therapeutic properties, too!
Researchers are still learning about terpenes and how they can affect the experience of using different cannabis strains, but the general hypothesis is that the types and ratios of terpenes work with the cannabinoids present to create a unique effect in the body. The interplay of terpenes and cannabinoids gives each strain its own “fingerprint” of effects. This may be one reason why two different strains of cannabis with the same levels of CBD or THC can have different effects—it comes down to the terpenes.
Terpenes are not considered to be psychoactive in and of themselves, but they may interact with cannabinoids like THC to alter the effect in the brain. Also, different terpene profiles seem to offer greater therapeutic benefits for things like sleep, body aches, and feelings of unease. Some cannabis professionals suggest looking less at cannabinoid levels and more at terpenes when choosing a strain for your needs!
The activity of terpenes is one reason why “full-spectrum” products are so popular. These products have all the active molecules present, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds, in varying ratios. If you want to get the full experience of your CBD products, consider a full-spectrum formula.
It is estimated that there are over 400 types of terpenes in the cannabis plant, and there is still much to learn about them and how they affect the body. This is another fascinating layer of how cannabis can have such incredible benefits and offers an opportunity for a more custom experience.
Here at Ignite Dispensary, we are passionate about educating people about cannabis and CBD products. Come down and visit us today to learn more!