First let’s answer the question, what is flavor? Most of us know that flavor is determined not by taste alone, but by the combined senses of both taste and smell. So, if you love wine or cigars or fresh pastries, you’ll probably sniff them before you consume them. Discerning wine connoisseurs will stick their nose deep into their glass, close their eyes, and gently inhale. Do they smell fruit? Vanilla? Is there a hint of chocolate? What about toast or wood or even grass?
Speaking of grass, it’s no different with marijuana.
Terpenes are a class of aromatic organic hydrocarbons (or essential oils) that occur in plants and even some insects. In other words, terpenes are fragrance molecules. What you smell in each strain of cannabis are varying combinations of terpenes, which not only give pot its unique aroma and flavor, but also possess quite a few medicinal benefits.
I SMELL SOME EXAMPLES COMING UP
There are around 200 different kinds of terpenes that can be found in cannabis. Let’s take a
look at 5 of the most common ones:
- MYRCENE: Otherwise known as the “couch lock” terpene for its sedative effects, myrcene has a musky smell and can be found not only in cannabis but in mango and lemongrass. Myrcene is known to be an anti-inflammatory, and it is also used to treat insomnia.
- LINALOOL: Linalool has a floral scent and can be found in lavender, laurel, and rosewood, among many others. It can be used in the treatment of anxiety, epilepsy, and even acne.
- LIMONENE: Found also in citrus plants, it smells like lemon and orange. It’s known for its anti-depressant properties, but best known for treating gastric reflux.
- CITRONELLOL: Used as a natural mosquito repellant for thousands of years, Citronellol is found in roses, geraniums, and citrus rinds. It’s known to be aggressively anti-tumor.
- EUCALYPTOL: Found in both rosemary and eucalyptus, it has a spicy and minty aroma. Eucalyptol has been used to treat pain and to increase circulation.
It’s no wonder that terpenes are used in food additives, perfumery, and aromatherapy. Terpenes are the things that invigorate and uplift us when we cut open a lemon or smell abouquet of roses. And as researchers continue to map them, we’re learning a great deal about the many restorative and curative things that terpenes can do for our minds and bodies.
Our amazing budtenders know a thing or two about terpenes, so stop by Canna4Life to learn what terps are in your favorite bud!