Terpenes Explained

Like THC and CBD, terpenes are also found in cannabis and are also responsible for the effects we feel and the medical benefits different strains carry. But, what exactly are terpenes?

 What are Terpenes

Terpenes are aromatic compounds in cannabis and hemp. Essentially, terpenes are essential oils, just like other oils found in lavender and mint which are often used in aroma therapy. The scent that is released by the flower is determined by the various terpenes present, these in turn affect the medicinal benefits and effects of the plant when consumed.

Terpenes in cannabis, like in other plants, originally developed through adaption to environments. They were the plants natural defenses against predators and were also used to lure pollinators. Many different environmental factors can determine the terpenes in any specific plant and as such, even the same strain of cannabis grown in different environments can contain varying concentrations of terpenes or even different combinations. Modern cannabis labs and dispensaries test terpene content, this provides patients with a much better understanding of what effect will be induced by using certain lab tested strains.

 8 Most Common Terpenes

In cannabis alone, there are over 100 different kinds of terpenes that have been discovered and identified. Each individual terpene is associated with different a effect and scent. Some promote relaxation and stress-relief, while others enhance focus and alertness. The eight most common terpenes are as follows:

  1.  Alpha-Pinene— Alpha-Pinene is known for its pine scent. It can be found in other plants such as Pine needles, rosemary, basil, parsley, and dill. Alpha-Pinene’s medical benefits and physical effects include: alertness and memory retention, as well as being used in the treatment of asthma, pain, inflammation, ulcers, anxiety, and cancer. It can be found in higher doses in the cannabis strains Jack Herer, Dutch Treat, Blue Dream, and OG Kush.
  2. Myrcene— Myrcene is known for its musky, earthy, and cardamom based scent. It can be found in other plants such as mango, lemongrass, thyme, and hops. Myrcene’s medical benefits and physical effects include: a sedating and relaxing effect, high in antioxidants, and beneficial for treating insomnia, pain, and inflammation. This terpene can be found in high doses in the strains Blue Dream, Green Crack, Alien OG, Grand Daddy Purp, and Northern Lights.
  3. Limonene— Limonene is known for its citrus scent. It can be found in plants such as fruit rinds, rosemary, juniper, and peppermint. Limonene’s medical benefits and physical effects include: elevated mood and stress relief. It is often used in the treatment of anxiety, depression, inflammation, pain, and cancer. It can be found in higher doses in the cannabis strains OG Kush, Sour Diesel, and Trainwreck.
  4. Caryophyllene— Caryophyllene is known for its spicy, woodsy, pepper scent. It can be found in other plants such as Pine needles, rosemary, basil, parsley, and dill. Caryophyllene’s medical benefits and physical effects include: stress relief, as well as being used in the treatment of pain, anxiety, depression, and ulcers. It can be found in higher doses in the cannabis strains Chemdawg, Bubba Kush, and OG Kush.
  5. Linalool— Linalool is known for its floral scent. It can be found in other plants such as Linalool’s medical benefits and physical effects include: mood enhancement and sedation, as well as being used in the treatment of anxiety, depression, insomnia, pain, inflammation, and neurodegenerative diseases. It can be found in higher doses in the cannabis strains Lavender, Skywalker OG, Headband, White Widow, and Girl Scout Cookies.
  6. Humulene— Humulene is known for its woodsy, earthy, hops scent. It can be found in other plants such as hops, coriander, cloves, and basil. Humulene’s medical benefits and physical effects include being used as an anti-inflammatory. It can be found in higher doses in the cannabis strains Girl Scout Cookies, White Widow, OG Kush, and Sour Diesel.
  7. Ocimene— Ocimene is known for its sweet, woodsy, herbal scent. It can be found in other plants such as mint, parsley, pepper, basil, mangoes, orchids, and kumquats. Ocimene’s medical benefits and physical effects include: antiviral, antifungal, antiseptic, decongestant, and antibacterial. It can be found in higher doses in the cannabis strains Golden Goat, Strawberry Cough, OG Kush, and Lemon Sour Diesel.
  8. Terpinolene— Terpinolene is known for its floral, herbal, pine scent. It can be found in other plants such as nutmeg, tea tree, conifers, cumin, apples, and lilacs. Terpinolene’s medical benefits and physical effects include: relaxing, antioxidant, sedative, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-cancer. It can be found in higher doses in the cannabis strains Jack Herer, Lemon Sour Diesel, and Afghani.

 

Check your state’s laws and the VA website regarding the use of medical marijuana for veterans and make sure to consult with a qualified physician prior to making any decisions about self-medicating.

As part of the veteran’s community, we here at VCO look forward to answering any questions you may have about medical marijuana for veterans. We can work with you to possibly provide financial assistance to veterans and their family members.

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