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Seven Terpenes Found In Cannabis
The first thought in your head is probably "what the hell is a terpene?" Fair question. Terpenes are a widespread group of what's called organic hydro carbons and are produced by many plants that we find in the world today. Also, there are terpenoids that are terpenes that have been chemically modified. This chemically modified group includes the cannabinoids. When you light the plants on fire, this causes the chemical reaction, leading the plant to cause an effect on the person that is inhaling.
Effects of the terpenes and terpenoids to animals vary but are widespread and extremely positive. From characteristics like anti-microbial, anti-oxident, anti-carcinogenic, painkillers, muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety and in the case of our favorite plant, psychoactive, terpenes are definitely an asset... For the most part. It's important to be aware that there are some poisons ones out there that act as natural pest control but can also be dangerous to pets, such as the poison hemlock tree.
In cannabis alone, there are 120 different kinds of terpenes. The levels of each one varies, from just a little bit found to a whole lot. The terpenes are located in the trichomes, which is also the spot where the THC resides. The trichomes give weed that glittery shiny look that stoners love so much and also harbor the psychoactive ingredients that are needed to achieve pothead bliss. For those of you that grow, this is why harvest should happen early in the morning! As the day goes on and light/heat increase, there are more and more terpenes being vaporized by the sun. Here are seven of the 120 terpenes that are found in the cannabis plant.
1. Caryophyllene gives off a spicy yet sweet aroma that could also be called woodsy, maybe with a hint of pepper. It's a very homey smell that permeates some buds and once you crack them open, you get a whiff of what smells like a secluded little cabin tucked away in the woods of Colorado somewhere. It's definitely a great smell. In addition, it can be used topically in clove oil to assist with inflammation as well as a treatment for toothache. Caryophyllene is also the terpene that drug dogs are taught to smell for, since THC doesn't actually smell like anything.
2. Borneol is very menthol, laced with traces of camphor and pine. Borneol is found primarily in cinnamon and wormwood and is used as a calming sedative in Chinese medicine. The borneol terpene is directed to assist with recovery and fatigue, improving the energy of the user.
3. Limonene resembles that citrus smell, which is definitely craved in the pothead community. Weed that smells like fruit? Hell yeah. Limonene is what causes this with it's lemon/lime/orange scent. With a slight hint of peppermint as well, limonene repels predators and is what is found in the rinds of citrus fruits, among others. When paired with other terpenes, limonene becomes anti-bacterial and can also fight off fungus, cancer causing agents, and depression. It also promotes the absorption of other terpenes in to the body by allowing them to quickly penetrate cell membranes. One more thing? This terpene may be the reason that physically smoking marijuana doesn't cause cancerous problems in the lungs.
4. Myrcene is very earthy and resembles cloves but also with a tropical mango-ish scent. This makes a lot of sense, as Myrcene can also make the smoker more high if ingested prior to the session. It is suggested that you ingest a mango one hour prior to smoking to get the best experience possible from your weed.
5. Delta3Carene is used a lot in aroma therapy to dry excess liquid such as tears, runny noses, perspiration, and menstrual cycles. It smells sweet and piney, something definitely comforting. This terpene is what causes the dry eyes/dry mouth (cottonmouth) that some stoner experience after smoking.
6. Cineole/Eucalyptol smells of spicy mint but leaves you feeling pretty refreshed. Thought to be the cause of the cannabis creativity effect, cineole and eucalyptol are used to increase circulation and pain relief. It is fast acting, crossing the blood brain barrier to trigger a response in the brain faster than other terpenes.
7. Linalool smells of lily, citrus, and candied spice. This terpene is the calming effect of cannabis, giving the user the sedative and anti-anxiety effects that are so sought after in cannabis consumption. This effect is also cause by lavender.
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