Have you ever felt your mind go at ease and your muscles relax at the mere smell of cannabis?

This reaction is similar to aromatherapy that has been used for over 6,000 years as a therapeutic practice using essential oils.

Cannabis is even more special as it contains at least 100 different terpenes to produce a range of smells, flavors, and medicinal benefits. So, when trying to choose a strain of cannabis, it’s important to look at its terpene composition. 

Read on to find all you need to know about terpenes.

What Are Terpenes?

All plants, including fruit, contain oil molecules that produce a specific aroma.

In nature, these smells attract pollinators and ward off predators. For consumption purposes, they serve as a holistic mechanism for healing.

In cannabis, the combination of terpenes differentiates various strains and the effects they produce.

This makes for endless pairings of terpenes that you can use for medicinal and recreational purposes. 

Responsible for Taste and Smell

You may notice that some flower containing cannabis oil have distinct smells and tastes.

Some terpenes have a citrus essence while others are more earthy like pine. The dominant smell all depends on the blend of terpenes. The more complex the smell produced by a particular strain, the more terpenes it contains. 

Enhance the Effects of Cannabis

While the sensory experience of cannabis can promote a euphoric feeling all its own, internally is where terpenes really do their job.

That is because terpenes interact and enhance cannabinoids like CBD and THC. 

This is called the entourage effect, where terpenes enhance the effects of cannabinoids in the endocannabinoid system of the body. Certain terpenes interact with THC to create effects such as relaxation or stimulation. 

These effects have developed into the criteria for classifying strains as sativa or indica.

Sativa strains provide you with more energy, while indica strains produce a body high that causes a feeling of lethargy. 

Produce Medicinal Benefits

Many people use cannabis for its medicinal benefits such as reducing stress and anxiety, relieving chronic pain and inflammation, and assisting with sleep disorders. 

But, many people do not know that much of the medicinal properties of their cannabis comes from the terpenes. 

That is why it is extremely important, when using cannabis for medical reasons, to consult an expert at a cannabis dispensary. They can discuss the terpene composition of each strain to see which one best serves you. 

Common Cannabis Terpenes

While there are many different terpenes in the cannabis plant, some are more common and potent than others.

Here are a few of the more frequent ones. 

Limonene

This terpene has a discrete citrus smell that leads to a relaxing effect.

It has the ability to release serotonin in the brain to relieve depression.

It is also sedative and anti-bacterial. 

Caryophyllene

The main terpene also found in pepper and cinnamon gives cannabis a spicy aroma.

It is known to treat anxiety, depression, and inflammation with just small doses. 

Humulene 

This terpene counteracts the increased appetite usually associated with cannabis, so it might assist with weight loss.

It has an earthy taste that is found in hops and cloves.

Use it to treat inflammation and bacterial infections. 

Terpinolene

Terpinolene is believed to produce mood enhancements for its users.

This mild effect is perfect for casual consumption all day.

Keep on eye out for this lilac- and nutmeg-scented terpene as it is only found in about 1 out 10 strains. 

Alpha and Beta-Pinene

You can find this terpene everywhere in nature, especially in the comforting scent of a pine tree.

It has a knack for putting you in an energetic, positive mood. Use it for pain management and to ease anxiety as well. 

Ocimene

You may find this smell familiar since it is a common ingredient in perfume.

It has a light floral scent, as it is also found in orchids, mixed with an organic freshness of mint. 

Linalool

If you’ve ever used lavender oils, lotions, or bath salts, then you know their amazing calming effect.

You can thank linalool for that. In cannabis, it even has the potential to stop degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s.

Linalool also releases more adenosine into the brain which is a hormone that increases sleepiness. 

Using Terpenes for Your Benefit

Now that you know everything there is to know about terpenes, it’s time to reap their benefits. You can search online or speak with a cannabis expert to find the perfect strain for you.

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