I’ve heard terpenes matter more than THC, what are they?

"What are the terpenes in this strain, and how will the effect me?"

Terpenes are what is responsible for the scent of cannabis. That lemon odor coming from the bud is due to lemonene. Pine smell – pinene. There are over 100 different terpenes and they all act together with the THC and CBD to add to the entourage effect. That mean that all the components of cannabis work together to give an effect that each of them by themselves does not do.

Terpenes also bind to brain receptor sites and affect their chemical output. They can also modify how much THC passes through the blood-brain barrier. Their can even influence neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin by altering their rate of production and destruction, their movement, and availability of receptors.

The effects that is felt when using cannabis can vary from terpene to terpene. Some are especially successful in relieving stress, while others promote focus and acuity. Myrcene, for example, induces sleep whereas limonene elevates mood. There are also effects that are imperceptible, like the gastroprotective properties of Caryophyllene. All of these terpenes are also found in nature. The lemon scent of lemons makes you feel energized and happy, which is what it does in cannabis as well.

Here are some terpenes and some other places they are found:

Pinene (Pine scent) – Also found in pine needles, rosemary, basil, parsley, dill

Myrcene: (Musky, earthy) – Also found in mango, lemongrass, thyme, hops

Linalool: (Floral) – Also found in lavender

Caryophyllene (Pepper, spicy, cloves) – Also found in black pepper, cloves)

Limonene (Citrus) – Also found in fruit rinds, rosemary

Perry Solomon, MD

Both matter – both will effect you and your experience with a particular strain. Among other things, the amount of THC or ratio of THC to CBD will affect psychoactivity, or feeling "high".

Terpenes, also known as terpenoids, are the chemical compounds that give each strain its unique smell. They are the essential oils produced by the plant and they interact synergistically with cannabinoids to provide for a range of different effects. For example, a terpene called myrcene (also found in lemongrass) possesses muscle-relaxing, anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory properties, while the terpene pinene (also found in pine needles) can increase mental focus and energy.

While the exact profile can vary from plant to plant, Harlequin commonly has Myrcene, Pinene, and Limonene as its predominant terpenes.

Myrcene is commonly used as an analgesic (pain relief), anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, sleep aid, anti-spasmodic (helps with muscle spasms) and is currently being studied for its effects on diabetes.

Pinene is commonly used as an analgesic, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative (it may inhibit cancer cell growth), and anti-oxidant.

Limonene is commonly used as an antidepressant, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, anxiety aid, immune system stimulant, and a gastrointestinal aid that reduces reflux.


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