What Are Terpenes? The Secret To Weed’s Effects, Unique Smell & Taste
The aroma and taste of a cannabis strain are perhaps two of its most essential qualities.
Many weed smokers select strains based on their scent and flavour; that is, depending on their terpene profiles. So what are terpenes?
Terpenes are the components of cannabis responsible for the aroma and taste of cannabis.
In today’s feature, we’ll take a look at what terpenes are, the role they play in the cannabis plant, and whether they have any impact on the overall effect of the weed you’re smoking.
What Are Terpenes in Weed?
You know what it’s like to crack open your weed jar and get hit by hints of herbal pine, pungent, skanky diesel, or sweet ice cream notes.
You know how great it feels to inhale the smoke off a joint and be surprised by its elegant, fruity taste.
One of the best parts about smoking different weed strains is enjoying the unique aroma and taste each one has to offer.
And that’s what botanical terpenes do.
Terpenes and terpenoids are the aromatic chemical compounds found in cannabis and other plants.
These compounds determine the particular smell a strain has. Different strains have different terpene profiles, which explains why weed strains have different, unique smells.
There are more than 150 terpenes in the cannabis plant. Although most of these exist in minuscule amounts, they work together to create the aroma and taste weed is known for.
All plants have terpenes; mangoes, pine, berries, you name it. That’s why it’s common to find a weed strain that tastes the same as another plant.
What Are Terpenes & What Do Terpenes Do for Weed?
Although terpenes are mostly known for giving cannabis its distinct smell, that’s not all they’re good for. These chemical compounds play a significant role in the growth and survival of a plant.
For example, some terpenes may help repel bugs and herbivorous animals, thereby protecting the cannabis plant from damage.
On the other hand, other terpenes may do the opposite: attract certain insects to facilitate pollination.
Botanical terpenes are also responsible for colour and pigmentation in plants.
If you know about green plants, you’ve probably heard about how they require chlorophyll (green colouring matter) to manufacture food. And cannabis is as green as it gets.
What Are Terpenes And Where Are They Produced?
Terpenes are produced by female cannabis plants and occur naturally in their trichomes. You’ve likely noticed the sticky, whitish outgrowths that appear on cannabis buds, leaves and stems.
These are called trichomes; they contain resin glands whose function is to produce terpenes. This explains why the cannabis aroma remains on your fingers when you break down your flower.
There are quite a number of factors that will determine how much terpenes a cannabis plant produces.
These include exposure to temperature and light, whether the plant was grown indoors or outdoors, the nutrients fed to the plant, and the medium in which it was grown.
The harvesting, curing, drying, and packaging process will determine how much of this terpene content is retained. Terpenes are incredibly volatile, and thus may easily get lost during cannabinoid extraction.
That said, concentrates such as resin are prepared in such a way that they retain most of their terpenes.
Such concentrates tend to be more aromatic than THC diamonds, which don’t contain any terpenes and have no smell.
What Do Terpenes Do for Us?
The jury is still out on the exact role that terpenes play in the human body. Cannabis has, for the longest time, been an illegal and controlled substance in Thailand and many other countries around the world.
It’s, therefore, no surprise that not much research has been done on the effect of cannabis terpenes on human beings.
However, humans aren’t new to the concept of botanical terpenes. These compounds exist in almost all plants and have, for the longest time, been used for their therapeutic effects.
Take a moment to consider all the medicinal herbs you know: basil, rosemary, sage, ginger… what do they all have in common? They’re all insanely aromatic; that is, they all have rather complex terpene profiles.
This implies that terpenes in the cannabis plant also have some kind of therapeutic effect. And that brings us to a phenomenon known as the entourage effect.
The entourage effect of terpenes refers to a phenomenon whereby terpenes, when combined with cannabinoids such as THC, elicit a whole new physical response than you would achieve if you consumed THC by itself.
Think of it as the gang effect: you’re more likely to have a wild night out in town with a group of friends than by yourself. Damn, that’s a great analogy!
Different strains make us feel differently. For a long time now, we’ve attributed these effects to whether a strain is an indica or a sativa, or how much THC it contains.
Research is now showing that this discrepancy could be because each strain generally has its own terpene profile.
And the fact that manufacturers are now selling terpene extracts for use in aromatherapy and alternative medicine only serves to back this up.
What’s the Difference Between Cannabinoids and Terpenes?
Now that we’ve answered the question, what are terpenes? How do they compare to cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are the active chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. These include THC, CBD, CBG, CBN, and more. THC is psychoactive, meaning it’s the compound in marijuana that gets us high.
CBD, on the other hand, is non-psychoactive, but it is responsible for some of the medicinal and therapeutic effects of cannabis.
While terpenes are also bioactive compounds, they don’t elicit psychoactive effects.
What Are the Medicinal Benefits of Terpenes?
You know how great your sore throat feels when you drink some minty, ginger, and honey tea? Humans have, for the longest time, used aromatic herbs and spices for medicinal reasons.
It is, therefore, possible for you to get a therapeutic boost from the terpenes in the joint you smoke, or the live resin you dab.
Terpenes are known to have a wide range of medicinal properties. They’re antimicrobial, antifungal, anti–hyperglycemic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-parasitic. Some terpenes are also known to enhance memory.
What’s the Most Abundant Terpene in Weed?
Terpenes are abundant in nature, but it’s common to find different plants with the same terpenes.
That’s why we describe weed strains according to what they smell like. Here are some of the most abundant terpenes in weed:
This is perhaps the most common terpene in cannabis plants, making up more than 65% of the total terpene concentration in some strains.
Myrcene is responsible for the spicy, musky, and earthy aroma associated with many strains.
If you buy weed from an online dispensary and it has a fruity and citrusy smell, it’s likely high in myrcene.
Strains with lots of myrcene are known to induce a sense of calm, relaxation, and sedation.
Caryophyllene is another primary terpene present in many weed strains. This terp is spicy and peppery and is also found abundantly in black peppercorns.
Caryophyllene has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anxiolytic, and anesthetic effects.
It, therefore, plays a great role in the numb feeling we experience after smoking weed. Maui Wowie contains lots of caryophyllene.
Limone is a secondary terpene. It doesn’t occur in the cannabis plant as abundantly as myrcene and caryophyllene, but it is a part of many strains’ terpene profiles. Limonene has a strong, citrusy scent.
This terpenoid is present in the cannabis plant, oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes. Strains like Sour Diesel and Super Lemon Haze contain significant amounts of limonene.
This is the terpene that lavender, cinnamon, rose, basil, cypress, tangerine, and some cannabis strains have in common. Linalool has a sweet, floral essence with mild hints of pepper, wood, and spice.
This makes for quite a complex scent, which explains why cannabis strains high in linalool are such a delight to smoke. Amnesia Haze and Lavender Kush are great examples.
Pinene is a terpene that’s most commonly found in pines. It has a pleasant, spicy, and sweet aroma that leaves you feeling refreshed and awake.
Pinene is present in cannabis strains such as Blue Dream and Jack Herer, two sativa hybrids that will leave you feeling energized, euphoric, and creatively inspired. Sounds like a great time to us.
Humulene is a terpenoid that can be found in hops, black pepper, cloves, sage, ginseng, and some marijuana strains. T
his terpene has a strong earthy and woody scent profile, complete with mild hints of spice. Humulene not only aids in pain relief but is also a known anti-inflammatory.
Bonus: You Should Try These 2 Aromatic Strains
When’s the last time you smoked a strain that smelled and tasted so good you had to recommend it to a friend?
Or when you walked by someone smoking at the beach and were instantly able to tell what they were smoking?
Aromatic strains have powerful and complex terpene profiles that contribute immensely to the overall smoking experience.
You should definitely try these if you’re looking for an aromatic strain you can enjoy with your friends:
1. Jack Herer
We can’t answer the question of what are terpenes and what are the best aromatic strains without mentioning Jack Herer.
Jack Herer is a 55% sativa-dominant hybrid that will leave you feeling euphoric, excited, and uplifted. This strain has a distinct spicy and floral taste and smell that’s strong without being overbearing.
When smoked, Jack Herer gives off thick smoke with a pine, spicy, and woody essence. This is one of those strains you should try when buying weed online in Thailand.
2. Khalifa Mints
Another strain we’ve to mention while on the topic of “what are strains”, is Khalifa Mints.
Khalifa Mints is a powerful indica-dominant hybrid strain with a balanced, calm, and relaxing high.
This strain was made by crossing Khalifa Kush, rapper Wiz Khalifa’s strain, with The Menthol. It has a distinct OG Kush flavour with delicate, sweet notes of mint.
Smoking Khalifa Mints will result in a strong cerebral rush that quickly morphs into an intense full-body high.
You can buy this weed strain from an online dispensary in Thailand and have it delivered to your doorstep.
Where Can I Buy Weed Online in Thailand?
Keep all this talk about what are terpenes in mind the next time you’re buying weed from an online dispensary in Bangkok.
Understanding the terpene profiles of different strains is a great way of categorizing them.
Even if you’ve never tried a strain before, seeing that it has a terpene you love is an indication that you’ll probably enjoy smoking the weed too.
Now that you know what terpenes are and how they make us feel, pay attention the next time you buy weed online. How does it taste? How does it smell?
Here at the High Times, we’re committed to selling you the highest-quality, most aromatic cannabis in Thailand, at the best prices.
We grow, harvest, dry, and cure our own marijuana, and we understand the value of doing so in a way that preserves most terpene content.
If you’re looking for a weed shop in Bangkok, the search is officially over.
You can call us at 01—60023444 or visit the High Times cannabis store at 764/3 Sukhumvit Road, Klongton, Klongtoei, Bangkok 10110, to make an order. Happy smoking!