There are hundreds of compounds in a cannabis plant including cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenoids (commonly referred to as terpenes). Many people select their cannabis based strictly on cannabinoids levels, usually THC and more recently CBD. But there is an even more important component to consider: The terpene profile.
Terpenes are the essential oils that are naturally occurring in all plants. Just like lavender, rosemary and lemons have a distinct aroma and contain specific medicinal value, cannabis too has a terpene profile that simply put, sets the tone for how it is going to affect you. Throughout history, the Egyptians, Babylonians, Hebrews, Greeks, Romans and Chinese have used essential oils and their terpenoids constituents medicinally and now we’re coming full circle as more cannabis users become educated.
That distinct earthy-pine aroma you get when you open a jar of freshly harvested OG Kush vs the sweetly pungent hue you get from Blue Dream are the terpenes. Each terpene delivers unique mental and medicinal benefits.
Beta-Caryophyllene has been proven to activate our CB2 receptors and has been described as a dietary cannabinoid enhancing our body’s natural response to absorb other terpenes, while delivering especially potent anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-hypertensive qualities. B-Caryophyllene has an added bonus in that it can block the CB1 receptor, reducing the intoxication and sometimes uncomfortable anxiety induced by some strains
Pinene is another potent anti-inflammatory as well as a natural bronchodilator, memory aid and anti-bacterial.
While mycrene is anti-oxidant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory in nature, and because it potentiates the effects of THC, increasing its potency, mycrene combined with THC becomes a very potent sedative, perfect for insomnia or high stress situations.
Selecting strains based on terpenes rather than just cannabinoids bring an entirely new dimension when shopping for cannabis. Not only will you find synergistic results for remedying a myriad of conditions such as pain, inflammation, insomnia, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, fungal and bacterial infections, you’ll also be able to intelligently select new strains that are best for your body when your favorite is not available.
If you don’t have the terpene profile of a specific strain, follow your nose. Your body knows what it needs and selecting your strain by smell is the ultimate way to listen to what your body is telling you it needs.