The ongoing push for cannabis legalization on a recreational level has garnered more attention and enthusiasm than ever. As the United States generates interest in cannabis, with other nations following, consumers are learning the ins and outs of the plant for one of the first times at a mainstream level. This has ushered in discussions regarding just why cannabis works the way that it does.
Beneath the surface of the beautiful Cannabis Sativa plant, there are numerous compounds working together to craft the trademark high and medicinal benefits that we enjoy. Two such compounds are incredibly important to this process: terpenes and flavonoids.
What are Terpenes?
Not intrinsic to the cannabis plant, terpenes are responsible for providing both the flavor and scent of a plant. Essential oils found within cannabis work to enhance the effects of the plant as well as its therapeutic advantages. For that reason, terpene enthusiasts will often look for terpene extracts to enjoy therapeutic benefits without the THC-driven high that most cannabis products possess.
Terpenes aren’t organic compounds crafted solely for our own benefit, they also protect the plant, as well! Terpenes in nature often protect plants from herbivores while simultaneously attracting pollinators. Nature is pretty fascinating, isn’t it?
Why Are Terpenes Important to Cannabis?
Terpenes serve to dramatically alter how cannabis impacts our bodies. Working with our endocannabinoid system, terpenes can impact and modulate the high that we experience. When taken on their own as an extract, terpenes can provide targeted medicinal or therapeutic benefits without any high.
At the time of this writing, we understand there to be more than 100 different terpenes within the cannabis plant, depending on the strain and cultivator.
What Is the Entourage Effect?
Terpenes do more than impact the way that our minds and bodies feel. Terpenes actually can create a more full, comprehensive, and enjoyable high through something known as the entourage effect. The entourage effect is named after the way terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids intermingle together along with hundreds of other botanical compounds.
As an example, the Granddaddy Purple strain features THC, myrcene, pinene, and caryophyllene. These terpenes mix together with relatively decent THC content to address pain, depression, and even inflammation thanks to caryophyllene.
Terpenes and the Indica/Sativa Paradigm
Spend time with any cannabis enthusiast and they’ll likely discuss their favorite Indica and Sativa strains. These two strains have often been thought to have specific effects. An Indica will always make you tired and locked to the couch, right? Not exactly!
- Indica – An Indica plant is short, stocky, and brimming with chunky leaves that are green, broad, and wide. Indica strains typically have higher levels of CBD and that can make them ideal for pain relief and inflammation. Indica strains are commonly thought to cause sleepiness, physical fatigue, and sometimes a combination of the two.
- Sativa – A driving energetic high is the baseline assumption for a Sativa strain. With that being said, Sativa strains offer a variety of different feelings based upon the terpene content of the plant itself!
While it is easy to assume that Indica’s are for relaxation and Sativa strains are for energetic creativity, terpenes dispel the paradigm almost completely. Pay attention instead to the terpene content of a cannabis plant to see what the likely effects will be.
Summary of Terpene Benefits
- Impacts and Modulates the Endocannabinoid System
- Each Strain Provides Unique Terpene Profiles
- Sativa/Indica Is Less Important Than Terpene Variety
- Terpenes Complement THC to Induce the Entourage Effect
Major Terpenes & Their Effects
Now that we’ve taken some time to properly contextual the benefits of terpenes within cannabis, let’s break them down by their individual compound. Thanks to companies like True Extracts Lab, terpene enthusiasts can enjoy isolated terpenes solely for their wellness needs.
Here are a few of the major terpenes and the therapeutic benefits they provide.
- Pinene – Found within and often derived from the resin of pine trees, pinene is a terpene that provides an earthy, outdoor aroma. Known for its anti-inflammatory benefits, pinene also provides benefits to our body as an anti-bacterial. You’ll find pinene prevalent in strains like Blue Dream and OG Kush.
- Humulene – This woodsy terpene brings medicinal and therapeutic benefits with each dose. Found within strains like Sour Diesel and Gelato, Humulune is both an appetite suppressant and an anti-inflammatory.
- Myrcene – Probably the most abundant terpene in the cannabis sphere, myrcene is present in Sativa strains as well as Indicas with more than 0.5% myrcene. Outside of the cannabis sphere, myrcene is associated with mangos, thyme, and beer hops.
- Limonene – Another majorly abundant terpene, Limonene provides a bright and citrus-fueled scent that acts as an instant mood elevator. Uplifting to the point of reducing anxiety and depression, Limonene can be found in cookie strains as well as Wedding Cake and Berry White.
- Linalool – More sedative than uplifting, Linalool is commonly found in cannabis, lavender, coriander, and cinnamon. An amazing terpene for depression and insomnia, Linaloon supports symptom relief for arthritis, seizures, insomnia, stress, and anxiety.
- Caryophyllene – Found in black pepper, caryophyllene directly binds with the CB2 cannabinoid receptors in our endocannabinoid system, the only terpene to do so. Caryophyllene is a complex terpene that provides anti-inflammatory benefits, making it an ideal topical treatment choice. Chemdawg and OG Kush are two popular strains with caryophyllene.
What are Flavonoids?
Like terpenes, flavonoids are a compound that can be found in plants, including cannabis. Flavonoids can be found in fruits and vegetables and are responsible for brightening pigmentation. You can even find flavonoids in wine and chocolate!
Why Are Flavonoids So Important?
Flavonoids impact the way that we experience cannabis. They influence the pigmentation of the plant’s flower, the aroma that the plant imparts, and the overall flavor of the plant itself. Working with terpenes and cannabinoids, flavonoids help to create an all-encompassing experience.
More than just a way to impact the smell and taste of a strain, flavonoids also feature antioxidants that impact your cannabis experience.
Common Flavonoids Include
- Cannaflavin A
Visit True Extracts For Designer Terpenes
True Extracts was officially licensed by the state of Arizona beginning in 2017. With more than a dozen years of experience in extraction and growing through local dispensaries, True Extracts brings experience and exceptionalism to each terpene extract that they produce. Utilizing proprietary methods, True Extracts crafts true-to-strain extracts that can make getting therapeutic relief easier than ever.
Reasons to Consider True Extracts
- Free From Artificial Additives
- 260+ Strain Profiles (More On The Way!)
- Cannabis-Free (Legal to Utilize Everywhere in the Country)
- True to the Strain Effects