Aromatic compounds can be found within plants of every background and from every region on the planet. The characteristic citrus smell that wafts from an orange peel is as much a terpene indicator as the citrus that emanates from your favorite Jack Herer pre-roll.
Terpenes are fascinating compounds that bring about the fragrance, taste, and feelings associated with our favorite cannabis products. Terpenes also offer tremendous health benefits to the human body in their extracted forms.
Today, we are going to take a closer look at terpenes as well as the many different ways to consume them.
What Are Terpenes?
Put plainly, terpenes define the smell that we come to expect from plants and herbs. Rosemary or lavender will impart a specific scent, through its terpenes, that we can identify with a single sniff. These terpenes are also used in everyday health, house, and wellness products, such as soap and perfume. A common terpene example found in household products is Limonene, immediately recognizable thanks to its orange-and-lemon citrusy smell.
In the wild, terpenes help plants to attract pollinators, repel predators, and even stave off insects. These terpenes are often dried and cured as part of the cannabis production process, thus creating terpenoids. We can enjoy the benefits of these cannabis terpenes in a number of different ways.
Current cannabis research has explored only a fraction of what terpenes have to offer. We’ve been enjoying their benefits since the beginning of time, inhaling oils, applying herbal topical, and even, yes, consuming cannabis.
Let’s now look closer at the specific modalities that we can enjoy terpenes through.
Inhaling Terpenes – Vaping & Smoking Cannabis
Whether you smoke cannabis medicinally or you are from a state that has legalized adult use, you are enjoying the inhalation of terpenes and the benefits that they provide. As the most common form of terpene consumption, inhalation gives us an immediate benefit through absorption within our lungs. Vaporizing and smoking are not identical and thus require further categorization.
Vaping cannabis allows for better temperature control. Terpenes are lost in higher levels of heat, thus making them more fragile when smoked via combustion as a result of direct fire. Vaporizing cannabis closes the heating system while allowing you to dial in your exact temperature. As an example, A-Pinene reaches a boiling point at 311′ F. To maximize your experience with A-Pinene, vaporize at a temperature below its boiling point.
Smoking cannabis is the most common way to enjoy the benefits of terpenes, though they are degraded due to the high temperatures of direct flame. Smoking cannabis to inhale terpenes, as well as THC, can lead to dramatic psychoactive and bodily effects, though not without their drawbacks. Smoking with combustion is still the most volatile way to consume cannabis, leading to damage within your lungs.
With that being said, occasionally smoking cannabis to enjoy the terpenes within can lead to certain benefits. The inhalation of Pinene is said to reduce occurrences of memory loss. Limonene even treats depression, lowering severity in individuals who are struggling.
Edible Terpenes – Oral Ingestion & Sublingual Absorption
As the cannabis industry continues to gain ground with legalization, we expect more and more edible terpenes to find their way to the market. Oral consumption is among the most popular ways to consume cannabis products and that extends to terpenes, as well.
Oral consumption can range from chew-and-swallow, including edible foods, to sublingual tinctures meant to be absorbed beneath your tongue. While there is still a long way to go with regard to research into this area, we have found some new information in recent years.
First and foremost, the FDA recognizes terpenes as safe for consumption. With that being said, never orally consume concentrated terpenes without following the dilution instructions. Consult with a medical professional if you have absolutely any questions prior to dosing.
Orally ingesting terpenes is incredibly common and has been done for countless years. We can see the consumption of Linalool as a way to benefit our metabolism, reducing the buildup of triglycerides on our cells. Additionally, linalool can impact the way that THC is metabolized within the liver. An individual looking for a stronger and more enduring edible may find better relief through one that has been infused with linalool.
Myrcene is one of the most common cannabis terpenes in the industry. The “have mercy!’ terpene known for pain relief, myrcene also leads to sedative effects, including its iconic ‘couch lock’. Individuals struggling with insomnia may find better and more actionable relief through dosing with myrcene.
Finally, the consumption of limonene, found within lemon and citrus-dominated origins, can benefit your G.I. Dr. Russo of Taming THC included limonene as an actionable terpene for addressing gallstones and heartburn.
Topical Terpene Application
One of the most common and enduring ways to apply terpenes is topically through lotions, oils, and soaps. Rubbing plants on our body to relieve pain, itching, and irritation has been part-and-parcel of the human experience forever. Topically applying terpenes can lead to many health benefits, including moisturizing our skin and relieving pain.
Limonene has been used as a topical massage oil to help treat patients with breast cancer. Beta-caryophyllene has also been looked to as a topical solution for itching and irritated skin. Another popular topical terpene is Geraniol, most well known for its rose-like smell. Geranial actually supports topical absorption which makes it a fantastic companion to a larger entourage effect.
Many terpenes not mentioned here also provide antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral benefits.
Find Relief Your Way At True Extracts
For more than a dozen years, the team at True Extracts Terpenes has prided themselves on offering true-to-strain terpenes derived through exceptional methodology. True Extracts Terpenes has already created more than 200 designer strains while focusing on accuracy, potency, and an uncompromising commitment to quality by utilizing proprietary methods for strain mirroring and natural-derived formulas.
Browse True Extracts today to learn more about terpenes and your wellness needs.