Tannins are vital to the flavor of wine, so too are terpenes are essential to the flavor of cannabis. With the evolution of popular opinion relating to cannabis shifting, terpenes are poised to play a significant role in the development of cannabis innovation and development.
What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are aromatic organic compounds that affect the flavor and smell of cannabis. When grown in a lab, cannabis terpenes are altered to taste like common food or drink items. The type of terpenes and the amount found in different cannabis strains can have biological effects when paired correctly with CBD or THC.
Terpenes are becoming the undercover star of cannabis enthusiasts who know what they are looking for in terms of taste and the type of high they want. In part, this is because educating the public about the benefits of cannabis use for a variety of physical ailments means purchasers are informed. As consumers begin to understand more about the biological compounds found in cannabis, many want to investigate the chemical components of the plant.
Types of Terpenes
There are literally hundreds of terpenes found in a variety of cannabis strains; some are much more common than others are. Linalool, a compound also found in lavender, is calming and has a soothing effect on most users. Limonene smells like citrus and gives the user energy. However, because the body ecology of each user is different, the reactions they experience can vary widely. What has a soothing effect for one person might be less soothing for another.
Terpene levels in a cannabis plant are generally about two percent, but genetic modification can increase that level to 7 percent. The result is a more customized, tailored experience for the user. There is still much research that needs to be completed on terpenes and their effects on strains of cannabis. Of particular note to many researchers is the way in which terpene interacts with other biological compounds.
As the legalization of cannabis continues to unfold, it is more than likely that in addition to maximizing THC and CBD levels during harvest, terpene levels will be optimized as well.