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Guides | 05.17.2024

Cannabis Terpenes: A Quick Guide

Terpenes: more than just a pretty scent.

If you’ve ever caught a whiff of weed, you’ve met terpenes.

While some describe weed as a straight “skunk” smell, those with a keener nose can pick up on its many diverse notes.

Plus, these aromatic compounds aren’t unique to cannabis; they’re found in many plants and responsible for the earthy smell while walking through a forest, or the floral essence you pick up from a bouquet of flowers.

What Are Terpenes In Cannabis?

The blend and concentration of terpenes determine each cannabis strain’s scent, which can swing from citrusy and sweet to earthy and piney. Terpenes are volatile compounds that evaporate into the air easily, letting their scents be smelled.

While some describe weed as a straight “skunk” smell, those with a keener nose can pick up on its many diverse notes. Terpenes are made in the trichomes, or resin glands, of the cannabis plant, where cannabinoids like THC and CBD are also synthesized.

How Do Terpenes Work?

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Terpenes do more than just tickle your nose.

They interact directly with the endocannabinoid system by binding to receptors like CB1 and CB2. This interaction can influence everything from mood and stress levels to pain perception and inflammation.

Enhancing the High

Terpenes can elevate the kind of high you feel. They work alongside cannabinoids like THC and CBD, which also interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors. By latching onto these receptors, terpenes amplify the effects of cannabinoids. This synergy is known as the entourage effect, where the combined impact of terpenes and cannabinoids is greater than their individual effects.

Therapeutic Benefits

Terpene’s effects can also be therapeutic.

A 2020 review pointed out that terpenes help THC and CBD work better, especially when cannabis is used for treating symptoms of mood disorders like depression, anxiety, or bipolar. They highlighted that the mood-stabilizing effects of THC or CBD can actually be enhanced when combined with terpenes like myrcene (which induces relaxation and decreases anxiety) or limonene (which stimulates arousal and alertness).

So, when you inhale the rich scent of a cannabis strain, you’re not just taking in a smell. You’re experiencing a complex interaction of chemistry that affects how you think and feel.

Types Of Terpenes

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Even the most seasoned users likely haven’t heard of or used all cannabis terpenes out there, considering there are over 200 different kinds.

You may have come across common terpenes when purchasing products at your local dispensary.

Some of the most common terpenes present in cannabis plants include:

Caryophyllene – Spicy, peppery aroma, and the only terpene that acts as a cannabinoid

Humulene – Earthy, woody, appetite-suppressing and also found in hops.

Limonene – Citrusy with notes of lemon and orange; celebrated for its mood-lifting effects.

Myrcene – Earthy, musky, and the most abundant terpene, known to promote relaxation and calmness.

Linalool – Floral, lavender-like scent sought for its stress-relieving and relaxing qualities.

Pinene – True to its name, pinene smells like pine and can enhance focus and energy.

Terpinolene – A fresh mix of floral, citrus, and pine scents; known for being uplifting and having an energetic, mind-racing high.

Nerolidol – Floral and woody with notes of citrus and jasmine; very soothing effects.

Understanding which terpenes click with you can help guide your shopping choices and help you select cannabis products that align with your desired effects or therapeutic needs.

What Terpenes Should I Choose?

The kind of terpenes you’ll want to look for in your next purchase depends on what you’re looking to achieve.

For instance, if you’re seeking some relaxation, then myrcene and linalool, known for their calming properties, are better choices. If you need a boost in alertness and creativity, look for pinene, which enhances mental clarity.

It’s also important to consider what terpenes you shouldn’t choose. For example, if you’re prone to anxiety, you might want to avoid terpinolene since this terpene is known for its mental rush and can potentially make feelings of anxiety worse.

Jack Herer Terpene Profile (Signature Series) by Abstrax

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Impressively, you don’t have to use cannabis to experience its delicious and unique terpenes. Brands like Abstrax provide you with various terpene profiles that perfectly replicate the exact terpene “fingerprint” of different strains, and Jack Herer is no exception.

Abstrax’s Jack Herer Terpene Profile is part of their signature series, praised for its authenticity and wildly similar structure to the original plant. In fact, this terpene blend was made in close collaboration with the strain’s cultivators to ensure it meets connoisseur standards.

The dominant terpenes are terpinolene, beta-myrcene, and trans-beta-ocimene, offering an energized and inspired Sativa-like experience, true to Jack Herer’s genetics. Get yours now and test the waters of various terpenes that are legal worldwide.

Do Terpenes Get You High?

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Terpenes don’t get you high in the traditional sense, especially when compared to THC, which directly triggers psychoactive responses in the brain. Instead, terpenes operate more subtly.

They enhance or modify the effects of THC and CBD through the entourage effect, which we’ve discussed earlier in this article. However, on their own, terpenes lack the ability to produce a psychoactive high. They play a supportive role, influencing how the high from THC feels rather than initiating it.

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