What are Terpenes?

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Have you ever picked up a jar full of cannabis and given it a good sniff? That aroma can be overpowering to some and euphoric to others. The complex aromas of cannabis seem to be able to take on as many forms as you can imagine. Terpenes are the aromatic oils to thank for your favorite starin's wonderful smell.

What do terpenes smell like?

Terpenes are what give cannabis and other plants their signature smells and contribute to their flavors. You might describe terpenes in a number of ways including pine, berry, mint or citrus.

Some of the most common cannabis terpenes include:

Myrcene: (Herbal/Earthy) Also found in hops, mango and lemongrass

Pinene: (Pine) Also found in basil, pine trees, dill

Caryophyllene: (Pepper) Also found in black pepper, cloves, cinnamon

Limonene: (Citrus) Also found in fruit peels, peppermin, juniper

Terpinolene: (Fruity) Also found in lilac, tea tree, nutmeg, cumin

Why are terpenes important?

Terpenes evolved in plants to deter predators who may kill and eat the plant and lure in pollinators who would help it reproduce. In cannabis, some terpenes may contribute to the effects of the plant on people. For instance, some terpenes would promote relaxation while others might enhance focus.

Although clinical studies are limited, there is a correlation between how people report strains of cannabis make them feel and the terpenes present in those strains. Myrcene, for instance, is found in many relaxing strains while Terpinolene is found in strains which people report feeling focused and alert. More research is needed to fully understand the effects terpenes have on cannabis's efficacy, but the subtle differences can be felt first hand.

Why put terpenes in CBD oil?

Its important to have terpenes in your CBD oil because, without them, you are missing a vital part of the cannabis plant. If THC and CBD were the languages of cannabis, then terpenes would be the accent. When you find terpenes that you like, remember them and look for strains of cannabis, oils and other products which contain them. 

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