When you are consuming cannabis, there are a wide variety of chemical compounds entering your bloodstream: Most notably cannabinoids. THC (Delta 9- Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol) are two of the most common and well-known compounds in cannabis.
However, there are hundreds of other chemical compounds that make up the individual characteristics of any particular cannabis cultivar. One of those compound classes is called Terpenoids or terpenes, and they are starring in an increasing number of scientific studies around the world. To better understand how they work, and what they do with our body and mind, we’ve put together a little overview of the most prevalent and well-known terpenes to date.
What are terpenes?
Terpenes are oily secretions that are responsible for the scents plants, flowers, and fruit give off. They are nature’s way of attracting insects and animals to ensure the process of pollination or to repel other animals that are a danger to the plant in question. They also protect plants from moulds, fungi, and bacteria.
In addition to the fact that terpenes are wholesome for plants, they are beneficial for humans as well. In the case of cannabis, terpenes are the reason each individual strain has a particular flavour, aroma and ultimately; effect. They also assist cannabinoids by making them more efficient and more easily absorbed by our bodies, through what is called “The Entourage Effect”. Combining specific terpenes with certain cannabinoids can have significant medicinal advantages.
Over the last few years, scientists have identified well over one hundred different terpenes in the cannabis plant, and more research is needed to unlock their inner workings and properties. For now, though, six specific terpenes deserve our special attention because they are the most prevalent in cannabis plants, and can have potent medicinal properties.