Purple flowers against a matching background

Terpenes For Beginners

The smell of medical marijuana is designed to soothe the mind and body. Whether you prefer the sweet fruity taste of Pineapple Trainwreck or the nauseous smell from an open bud of Sour Diesel, we know that something is happening under the complex and flavorful bouquets. 

What are Cannabis Terpenes?

Terpenes are the scented compounds present in many plants, and understanding what they are and how they work can help develop your appreciation for medical cannabis. Terpenes are secreted in the same glands that make cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. Terpenes are the aromatic oils that give flavors like mint, berry, pine, and citrus to different kinds of cannabis.

More than 100 different terpenes have been found in the cannabis plant and each strain inclines towards an individual type and composition of a terpene. Terpenes can also help us in differentiating the effects of cannabis strains, with some being used for relaxation and stress-relief, and others to increase focus and sharpness.

The effects of any particular terpene can change when other compounds are present. This occurrence is known as The Entourage Effect. However, more research is required to fully understand how a terpene works when used with others. 

The Entourage Effect

The Entourage Effect is the theory that states that different kinds of cannabis compounds when used together, can create unique effects and benefits for the user. When you smoke medical cannabis, you inhale hundreds of botanical compounds, each with its different benefits and effects. When used in the presence of other compounds, they might behave differently, than they do on their own. 

An example of this is illustrated by a 2010 study where cancer patients were given either a pure THC extract or one that contained equal levels of THC and CBD. The patients given the dose of the THC and CBD combo said they had less pain afterward.

Indica vs Sativa vs Hybrid

You might have heard the terms “indica”, “Sativa” or “hybrid”. Any good medical marijuana doctor can explain these terms to you. Understanding the differences between them is important if you will be using medical marijuana. 

There were originally two main types of cannabis plants. These were “cannabis indica” and “cannabis Sativa”. But nowadays cannabis is crossbred to be either indica dominant, Sativa dominant, or hybrid, each producing its own unique effect. 

Cannabis Indica plants are shorter with wide leaves and have dense buds. Indica dominant strains are recommended for use at night since they are more relaxing. 

Cannabis Sativa plants are usually taller and have long, thin leaves with less dense buds. These strains are recommended for use in the daytime since they create elated and uplifting feelings. 

Hybrid cannabis plants are crossbred between an indica and a Sativa plant, with either one having a dominant strain. They can also be split almost evenly between the two strains. 

Understanding the genetic properties of your plants can help you and your marijuana doctor to decide which product is the right one for you. While this may not be the only factor that helps make the decision, but it is an important piece of knowledge along with information about terpenes, growth techniques, and more. 

Medical Cannabis Terpenes

Nowadays you can easily find out the effects a strain might produce by getting a test done for the terpene content by a cannabis analysis lab. Other than having potential for therapy, terpenes also contain the scent and taste of flowers and plants, including cannabis. 

Here are six of the most popular terpenes that anyone looking to use medical marijuana should be aware of:

  1. Myrcene: 

There is a saying that you can make your THC buzz stronger if you eat a mango 40 minutes before you smoke. This is because of Myrcene, as it allows THC to pass easily through the blood-brain barrier. Myrcene is found in high concentrations in Indica-dominant strains such as Cherry Pie, OG Kush, Grape Ape, and Granddaddy Purple.

Myrcene is recommended by medical marijuana doctors in Florida to relieve pain, insomnia, and relax the body. It is also being studied for its use as a treatment for Diabetes. 

  1. Limonene

Limonene has a citrusy scent and is often used by manufacturers in topical compositions to help other terpenes absorb in the skin better. Limonene is said to uplift moods, boost concentration, and promote positive feelings. 

Initial research has suggested that limonene might have the capability to reduce cancerous cells. Doctors prescribe high-limonene strains to help with infections, acne, acid reflux, and mood disorders. Limonene can be found in strains like M.A.C. (Miracle Alien Cookies), Wedding Cake, and Purple Hindu Kush.

  1. Linalool

Linalool gives out a sweet floral scent with a hint of sweet citrus and is said to give a relaxing sensation. Linalool is used in high concentrations by medical marijuana users to help alleviate stress, insomnia, and inflamed skin. 

Some research indicates linalool may also help amplify cognitive function and work as a local anesthetic, while other studies suggest it can be used for treating cancer and epilepsy. Linalool is found in the lavender plant, as well as in cannabis. Linalool can be found in the strains Zkittlez and Do-Si-Dos.

  1. Pinene

The most common terpene in nature is Pinene, and it has a woody, refreshing smell. Plants containing pinene have been used for thousands of years to enhance mental focus. Pinene has strong anti-microbial qualities that can potentially kill pathogens like Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans. 

Pinene is found in rosemary, pine, parsley, pineapples, dill, basil, and in strains such as Vanilla Kush and Blue Dream. 

  1. Beta-Caryophyllene

Beta-Caryophyllene acts pretty much like a cannabinoid and affects the CB-2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system directly. Beta-Caryophyllene is said to have the potential for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis, and is shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and potentially anti-depressant qualities. 

Beta-Caryophyllene has a spicy and peppery scent and is found in strains like Tangerine Dream, Pineapple Express, and Jack Herer.

  1. Terpinolene

Terpinolene is commonly used in perfumes and soaps because of its unique scent that has woody as well as floral and citrusy notes. It is found in pine trees, lilacs, apples, and tea tree and has antifungal and antibiotic properties. Terpinolene can be found in Super Lemon Haze, Pineapple Kush and Ghost Train Haze strains. 

Research on terpinolene has shown that it may be helpful in treating cancer, malaria, and heart issues and that it has a relaxing effect. Florida medical marijuana doctors may prescribe it for a patient suffering from anxiety and insomnia. If you want to know more about terpenes and medical cannabis, you can schedule an appointment with one of our doctors and come get your Florida medical marijuana card today! If you want to set up a consultation with our medical experts, you can fill out a short survey to see if you qualify for a medical marijuana card.