What are terpz?
Terpenes, or terpz, are aromatic organic hydrocarbons naturally present in the essential oils of plants. Technically, terpenes are a combination of carbon and hydrogen that are produced in the trichomes. These are none other than the resin glands covering the flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant. In a cannabis plant, these same glands produce the other cannabinoid components, such as THC and CBD. Terpenes are very volatile and evaporate easily, which is why the cannabis plant is so fragrant.
To date, more than 120 different terpene compounds have been identified in cannabis plants, but only a handful of them are found in high concentrations in cannabis such as mycene, limonene, humulene, linalool, pinene, ocimene, caryophyllene, terpineol, nerolidol and eucalyptol.
What is the role of terpz?
First of all, terpz are responsible for the incomparable flavor and aroma of plants. Just like other plants and flowers with a strong smell, the development of terpenes in cannabis has a very special role. The cannabis plant seeks to adapt to its environment, i.e. the smell serves to repel predators and attract pollinators. But unlike other botanical species, each strain of cannabis has a unique terpene profile. For example, Orange Nectar and Lemon Haze have very pronounced citrus aromas, while Blackberry Kush and Strawberry Nectar have sweeter, fruitier notes. Similarly, just smell a Sour Diesel flower and you can see why it is named after it.
In addition to bringing the aroma of plants, terpenes are known to have medicinal benefits. In the world of botany in general, terpenes and essential oils have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. For example, the soothing effects of camphor and menthol on a cough are well known and widely used in many medicines. Or even, lavender essential oil is particularly appreciated for relaxing and helping people to fall asleep. Similarly, the different terpenes present in cannabis can affect your mood, physical condition and experience. This allows the consumer to choose a specific terpene profile according to the effects they are looking for. Orange Nectar flowers will provide an uplifting effect thanks to the presence of a terpene called limonene, known for its stress-reducing properties. Just learn how to use terpenes to its advantage, and experimenting with different strains it will be possible to determine the terpene profile that suits you best.
The entourage effect
Recent studies have shown that these aromatic compounds also work in conjunction with cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, which can produce very specific effects. Together, they create an “entourage effect” that can be more powerful and effective than an isolated compound.
Terpenes play an important role, not only in tempering the intoxicating effects of THC, but also in creating a synergy with cannabinoids, thereby increasing their therapeutic value. In other words, the ability of terpz to dampen the mental “high” enhances the medicinal benefits of THC.
Today we know that learning about the THC and CBD levels of a cannabis plant is no longer enough. It is also necessary to know the terpene profile of the plant, which becomes an essential element in understanding the effects of a strain of cannabis on the body and mind. From anti-inflammatory to sedative properties, scientists have only begun to scratch the surface of the medicinal benefits of these aromatic compounds.
With unlimited combinations of terpene profiles, the entourage effect opens up new areas of exploration for cannabis users and research.