What do you look for when you buy #cannabis? Do you just simply look for #indica or #sativa, or are you more about #smell and #flavor? Do you determine your purchase on potency alone, or are you strain-specific type of smoker? If you are new to cannabis, all these strains, types of cannabis, cannabis that doesn’t even look like cannabis, could get overwhelming. How do you know which strain will deliver the best effect?
First things first. Let’s get familiar with what exactly it is in cannabis, that gets you high, what type of effects it has on your mind and body, and how they all work together in different ratios making up variety of strains.
Types of #Cannabinoids
Most of us are familiar with THC – the most popular cannabinoid for its psychoactive effects that produce sense of euphoria, happiness and relaxation. THC mimics cannabinoid chemicals made naturally by the human #endocannabinoid system. THC, acting through #cannabinoid receptors, also activates the brain’s reward system, which includes regions that govern the response to healthy pleasurable behaviors.
Unlike #THC, #CBD is non-psychoactive, which makes it a great option for those who are looking for beneficial effects without mind-altering side effects. CBD is most commonly used for pain relief, treatment of anxiety and depression, and alleviating cancer-related symptoms.
Although you might not be familiar with the term, but you already know what terpenes are. #Terpenes (and terpenoids) are organic hydrocarbons that give aromas to many plants and are responsible for aromatic diversity. You have experienced them all your life, every time you peeled an orange and inhaled that refreshing citrusy taste, every time smelled pine needles on Christmas Tree or in the forest and felt uplifted, happier. Terpenes are fragrant oils that enhance THC effect, affect taste, and provide many medical benefits.
Why do #Terpenes matter?
Terpenes can intensify or downplay the effects of cannabinoids. Together with THC and CBD, terpenes produce entourage effect, making a difference between feeling energized and feeling sleepy. For example, #Myrcene increases the effects of THC, provides anti-inflammatory and sedating effects, and reliefs pain. Like cannabinoids, terpenes work synergistically with other compounds in cannabis in the human #endocannabinoid system providing many medical benefits.
Most Common Terpenes and their Effects
There are over 20,000 known terpenes found in nature, and cannabis plant has over 100 of these terpenes. Below you will find the most common terpenes present in cannabis plants and their effects.
1. Myrcene terpene
#Myrcene is the most commonly found terpene in cannabis. The presence of myrcene often determines whether strain is considered an indica or sativa. Myrcene has anti-inflammatory and relaxing properties and is known as the “couch-lock” terpene due to highly sedative effects. Myrcene is responsible for giving cannabis its distinctive aroma and can also be found in mangoes, lemongrass and thyme.
2. Limonene terpene
The second most common terpene, #limonene is responsible for citrusy smell, also found in various citrus fruits. Limonene is known anti-depressant, highly energetic and can be used to reduce stress and enhance mood. Limonene may not be present in all strains.
3. Alpha and Beta Pinene terpene
#Pinene can be found in pine tree resulting in its distinctive smell. Pinene is known for its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties and provides energetic and uplifted effect. Pinene can be found in 2 varieties, alpha, which is responsible for pine aroma, and beta, with aromas like rosemary, parsley and dill.
4. Caryophyllene terpene
#Caryophyllene terpene is responsible for relieving anxiety, depression and inflammation. This terpene can be recognized by its spicy, woody, peppery scent. In the nature it is most commonly found in black pepper and cinnamon.
5. Humulene terpene
#Humulene terpene results in woody, earthy scent and acts as appetite suppressant and antibacterial properties. Found in hops, cloves and basil.
6. Linalool terpene
#Linalool is widely known for the stress-relieving, anti-depression and anti-anxiety effects. This terpene helps level out the anxious side effects sometimes produced by THC and makes it ideal terpene for anxiety treatment. Linalool terpene has sweet floral aroma and is found in lavender.
The point is...
Nearly all the major terpenes found in cannabis plant are either anti-inflammatory or assist with pain management. Together with other cannabinoids, terpenes play an important role in enhancing your experience. So next time you’re shopping for cannabis and not sure which strain to decide on, just give your strain a sniff, your body would tell you which strain is right for you.