What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are organic chemical compounds produced by the plant that carry aromatic or flavonoid properties. Terpenes aren’t new either – aromatherapists have been using them for thousands of years as a way to treat a variety of medical conditions and ailments. Sure, it may be easier to classify cannabis as either sativa, indica, or hybrid, but by doing that you risk choosing a product that produces the opposite effect of what you are seeking.
Generally, sativas have a citrusy smell, while indicas tend to smell more like cloves or pine forests. Strains whose terpene content is 50% or more myrcene will typically provide users the feeling they associate with indicas (ie. couchlock). However, it is possible to find a sativa strain that is very high in myrcene and instead of leaving you energized and upbeat it leaves you sedated and ready for bed. THIS IS WHY TERPENE PROFILES MATTER PEOPLE!
Sativa vs Indica
Many cannabis users are content in their thinking that sativa will uplift them while an indica will leave them feeling sedated. While this certainly can be true, studies have shown that some indicas will actually give you energy and some sativas will leave you ready for bed. Why is this you ask? The answer is Terpenes!
According to Steep Hill Labs, considered by many as the leader in cannabis science, cannabis that contains “a 50 percent limonene content makes it a sativa and thus 50 percent or myrcene content makes it an indica.”
The chief research officer for Steep Hill Labs, Dr. Kymron deCesare, had this to say about Sativa vs Indica classifications, “The terms sativa and indica are only really valid for describing the physical characteristics of the cannabis strain in a given environment and are not nearly as reliable for making assumptions about energy [the high] vs. the couch lock [the stone].” It is important to remember we all have different endocannabinoid systems and we aren’t all affected the same. However, knowing both the cannabinoid and terpene profile of a specific strain is still the most accurate way to predict how a strain will affect you. Ask about terpenes and discover the terpene profile that works best for you.
Terpenes to Remember
Myrcene – Also found in mangos, lemongrass, and thyme – myrcene is known for its sedating effect and has been used medicinally for the treatment of insomnia as well as for its antioxidant and pain relieving effects.
Limonene – Smelling like fresh citrus and lemons, limonene is the terpene that is known to elevate moods and provide stress relief. It also provides potential medical benefits for those suffering from anxiety and depression. Limonene is also found in citrus and peppermint as well as strains such as Super Lemon Haze and Lemon Skunk.
Pinene – When you come across a strain smelling like a fresh douglas fir, you’re probably smelling pinene. Pinene has been known to provide users with an alert and euphoric feeling, with many finding it aids in creativity. Pinene provides potential benefits for those suffering from asthma and has also been used for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Caryophyllene – Also found in peppers and cloves, caryophyllene is known for its woody and spicy scent. Additionally, caryophyllene is also well- known for its anti-biological activity against fungus and tumors.
Linalool – Also found in lavender, linalool is recognized by its floral aroma. The potential effects of linalool include both mood enhancement and sedation. Linalool provides potential medical benefits for those suffering from anxiety, depression, insomnia, and chronic pain.