What Are Terpenes?
Terpenes, pronounced tur-peens, or terpenoids are aromatic chemical compounds found in the oils of all plants. They are the molecules found in plants, flowers and fruit that give them a distinct smell.
How Are Terpenes Made?
Female Cannabis plants produce glandular trichomes and are glands that look like small growths and hair which come off of flowers and leaves. Trichomes hold important compounds such as cannabinoids (like CBD), flavonoids and terpenes.
The production of terpenes is largely impacted by factors such as temperature, humidity and light intensity. New research has discovered that terpenes can dramatically influence the flavour and smell. They can also intensify, change and reduce the effects or duration for the strains.
There are estimated to be 20,000 known terpenes and around 200 compounds in Cannabis plants.
Terpenes vs Terpenoids
With the same prefix, it is visibly obvious that these two terms are related.
Terpenes are the natural substances that grow on the plant. They are transformed, by being dried and cured which will change their taste, to create terpenoids.
Terpenoids are used outside of Cannabis, and other plants, for their aromatic qualities.
Terpenes vs. Flavonoids
Despite sounding like it would pertain to the flavour, they are actually the colour of the plants.
There are around 20 flavonoid compounds identified to be in Cannabis.
Terpenes In Cannabis
When it comes to the Cannabis family of plants, there are 10 main terpenes that will be found. Each one has its own character profile of scent and effects.
The most dominant terpene is Myrcene, which can make up 50% of the terpene content. It is found in Thyme, Lemongrass, Mangoes and more.
Limonene is commonly found in citrus fruits, such as Lemons and Oranges. As it has a fresh scent, it is preferred for cleaning products.
Caryophyllene is a terpene dominantly in leafy greens and spices, like Basil, Oregano, Black Pepper and Cloves.