by the Farmer of Sunlight, James Hinkle.
Do you smell that?
For over half a century the overwhelming aromas of cannabis plants have been the doom of their growers. Unlicensed growers take great measures to cover up the smell of their gardens through the use of expensive carbon filtration. By understanding the source of these smells, terpenes, we can identify specific medicinal properties within the plants themselves.
In this post we will be defining terpenes, exploring their medicinal values and providing a few examples of common terpenes.
Terpenes are the organic compounds and are responsible for the aroma that the plant lets off. In the case of cannabis, terpenes are produced within the trichome glands. The trichome glands are also the development site of cannabinoids, which determine the overall CBD potency of the product. In the event that a plant is approached by a predator it certainly does not have the option of flight and as such it will fight the predator through chemical warfare by means of aromas that are likely to repel. Various plants in nature also use the scents produced by their terpenes to attract pollinators for reproductive purposes. When eaten by caterpillars, corn will release a smell that attracts wasps to kill the threat.
As you can see, nature puts naturally occurring terpenes to use in a number of ways.
While terpenes naturally serve plants throughout nature, they also provide us with a long list of medicinal benefits.
One common example of this is through the use of aromatherapy.
By inhaling essential oils (composed of terpenes that have been extracted from plants) our mood can be shifted in the direction of either relaxation (lavender) or focus (rosemary). Aside from moods, these essential oils also regulate sleep patterns and healing processes. Though they are incredible on their own, terpenes do not shy away from working with other organic compounds from plants once consumed.
The current market focus on CBD potency as a shiny percentage on the side of a product is undermined by the fact that the various terpenes have unique impacts on the way that the CBD within the product actually makes you feel. Certain terpenes will increase the permeability of your cell membranes, which makes them more susceptible to CBD and as such results in the product feeling far more potent than one without that terpene. The medicinal benefits of the various terpenes is a lengthy list that cannot be covered in this one post, but by educating ourselves on them we can better treat our ailments. There are over 100 terpenes that have been identified within cannabis plants at this time. Some of these terpenes are far more common and plentiful than the others, we will cover those more readily available ones.