Have you wondered why cannabis has the tastes and smells that it has? The answer lies in understanding terpenes.
Terpenes are the oils that give marijuana plants and flowers their unique smell. They originate in the same glands of the plant that THC, CBD and other cannabinoids come from. These oils are not unique to the cannabis plant however. Mangoes for example have high levels of myrcene, a terpene responsible for a strong clove-like smell. When inhaled or ingested terpenes assist cannabinoids (like THC and CBD chemicals) as they are absorbed into the bloodstream.
Terpenes can also influence dopamine and serotonin production and destruction in the brain. This gives us an idea of why different strains not only smell and taste different but also have different affects on mood or high sensation. Limonene, another terpene found in cannabis, can increase serotonin production therefore elevating your mood.
Marijuana contains over 100 known terpenes. Each individual strain tends to have its own unique terpene compositions giving it signature smells, tastes and effects.
Smells associated with Myrcene includes musky, cloves, earthy and herbal qualities with hints of citrus and tropical fruit with effects ranging from relaxation to sleepiness.
In terms of medicinal value, myrcene acts as an anti-oxidant, anti-carcinogenic, relief from muscle tension, treatment for depression as well as treatment for insomnia. A Swiss study of 16 different marijuana strains showed that myrcene was the most common terpene present in each plant.
Mango, lemongrass, thyme and hops also contain myrcene naturally. Cannabis with high levels of myrcene include such strains as White Widow, Skunk #1 and Pure Kush.
Smells associated with Linalool can include floral, citrus, candy and sweet aromas with effects ranging from gentle anxiety relief to full-on sedative qualities.
Linalool’s medicinal properties include anti-convulsion, anti-anxiety, anti-depressant as well as acne-treatment. Linalool can also be found naturally in lavender. High linalool trains include G13 and L.A. Confidential.
Caryophyllene medicinal properties include treatment for arthritis, ulcers, auto-immune disorders and gastrointestinal issues. Black pepper, cloves and cotton contain it naturally. This causes smells of pepper, spice, cloves and wood. Increased heart-rate is a common effect. Caryophyllene can be found in high quantities in Hash Plant variants.
Limonene produces a citrus smell with effects that produce elevated mood as well as stress relief.
Medicinal properties include anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, treatment for heartburn and treatment for depression. Limonene can be found naturally in fruit rinds, rosemary, juniper and peppermint. High limonene cannabis strains include OG Kush and Super Lemon Haze.
As more and more people become aware of what terpenes are and what effects and properties they hold legal dispensaries are starting to cater to customer curiosity. Before you smoke next time, try eating a fresh mango 45 minutes before your session. The presence of myrcene in marijuana and mangoes is the connection that begins to explain why mangoes can get you higher.
Knowing about these chemicals that make up your plant is vital for your own growing operation. Check out our article that will explain what things you should know before beginning, here!
More on this phenomenon here. And, as always, never drive while high!
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