Recreational cannabis in Canada has now been legal for three years, and so much has evolved! A variety of new products are now available, and new ways to define what products is best for you.
Shoppers that were once given only a handful of choices from a black-market source are now able to browse from dozens of different strains at a legitimate, licensed retailer (such as ourselves!). Other than the names, packaging, and THC levels, what exactly sets these different cannabis strains apart? One of the more interesting and informative differences comes in the way of each strain’s unique terpene profile – a unique fingerprint that can help you identify the best strains suited to your tastes and needs.
So, what are Terpenes anyway?
Learning about terpenes can feel like learning a new language! Our guide will help you start practicing your terpenes lingo. We have previously taken our curious customers on a journey of cannabinoids, the THC & CBD molecules that have an effect on its end-user (e.g., feeling ‘high’, feeling relaxed). Terpenes are essentially fatty aromatic compounds that serve many purposes in plants, including protection from pests and disease. Terpenes can act as a repellant, but also as an attractant, bringing in pollinators like hummingbirds and bees.
Of the 200+ terpenes that exist in the natural world, infinite combinations exist in cannabis. While terpenes are not directly psychoactive, there is more and more supporting evidence that they are heavily influencing the consumer’s experiences (i.e., invigorating, relaxing, or more introspective). When you find ‘the strain’ that is just for you, this may be largely due to the exact combination of terpenes and how they vibe with your unique physiology. Part of our mission here at Flight Cannabis is to elevate our guest’s experience by providing as much terpene information as possible.
5 Terpene Facts to Get You Started
Before we give an overview of all the popular terpenes you should know about, here is a quick list of some other facts on these pungent hydrocarbons!
- Terpenes are the primary ingredient of essential oils. If you have a diffuser, you’re already acquainted with terpenes!
- Terpenes can account for up to 25% of the total oils produced by a plant’s trichome glands. We’re going to cover the major terpenes in cannabis, but these oils exist in many other plants, too! You may recognize a few.
- ‘Full-spectrum’ or “HTFSE” extracts will have a high degree of naturally occurring terpenes. If you want more terpenes in your cannabis, look for full-spectrum.
- Many concentrates, edibles, and even beverages are now including natural terpene flavors!
- When it comes to flower, terpenes are locked in when following proper drying, curing, and storage protocols. Speak to your cannabis consultant about the best possible storage accessories to keep your cannabis smelling and tasting as fresh as possible!
Now that you’ve brushed up on what terpenes are, we can get into learning about the major and minor terpenes in cannabis. The major terpenes will be the most prominently found in cannabis, while the minor terpenes are usually found in trace amounts.
Smells Like: pungent, sour, earthy, skunky
Found in: mangos, hops
Strains high in Myrcene: OG Kush, White Widow, Critical Mass
Possible effectiveness: The predominant ‘indica’ terpene. May lead to “couch-lock” sensation due to sedative effects. Increases perceived euphoria through recruitment of more cannabinoid receptors.
Smells Like: pine, earthy, herbal, spicy
Found in: rosemary, parsley, basil, orange peel
Strains high in Pinene: Blue Dream, Wappa, Jack Herer
Possible effectiveness: It may help to stimulate memory and alertness, helpful as a bronchodilator. Also anti-bacterial.
Smells Like: pungent, peppery, earthy
Found in: cloves, hops, basil, oregano, black peppercorns
Strains high in B-Caryophyllene: Bubba Kush, Chemdawg, Sour Diesel.
Possible effectiveness: Acts on the endocannabinoid receptors (similar to the way CBD does) to moderate the inflammatory response.
Smells Like: woody, spicy, herbal, floral
Found in: hops, sage, ginger, ginseng
Strains high in Humulene: Super Lemon Haze, Headband, Gelato
Possible effectiveness: Is said to be helpful as an appetite suppressant unlike many terpenes and cannabinoids associated with increasing the appetite.
Smells Like: citrus (orange), fresh spice
Found in: citrus, juniper, rosemary, pine
Strains high in Limonene: Super Silver Haze, Do-Si-Dos, Wedding Cake
Possible effectiveness: Often synonymous with an elevated mood, it may even help with indigestion/acid-reflux.
Smells Like: flowers, lavender, citrus, fresh spice
Found in: lavender
Strains high in Linalool: Zkittlez, Amnesia Haze, OG Shark
Possible effectiveness: Possibly useful as an analgesic, and also has heavily relaxing properties.
Smells Like: sweet, woody, berry, fruity
Found in: turmeric, green apple peel, potatoes, ginger
Strains high in Farnesene: Cherry Punch, White Rhino, Royal Goddess
Smells Like: woody, tree bark, perfume
Found in: ginger, tea tree, lemongrass
Strains high in Nerolidol: Monkey Glue, MK Ultra, Sour Kush
Possible effectiveness: Sedative and relaxing effects. Also being tested as a carrier to help some drugs cross the skin barrier.
Smells Like: mint, evergreen, and pine.
Found in: cypress pine, evergreen guaiacum plant (native to the Caribbean)
Strains high in Cannatoni: Jean-Guy, Tangerine Dream
Possible effectiveness: Possible anti-microbial effects, plus you may find this in many household products as an aromatic, improving the smell.
Smells Like: pine, lemon, camphor
Found in: basic, fennel, lime, nutmeg
Strains high in Fenchol: Ice Cream Cake, OG Kush, Banana Kush
Possible effectiveness: Antibacterial, and an antioxidant, it is often also used in perfumes.
Smells Like: minty, woody, citrusy
Found in: mint, cinnamon, lavender, black pepper
Strains high in Phellandrene: Jack Herer, Trainwreck, Sage n Sour, Chocolate Fondue
Possible effectiveness: A unique and hard to identify terpene that has possible uplifting properties based on a small study in 2015.
Smells Like: woody, earthy, citrusy, musty
Found in: cumin, oregano, cilantro, eucalyptus
Strains high in Cymene: Mango Haze, Hindu Kush
Possible effectiveness: Calming and relaxing, cymene may also help in balancing mood and lowering anxiety.
Smells Like: fragrant and floral
Found in: chamomile flower and candeia tree
Strains high in Bisabol: Rockstar Tuna, D. Bubba, MAC1
Possible effectiveness: Anti-microbial properties may help to clear up some skin issues. It is commonly used in skincare products for this reason!
Smells Like: musky, pine, damp earth
Found in: citronella, ginger, valerian root
Strains high in Camphene: Lemon Berry, OG Kush, Mendocino Purps
Possible effectiveness: Cooling sensation when applied topically, also highly anti-fungal.
Smells Like: sweet, pungent, citrus, pine
Found in: allspice, rosemary, cedar, basil, turpentine
Strains high in Carene: Jack Herer, AK-47, Super Lemon Haze
Smells Like: eucalyptus
Found in: eucalyptus, mint, sage, tea tree
Strains high in Eucalyptol: Super Silver Haze, Girl Scout Cookies, Dutch Treat
Possible effectiveness: Has a very cooling sensation and is anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial.
Navigating the growing world of cannabis can be daunting. Before partaking in cannabis, understand that each individual has their own, unique experience.
Learning all you can about how cannabis interacts with your body will help you determine your desired outcome. But keep in mind, it is a new space that still requires more research. Terpenes are quickly becoming a new way to define your cannabis experience. Much like a wine connoisseur, you can become a cannabis connoisseur! Cannabis connoisseurs are strain aficionados, and if you’re up to the task, we will be continuing to provide our latest content on our blog!
Be sure to sign up for our newsletter for our latest release or follow us on social media for new content on our blog in the coming months. For now, just know the world of terpenes is expansive, and this naturally occurring aromatic oil can be found in most of your daily meals, and your cannabis. What terpenes or terpene combinations will you be looking for? Check out a few of our full-spectrum products!
House of Terpenes | Limonene 1:1 Sparkling Tonic Beverage | 355 mL
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Pure Sunfarms | Headband | Full Spectrum Cartridge | 0.5 g
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