Medical Marijuana: Getting to Know Terpenes

Microscope photo of medical marijuana terpenesMedical Marijuana Aroma

The aroma of your medical marijuana that you buy at Medical Marijuana Dispensaries could be playing an important role in your high. Medical marijuana strains have a variety of different and distinctive smells and tastes. Depending on the strain, the smell, and taste can be uniquely different. What causes such unique smells and taste in medical marijuana? The answer to the question, are called terpenes or trepenoids.  Terpenes give the plant its distinct smell and taste. They are the compounds found in marijuana that are very important to marijuana resin. There has been research that has found that 10 to 30 percent of marijuana smoke resin is made up of terpenes. The ratio, percentage, and type of terpenes will vary by marijuana plant. This is apparent in different medical marijuana strains, which have specific smells, tastes, and highs. There are well over 100 to 200 terpenes identified in marijuana plants. They are found naturally throughout the world and are produced by plants, including herbs, flowers, spices, fruits, and vegetables. Terpenes give off the smells that we associate with plants and they are present when you sniff a bud. Another example, is when you peel an orange and you smell the citus from the rind, the terpenes are present.

Medical Marijuana Sensory

In the medical marijuana you ingest, THC, CBDs, and terpenes cooperate with each other for a spectrum of different effects and smells. The trichome is the gland where terpenes are produced along with THC on the flowering marijuana plant. Terpenes are the oily compounds in the trichome secreted by the plants gland. Terpenes passageways are the fundamental steps in the plant’s production of THC.  Geranyl pyrophosphate is shared by the THC and terpenes, which will evolve into the cannaboids and terpeniods in the trichome of the marijuana plant. Trichomes cover the marijuana plants flowers.  Generally, the time of day, age and overall sexual maturation of the medical marijuana plant affects the amount of terpenes present. Terpenes levels reach their peak before dawn. During daylight hours or when the grow lights are on, the terpenes evaporate and give off a distinct odor. At the end of the day or when you turn off your lights, the cannabinoid and terpenes levels will be low due to the evaporation level.

"The best time to harvest is just before the lights are turned on or when the sunrises this will help to acquire higher terpenes percentage and ratio".

Medical Marijuana Affect

Terpenes affect the brain and modify the effect of THC while some terpenes lock into receptor sites in the brain modifying the chemical output effecting the high a person will experience.  Other terpenes will allow different amounts of THC into the brain enticing dopamine and serotonin.  These are the mood regulators and are affected by terpenes and THC.  Terpenes temporarily alter brain function by effecting our perceptions, mood, balance, and sensitivity and other feelings.

Terpenes that are most abundant in medical marijuana include borneol, Delta-3-Carene, B-Caryophyllene, linalool, limonene, mycrene, pinene, terpineol, cineole, and pulegone.  All of these terpenes have therapeutic properties. To conclude, the terpenes play a crucial role in medical marijuana therapeutic properties, taste, smell, and high.

Go to top