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In the past 15 years, breakthroughs in scientific research have revealed that we only know a small fraction of what there is to know about cannabis. Discovering the incredible medical benefits of CBD totally changed the legal landscape of cannabis, provoking national dialogues on health, wellness, and medicine.
Another game-changing study discovered structures in cannabis similar to cannabinoids called terpenes. Terpenes exist throughout nature and each type of terpene impacts our body and mind in a different way. Scientists believe that cannabis has over 200 terpenes (and around 111 cannabinoids, like THC and CBD).
Over the next few weeks, we are going to break down terpenes in regards to their complex structures, medical benefits, and other uses plus take an in-depth look at the most common terpenes in our new blog series: “Meet the Terpenes!”
Today, in our series kick-off post, we address the most common questions we receive about cannabis terpenes.
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Terpenes are found in many plants, delicately flavoring and providing rich aroma to some of our favorite drinks and dishes. For example, there are over 50 terpenes in wine and grapes (the most pungent of which are found in Muscat grapes).
Structurally speaking, cannabis terpenes are similar to cannabinoids (like THC and CBD), but act as the building blocks of the cannabis plant. Terpenes are responsible for producing vitamins, hormones, pigments, and even boost the production of cannabinoids themselves. Terpenes in weed protect the plant from bugs and animals by producing pungent aromas and flavors predators don’t like. Terpenes are also responsible for attracting pollinators by producing sweet-smelling aromas.
Cannabis terpenes develop in response to environmental factors and internal changes of the plant. The climate, age and maturation of the cannabis flower, weather, time of day, and even soil and fertilizers influence how terpenes develop in each cannabis plant. Terpenes in cannabis change in aroma and taste in response to these different factors, which is why terpene scents include citrus, mint, pine, berry…and many more variations!
The most exciting new research shows that the greatest characteristic of cannabis terpenes is their ability to heal the human body. Terpenes have been proven to effectively reduce inflammation, decrease pain, and even shrink tumors when incorporated into medical treatments.
Though those are the three most well-known and researched medical benefits of cannabis terpenes, each terpene has a unique bundle of wellness. For example, the pine-tree-scented terpene known as “pinene” helps energize and focus the mind and reduce complications of asthma and other respiratory ailments.
Now that we’ve answered the most common questions regarding cannabis terpenes, we will take a deeper dive into a specific type of terpene in our next installment of “Meet the Terpenes”!
Have questions about cannabis terpenes we didn’t answer yet? Think we got something wrong? Let us know by leaving a comment!
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