How to Protect Those Cannabis Derived Terpenes
Talk about terpenes is everywhere these days, but it’s actually nothing new. While we hear about terpene profiles in the cannabis industry, terpenes are tucked into foods, herbs, and nature-made products like pine needles. It’s all about the scents of these aromatic oils and the physical and psychotropic benefits these provide the consumer. See more about how to distinguish different types of cannabis-derived terpenes and how to best protect the integrity of terpenes.
Terpenes offer various physical effects when consumed. You’ll find terpenes in the flavors of cannabis, which range from lemony citrus to pepper and wood. However, the underlining purpose of terpenes is to protect plants from fungi, bacteria, and insects, while also attracting pollinators. And while we mainly talk about or highlight a dozen terpenes when talking about cannabis products, there are actually more than 200 terpene varieties in Cannabis sativa.
According to Leafly, six of the most common terpenes are:
Take a look at myrcene, the terpene found most commonly in cannabis. White Widow, Special Kush 1, Alien OG, and Northern Lights all contain concentrated levels of this terpene. Health benefits of myrcene are sedative and good for the treatment of insomnia. Myrcene is also beneficial in enhancing the psychoactive effects of THC in cannabis.
Another popular terpene is limonene with the aroma of lemon and orange citrus. Also found in peppermint interestingly enough, limonene is beneficial as an anti-depressant and anti-anxiety. This is through the treatment of the symptoms of low mood and stress, both relieved through the aroma of limonene. Limonene is also good for treating gastric reflux as an anti-fungal. These are just two of the hundreds of beneficial terpenes that determine the consumer’s ultimate experience in consuming cannabis.
Finding Terpenes in Cannabis
So, what does a terpene look like and can you see it with the naked eye? Terpenes are found in the trichomes of the cannabis plant. These are those crystalline mushroom-shaped droplets that stick to the leaves. You aren’t able to distinguish different terpenes simply looking or smelling a plant. The way that vendors determine terpene profiles is through certified laboratory testing.
A terpene analysis detects the unique scent profile of each terpene along with the percentage level of that particular terpene. Some of the vendors offering terpene analysis include SC Labs, Modern Canna Science Labs, Steep Hill, and Green Leaf Lab. These vendors provide a terpene analysis that examines more than 35 terpenes including:
- (-) Caryophyllene Oxide
- (+) Valencene
Want more information on terpene testing? Check out the Terpenes & Testing magazine. The publication explores every terpene and its chemistry along with the latest information on cannabis testing methods.
How to Choose Cannabis By Terpenes
When it comes to selecting cultivars of cannabis, consumers are seeing terpenes noted front and center in the nomenclature. Cannabis plants are also sold according to the most pronounced flavor, such as Strawberry Cough and Peanut Butter Breath, which is directly associated with the terpene profile.
For example, you will find Sour Diesel, Wedding Cake, Gelato, and Banana Split to be heavy on sweet, sour, spicy, or pungent terpene profiles. Consumers enjoy indulging their tastebuds with new terpenes thanks to the array of flavor options out there. It’s much like sampling fine wines but with flower, oil, tincture, and edible versions of cannabis.
Consumers will also look for cannabis plants based on specific terpenes for medicinal qualities. As such, terpenes compliment the cannabinoids, i.e., THC or CBD, that is found in a flower product. So a consumer will purchase a cannabis cultivar, such as OGKB, which is THC dominant, in order to receive the indica effects.
However, this cannabis plant also has a terpene profile consisting of high amounts of caryophyllene, limonene, and myrcene. The combination of the terpenes with the cannabinoid concentration lends to an increase in the overall physical and psychotropic effects of the plant. The terpene profile is often what directs consumers to choose a particular plant over the other when both options may be indica or sativa.
Cannabis Terpene Protection
In order to maintain the terpene quality for longevity, consider the way you store your cannabis. For cannabis-derived terpenes, the way to boost terpenes starts with genes and soil, and it ends with preservation and storage. Here is where FreshStor comes into the scenario with eco-friendly cannabis storage with CVault and EVault. Combine with Boveda humidity packs to seal out moisture and protect the integrity of terpenes for your cannabis consumption.