Terpenes - the scent of cannabis
If you discover CBD and THC, you will also quickly come across terpenes. They are the valuable fragrances of the cannabis plant. This article explains what exactly they are and what they can do.
The smell of cannabis - who does not know it?
The cause of this incomparably treacherous smell are terpenes. Volatile biochemical molecules that the plant releases into the atmosphere. Often for years after their end of life.
Terpenes are extremely common in nature. Virtually all plants produce them, and so do animals. Thousands of them are known to science.
How and why certain cannabis plants produce characteristic terpenes is a mystery. Maybe they attract animals, maybe they communicate with each other via terpenes. The only thing that is certain is that each specific variety of cannabis has its own unique terpene profile. And therefore also a completely individual smell.
However, certain terpenes are produced in larger quantities by almost all cannabis strains. Therefore, the smell of almost all varieties is always recognizable as a cannabis scent.
The most common hemp terpenes
Caryophyllene oxide is probably the best known hemp terpene. It smells like cloves and remains in the plant substance for a very long time, which is why drug-sniffing dogs are trained to sniff it out.
Other hemp terpenes are called citronellol, humulene (from humulus = hop, also a cannabis plant), limonene or pinene. The names already indicate that many terpenes typical for cannabis are also produced by other plants, with almost identical chemical structure.
Full spectrum and co.
A rich terpene profile is considered a quality feature of full-spectrum cannabis drops. These should contain the hundreds of active ingredients of cannabis in maximum breadth, including terpenes.
If you want to know exactly which ones, you should visit the terpene info pages of the Viennese cannabis analysis laboratory IFHA. Here it is also described in detail, which health-worthy and therapeutic effects the individual terpenes have. They can have antimicrobial, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, sedative and antispasmodic effects.
Terpenes, by the way, can also have a sexually stimulating effect. This is the reason for the use of some terpenes as bio-insecticides, as they can lure pests into a trap with their scent.
With all these effects, however, the "how" remains an unknown quantity. Plants, and especially those as extremely potent as cannabis, are still considered nature's great alchemists. Nobody knows why they do what they do. And very little is known about how they do it.
What is certain is that terpenes are used in many ways, ranging from aromatherapy to tumor control. Cannabis is a natural wonder.