Not too long ago, terpenes were not widely known among the general population. However, today, they have become the reigning champions in the cannabis industry. So much so that products lacking in them are deemed inferior in both taste and effect by some.
Terpenes, also known as "terps," are naturally occurring chemical compounds that give plants their distinct flavors, aromas, and colors. When it comes to cannabis-derived terpenes (CDT), they not only contribute to the aroma and flavor profiles but also have the potential to enhance the best part of cannabis, its psychoactive effects.
If you have ever wondered about the meaning of cannabis terpenes or cannabis-derived terpenes, then keep reading to discover how these incredible plant compounds elevate the cannabis experience.
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What are Cannabis Derived Terpenes (CDT)?
CDT or cannabis terpenes are terpenes derived directly from the cannabis plant. These terpenes are created and stored in the trichomes, which are the sticky, shiny, and sparkling adhesive crystals found on the leaves and buds of the plant. These trichomes give the plant an attractive appearance and deliver the delightful aromas of citrus, pine, and sweetness that we all love.
Terpenes also play a crucial role in the plant's survival, making them more appealing to certain creatures while appearing more volatile to others.
Each terpene in cannabis has a unique terpene "profile" that contributes to the distinctive characteristics of each strain. These profiles are a mixture of terpenes in different strains that create unique effects and experiences.
Growers have developed cannabis strains with specific terpene profiles aimed at producing different effects and experiences through selective breeding. For example, Myrcene, one of the most common terpenes found in cannabis flower, is responsible for the feeling of relaxation and the skunky smells and earthy aroma associated with marijuana.
Do Cannabis Derived Terpenes Affect Psychoactivity?
Terpenes, while not in the traditional sense intoxicating, can be considered psychoactive due to how they affect the brain. They work in tandem with THC through the entourage effect to produce a cannabis strain's specific psychoactive effects.
Although terpenes won't make you feel high on their own, they impact the effects of cannabis compounds like THC. For example, the cannabis-derived terpene, Linalool, found in Indica-heavy strains, has calming properties and helps relax users who are fighting anxiety or stress.
Strains with a strong terpene profile but low THC content can produce more psychoactivity than strains with high THC content but lack a robust terpene profile. Many cannabis professionals recommend focusing more on a specific terpene profile that suits your needs and delivers your desired effects.
This can make strains with diverse and robust cannabis terpene profiles feel more potent, even if other strains have a higher THC content. As such, THC content alone should not be the sole focus when selecting a strain.
Botanical Terpenes Compared to Cannabis Derived Terpenes
Terpenes that do not come from the cannabis plant are known as botanical terpenes in the cannabis industry. While they share the same terpene profiles with cannabis-derived terpenes, they lack the distinctive flavor of marijuana and botanical terpenes do not have any psychoactive effects.
Despite their lack of psychoactivity, botanically derived terpenes are still used for their potential therapeutic benefits. For example, if you are looking to use Myrcene for its sleep-inducing properties but prefer not to use cannabis, you can opt for a botanical terpene instead.
Hops, which is the primary ingredient in beer, contains Myrcene, which is why drinking beer is often associated with feelings of drowsiness.
Common Types of Cannabis Terpenes
Out of the over 150 types of terpenes present in the cannabis plant, many exist in such minuscule amounts that they are challenging to detect.
However, there are some terpenes that are more prevalent than others. The following three terpenes are the most common cannabis derived terpenes found in cannabis:
The name Limonene perfectly describes its aroma profile - fresh, clean, and citrusy. It is commonly found in citrus fruits, ginger, and juniper. Besides being an essential oil, Limonene has demonstrated anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-stress, and possibly disease-preventing properties.
That's why teas made with ginger and citrus are frequently used to alleviate ailments such as colds and sore throats.
Also referred to as beta-caryophyllene, caryophyllene is a terpene that is found in cloves, basil, lavender, black pepper, rosemary, cinnamon, and oregano. Its scent is reminiscent of black pepper.
Interestingly, Caryophyllene is the sole known terpene derived from cannabis that can bind to CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system, which is associated with the body's immune system. As a result, Caryophyllene has the potential to alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, liver fibrosis, and diabetes.
Myrcene, a terpene that can be found in cardamom, hops, lemongrass, and mangos, is one of the most prevalent strains of cannabis. It is known for its herbaceous, spicy, and earthy aromas.
Myrcene is responsible for the signature scent of cannabis, as well as the sensation of calm and relaxation. Additionally, Myrcene has potential anti-inflammatory properties and may aid in pain relief.
Where to Buy Cannabis Derived Terpenes Online
Online retail stores like Everyday Delta offer consumers a place to buy products that contain cannabis terpenes which come in various forms. Among these forms, the purest form can be found in the liquid state of live resin that can be added to different cannabis products such as vapes, gummies, distillates, and flowers.
Additionally, products that feature botanical terpenes as well as cannabis terpenes (CDT) are also available for purchase. In particular, 3Chi offers a wide selection of 3Chi cannabis-derived Delta 8 vapes that feature cannabis terpenes. Some products even feature a mixture of cannabis terpenes and cannabis strains.
Recently, cannabis terpenes have been utilized in Delta 9 THC and Delta 8 THC vapes increasingly more often. This is because THC distillate is quite viscous, so manufacturers use cannabis-derived terpenes to make it more fluid and smokeable. This method provides a more potent and safer product since the use of unsafe cutting agents such as Vitamin E or MCT oil is no longer required.
Cannabis-derived terpenes are a vital component of cannabis plants that contributes to the cannabis strain's distinct aroma, appearance, color, and potential therapeutic benefits.
While some strains of the cannabis plant offer 100% cannabis-derived terpenes, some may be better off opting for a combination of botanical terpenes and cannabis-derived terpenes which can help create a more diverse terpene profile that utilizes the entourage effect for a more potent and beneficial cannabis experience.