Terpenes are chemical compounds that are found naturally in plants and in some animals. They are the ones who give different kinds of plants their smells, tastes, and even colors. Terpenes are what give different strains of cannabis their own smells and tastes.
They can also be turned into things like cleaning products, pesticides, and dyes. Some are even good for your health.
Terpenes are found in almost all plants, but some of the most common places to find them are:
- Herbs with a strong smell, like sage and thyme
- citrus fruits
What do they do?
People think that terpenes protect plants from bad weather and animals that want to eat them. What they do to people is still a little bit of a mystery. But both cannabis researchers and users are looking at terpenes more and more as a way to classify cannabis products and predict how they will make people feel.
The main idea is that the dominant terpenes of a strain work with the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and other cannabinoids in the strain to produce the effects that people associate with that strain.
For instance, they might explain why two strains with the same amount of THC make people feel so different.
Do they get you high?
Terpenes won’t get you high in the way that most people think of it. Still, some are thought to be psychoactive because they change how the brain works.
Even though terpenes don’t get you high on their own, some people think they may change how THC, the cannabinoid that gives you a high, works.
Many cannabis experts and budtenders say that when people choose a strain, they focus way too much on how much THC it has. Instead, they say that people should pay more attention to certain terpene profiles to get the effects they want.
For example, early research suggests that some terpenes might help with anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder.
Terpenes are a big part of how a cannabis strain smells and tastes. And they might work with cannabinoids and other compounds in the cannabis plant to make psychoactive effects.
But research on the plant’s more than 400 terpenes is still in its early stages, so it’s hard to say much about them for sure.
Cannabinoids and terpenes aren’t the only things that can affect how you feel. Your body, how often you’ve used cannabis in the past, and where you use cannabis can also affect how you feel. Terpenes are only one part of the equation when you get to a cannabis store, however, they can be a fun way to try out different products and figure out which ones you like best.