6 Of The Best Cannabis Derived Terpenes (What Are Terpenes?)

Nicole Santanello

Cannabis has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. Modern science is just starting to unlock the secrets of this incredible plant, and one of the most exciting discoveries is the role of terpenes in cannabis. Cannabis derived terpenes are a unique and exciting component of the cannabis plant. Terpenes are the oils that give plants their scent, and cannabis is no exception. These terpenes are responsible for the distinct aromas of different cannabis strains and have various therapeutic effects. In this post will take a closer look at cannabis-derived terpenes and explore their potential benefits.

What are Terpenes?

Terpenes are organic compounds found in various plants and fruits. These molecules are responsible for the unique scents and flavors of different plants. For example, the terpene limonene is responsible for the lemony scent of citrus fruits. Terpenes have been shown to have therapeutic benefits, such as reducing stress and anxiety.

It is now broadly acknowledged that terpenes, rather than the CBD or THC amount in cannabis, greatly influence the consumer's experience. Hundreds of cannabis-derived terpenes have been discovered thus far.

What are cannabis derived terpenes, and what do they do?

Cannabis derived terpenes are a type of essential oil found in the cannabis plant. Terpenes are responsible for the plant's aroma, and they have a variety of medicinal benefits. Terpenes are especially abundant in the resin of the cannabis flower in cannabis and are recognized for their smells and aromas.

Cannabis derived terpenes play a more prominent role than just flavor and aroma; they work synergistically with cannabinoids to enhance the medicinal effects of cannabis, a process known as the "entourage effect."

Whole-plant, cannabis derived terpenes are always the best option from a holistic standpoint since they are made by drawing nutrients from the soil rather than being manufactured in a lab.

Common cannabis derived terpenes:

Myrcene - This terpene, which also occurs in thyme, lemongrass, and mango, has a musky scent. It is the most prevalent terpene discovered in marijuana.

Limonene - Lemon rinds, orange rinds, and juniper contain this terpene with a citrus aroma.

Pinene - One of nature's most frequently occurring terpenoids, smells strongly like pine. Basil, rosemary, and pine needles are prominent sources of it.

Terpinolene -This cannabis derived terpene, also present in lilacs, nutmeg, and cumin, has a flowery and herbal scent.

Linalool - Coriander and lavender both have the same flowery scent. It has been said to aid in sedation and mood improvement.

Pulegone - Herbs like rosemary contain this terpene, which has a minty aroma.

Caryophyllene - Beta-caryophyllene, which makes up most of black pepper and cloves, has a peppery and spicy scent.

Humulene - Humulene has an earthy scent and is frequently connected to wood and hops.

Ocimene - Mint, parsley, and orchids all contain ocimene, a pleasant and herbal scent.

How are terpenes extracted from cannabis plants?

The preservation of these delicate and volatile terpenes presents a difficulty to processors when they extract terpenes from plant material. When employing particular temperatures, pressures, and organic solvents, the heavier organic components of the plant are generally simpler to remove. Processors must ultimately decide on their chosen extraction method based on their budgets, consumer demand, and desired final product.

SOLVENT-BASED TERPENE EXTRACTION

There are several ways to extract cannabis derived terpenes from biomass, including solvent extraction with light hydrocarbon solvents (propane and butane blends), subcritical CO2 extraction, ethanol extraction, and R134a extraction. Solvent extraction techniques must employ low temperatures and pressures to retain the extracted terpenes since they are susceptible to heat and other types of stress.

CO2 EXTRACTION

Since it doesn't leave any solvent residues, carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction is a common technique for separating terpenes and cannabinoids from plant material. The lighter volatile terpenes are extracted in one phase using carbon dioxide as a solvent, while the heavier cannabinoids, lipids, and other chemicals are removed in the second phase.

Subcritical CO2 extraction is the typical first step in CO2 extraction procedures, which uses lower pressures and temperatures to retain these highly volatile cannabis derived terpenes.

ETHANOL EXTRACTION

To extract hemp terpenes and cannabinoids, notably cannabidiol (CBD), and create CBD oil, ethanol is frequently used as a solvent. Additionally, ethanol will remove undesirable contaminants like chlorophyll from the solution resulting in a nice smooth flavor.

SOLVENTLESS TERPENE EXTRACTION

Without potentially flammable and hazardous extraction solvents, solventless terpene extractions use agitation, heat, and pressure to extract terpenes.

Here are the most popular terpene extraction techniques without the use of solvents.

STEAM DISTILLATION

Throughout the procedure, steam from boiling water is exposed to the cannabis plant material. The smoke draws out the essential oils from the plant as it passes through the biomass and carries them to a cooled condenser, which cools and liquefies the solution.

A minor concentration of oxygenated terpenes is left in the water since most lighter oils float above the water to be separated later. A hydrosol combination is a name for this concoction.

According to research, steam distillation removes more hydrocarbon terpenes like myrcene and beta-caryophyllene. Steam distillation may be carried out on fresh cannabis plants, unlike other techniques that call for either fresh-frozen or dried and cured material.

HYDRO DISTILLATION

The critical distinction between hydro and steam distillation is that the cannabis biomass is immediately exposed to boiling water. Water boils at 212 F, frequently too hot for terpene extraction. Several cannabis components break down at this temperature, impacting the product's medicinal effects and scent.

Why is it so challenging to preserve cannabis derived terpenes?

Cannabis derived terpenes are incredibly volatile substances that readily deteriorate over time. Some can evaporate at an average temperature. These molecules evaporate even when a plant has a high terpene content. Terpenes are continually supplied while the plant is developing, and terpene content starts to decline as soon as the plant is harvested.

Because of this, farmers found it challenging to identify the terpene profiles that gave a specific plant its distinctive flavor, aroma, and behavior— making it difficult to reproduce these varieties. Fortunately, the development and replication of terpene profiles have become easier for cannabis growers because of the development of current terpene profiling techniques.

What are some of the most popular cannabis derived terpenes on the market today, and what are their benefits?

Compared to the cannabinoid content, cannabis strains have relatively modest concentrations of distinct terpene profiles. The strain's genetics, growth conditions, drying and curing procedures, and processing techniques can all affect the terpene level.

According to studies, a blend of cannabis derived terpenes and cannabinoids can have powerful therapeutic benefits, providing support for inflammation, discomfort, anxiety, and sleep.

Each terpene affects cannabinoids and the way they interact with the ECS differently. For example, some cannabis derived terpenes can enhance or reduce the effects of CBD. Some may improve the topical skin absorption of other terpenes and cannabinoids. Here, we'll give a quick overview of the terpenes most frequently present in cannabis plants and their effects.

1. MYRCENE

One of the most prevalent cannabis derived terpene is the monoterpene myrcene. It is frequently in lemongrass, mangoes, and hops and contains overtones of spice, wood, and fruit. The boiling point of myrcene is 334 °F.

Myrcene aids in bettering cannabis absorption; it does not directly bind to cannabinoid receptors.

Myrcene's typical benefits include:

  • Brings on sedation
  • Combats depression
  • Eases discomfort.
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Transdermal absorption is enhanced.

2. BETA-CARYOPHYLLENE

Black pepper, cloves, and cotton all contain the sesquiterpene beta-caryophyllene, which smells spicy, woodsy, and peppery. Its boiling point of it is 320°F. It is thought that beta-caryophyllene strongly binds to CB2 receptors to support cellular homeostasis.

The following are expected benefits of beta-caryophyllene:

  • Decreases the desire for alcohol and nicotine.
  • Gastro-protective
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Decreases anxiety
  • Brings on sedation
  • Alleviates discomfort
  • Antiseptic
  • Antifungal
  • Antibacterial
  • Antioxidant

3. LIMONENE

Monoterpene limonene is present in the rinds of citrus fruit, peppermint, and rosemary. It binds to A(2A) receptors instead of cannabinoid receptors, which are known to have a role in boosting dopamine levels, reducing inflammation, and enhancing transdermal absorption. The boiling point of limonene is 349 °F.

The effects of limonene include:

  • Reducing Tension
  • Combats Depression
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Gastro-protective
  • Antifungal
  • Antibacterial
  • Transdermal absorption is enhanced
  • Improved GERD, acid reflux, and indigestion
  • Increases Bowel Movement
  • Increase In Metabolism

4. LINALOOL

Linalool is a monoterpene with a soft floral scent and a tinge of sweet citrus. Lavender, rosewood, and laurel all contain it. This terpene is thought to impact nausea and vomiting via interacting with 5-HT(3) receptors. The boiling point of linalool is 338 F.

The effects of linalool include:

  • Reduces Tension
  • Combats Depression
  • Alleviates Discomfort
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Decreases Nausea
  • Decreases Acne

5. ALPHA-PINENE

Alpha-pinene, a monoterpene with a pine scent, is also present in rosemary and pine needles. Although it doesn't bind to cannabis, it helps to moderate its effects by increasing attention and minimizing sleepiness. The boiling point of alpha-pinene is 311 F.

Benefits of alpha-pinene include:

  • Increases alertness
  • Increases focus and memory
  • Alleviates discomfort
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant

6. HUMULENE

Humulene is in hops, sage, and ginseng and has a spicy, woody, and clove-like scent. Humulene decreases the urge to overeat and interacts with receptors other than cannabinoid receptors. The boiling point of humulene is 388 off.

The effects of humulene include:

  • Eases discomfort.
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Lowers appetite
  • Transdermal absorption is enhanced.
  • Antibacterial

How can you use cannabis-derived terpenes to improve your health and well-being?

Terpene-containing cannabis products often available include:

Depending on your demands, each delivery method for terpene-infused products has perks. Products containing cannabinoids and terpenes can be ingested, applied topically, smoked, or taken sublingually.

Conclusion

In conclusion, cannabis derived terpenes are a type of desirable compound that the cannabis plant produces. They provide a variety of flavors and aromas, and they also offer potential health benefits. So the next time you're enjoying your favorite cannabis strain, take a moment to appreciate the terpenes that contribute to its unique flavor and aroma. Did you find this article about cannabis derived terpenes informative and helpful? Please let me know and leave a comment below!

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