in the last several years as cannabis has become more legal across the US both medicinally and recreationally, consumers have been flooded with information and descriptive terms. In the past, smokers were at the mercy of whatever their “guy” (or girl) had available for sale. Today, cannabis and hemp are being manufactured legally on a larger scale, which gives consumers more choice and variety than ever before. Whether you’re smoking traditional delta 9 THC, or hemp-derived delta 8 or HHC, you have a variety of factors to consider before purchase. Do you want sativa, indica, hybrid? How are you going to consume- will you choose a pre-roll, blunt, vape, flower, or an edible? On top of all this, how do you want your experience to smell and taste? This last question is where terpenes come into play.
Ten years ago if you had asked your weed dealer for flower with specific tasting notes, similarly to how you would choose a bottle of wine, they probably would’ve laughed in your face and offered some of their limited product selection “take it or leave it”. In modern times, both consumers and retailers are at least vaguely familiar with terpenes, or terps, which are responsible for how cannabis/hemp will smell and taste when consumed. According to Healthline, “terpenes are naturally occurring chemical compounds found in plants and some animals. They’re responsible for aroma, flavors, and even colors associated with various types of vegetation. In terms of cannabis, terpenes are what make certain strains smell or taste different from others”.
Because terpenes are found naturally in so many different plants, they have a rich history across the world and have been used in many societies for a variety of different purposes. Terpene usage can be traced all the way back to the Ancient Egyptians who used them in essential oils for fragrance, religious ceremony, and more. Camphor, a terpene distilled from the camphor tree and also found in cannabis, was even combined with rosewater and used as a fumigant during the Black Death.
Terpenes work synergistically with cannabinoids to determine how a person will feel when consuming various strains. Roughly four hundred different terpenes have been discovered in cannabis. Of that number, only a few have been extensively analyzed, creating a demand for certain terpenes due to their flavors and effects.
Many terpenes naturally occurring in cannabis are found in other plants including citrus, hops, lemongrass, black pepper, rosemary, peppermint, and pine. In cannabis, they are responsible for different aromas and flavor profiles that can be described as peppery, herbaceous, fruity, citrusy, piney, or even musky. No matter what you’re craving, there’s a terp out there for you. Here at DVNT, we offer four different terpene selections for our HHC disposable vapes. Choose from Gorilla Glue, Zkittlez, Strawberry Yum, and Banana Cream.
The Future of Terpenes
In addition to smelling and tasting amazing, terpenes have promising potential in the medical field as holistic solutions to a wide array of ailments. Many are believed to promote relaxation, aid in sleep, and reduce inflammation. Furthermore, terpenes may even have a future treating more serious ailments. Caryophyllene, for instance, is being studied to treat alcoholism, anxiety, depression, and even IBS. Limonene, known for its citrusy flavor profile, shows potential to be used as an antibacterial and anti-fungal. Terpinolene is estimated to be the dominant terpene in one out of every ten commercial cannabis strains. More research is needed to solidify this information, but the data that exists already is pretty encouraging.
While terpenes have been around forever in nature and used historically for thousands of years, we are really only beginning to scratch the surface of their important usage potential in recent years. Today, any cannabis or hemp consumer can be thankful for terpenes for providing a pleasant smell and taste for their experience. Additionally, the different feelings and effects that accompany various strains can also, in part, be attributed to terpenes and they way that they work together with the cannabinoidal structure of each particular strain. Next time you indulge, see if you can identify different tasting notes and decide which types of terpenes you prefer.