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What are cannabis terpenes & Why do they matter?

When you enter the world of cannabis, you feel the mental and physical effects wash over you with the power of hundreds of compounds, namely the famous cannabinoid THC. But beyond its celebrated reputation, cannabis holds a secret: terpenes. 

Terpenes are aromatic compounds, sort of like nature’s perfume makers, giving plants their unique scents. Like the soothing aroma of lavender or the refreshing scent of citrus. But terpenes are also more than just a pretty smell; they’re essential players in how plants, including cannabis, interact with the world. In this blog, we’ll uncover the secrets of cannabis terpenes and teach you how you can use terpenes to unlock new cannabis experiences.


Understanding Terpenes

First things first, what exactly are terpenes? They’re nature’s aromatic artisans, found in plants all around us. From the pine-scented forests to the fragrant flowers in your garden, terpenes are the molecules responsible for those captivating scents. 

However, there’s more to terpenes than meets the nose! These clever compounds aren’t just about aroma; they’re also the architects behind a plant’s interactions with its environment. They help plants fend off predators, attract pollinators, and adapt to changing conditions – talk about multitasking!


photo of three women lifting there hands Cannabis Terpenes and The Entourage Effect

Next, cannabis is more than just the sum of its parts – it’s a harmonious symphony where terpenes and cannabinoids create the entourage effect. Imagine a group of friends where each individual’s strengths amplify the group’s overall impact. That’s the entourage effect in cannabis. It’s the collaborative dance between cannabinoids like THC and CBD and terpenes, working together to create an experience greater than any single component could achieve.

Terpenes are also like the co-stars in this cannabis performance. They’re not just there for a pretty scent; they actively interact with cannabinoids to influence how they bind to receptors in our body. This interaction can alter the effects of cannabinoids, making the experience unique and multidimensional.

For example, myrcene might enhance the effects of THC, contributing to a more relaxing high. Meanwhile, limonene could team up with CBD to boost mood elevation. These dynamic duets can lead to a spectrum of experiences, from soothing relaxation to creative bursts of energy.

Subsequently, the entourage effect isn’t just about variety; it’s about unlocking a more comprehensive range of potential benefits. Through these intricate interactions, the entourage effect can thus potentially enhance the therapeutic qualities of cannabis. This synergistic interplay widens the door to various wellness possibilities, from pain relief and anti-anxiety effects to potential anti-inflammatory properties.


Popular Cannabis Terpenes

Furthermore, you may already know a few names of cannabinoids, like THC and CBD, but terpenes often fly under the radar despite their massive impact. Let’s introduce you to some of the big players in the terpene world so you can keep an eye out for them in the future:

  • Myrcene: Myrcene is like the cozy blanket of terpenes, giving off a warm, earthy, and slightly fruity aroma. It’s often associated with relaxation and sedation, which is why it’s found in strains known for its potentially calming effects.
  • Limonene: If you’ve ever peeled a fresh orange or enjoyed the aroma of lemon zest, you’re familiar with limonene. This terpene is all about the bright, citrusy notes that may evoke energy and upliftment.
  • Pinene: Pinene, as the name implies, gives off a refreshing, piney aroma that’s both invigorating and calming. It’s often associated with increased alertness and focus, making it perfect for staying on top of your game.
  • Linalool: Linalool is the terpene equivalent of a bouquet of flowers. Its floral, lavender-like scent is delicate and soothing. Known for its potential relaxation and stress-relief properties, linalool is like a gentle breeze that eases your worries away.
  • Caryophyllene: Caryophyllene is a bit of a spice enthusiast, offering a unique peppery and woody aroma. It’s the terpene that adds depth and complexity to the cannabis experience. Beyond its aromatic charm, caryophyllene has been associated with potential anti-inflammatory effects.


man doing smoking

Cannabis Terpenes and a Personalized Experience

In cannabis, terpenes craft much more than just a captivating scent and flavor. These remarkable compounds play a pivotal role in shaping your cannabis experience, both from olfactory and psychoactive perspectives. What’s more, cannabis isn’t a one-size-fits-all experience, and that’s when terpenes step in, offering a personalized touch to your journey.

Just like we all react differently to certain scents or foods, our bodies respond differently to terpenes. These aromatic compounds therefore collaborate with cannabinoids to create an experience that’s as unique as you are. Whether it’s myrcene’s calming effects or limonene’s energizing vibes, terpenes play a key role in shaping how cannabis affects you.

Whether you’re a recreational user seeking a pleasant high or a medicinal user aiming for specific relief, understanding terpenes is a game-changer. For medicinal users, knowing which terpenes might alleviate pain, reduce anxiety, or improve sleep can guide strain selection. Even for those seeking a recreational experience, the right terpene profile can enhance enjoyment. Additionally, here are some tips on how to select strains based on their terpene profiles:

  • Know what you want: Identify your desired effects. Are you aiming for relaxation, creativity, or focus?
  • Match the terpenes to your desired effects: Research strains known for those effects. Look for strains with terpene profiles that align with your goals.
  • Explore hybrid strains: Many strains have complex terpene profiles, offering a balanced blend of effects.
  • Read the labels: While at a dispensary, check the labels. They might include terpene information. Seek out strains with terpenes that resonate with you. If you have any questions, you can ask one of our Wellness Associates for guidance.
  • Trial and error: Remember that personal responses vary. Experiment with different strains to find your terpene favorites.


Elevation Cannabis Dispensaries – Helping You Harness the Power of Cannabis Terpenes

Finally, as you journey through the world of cannabis, remember that terpenes are the secret ingredient that can turn your experience into a masterpiece. They’re nature’s way of tailoring the cannabis journey to suit your unique tastes, preferences, and goals. So, embrace the diverse world of terpenes, and let your cannabis adventure unfold in a way that’s authentically you. 

Is the thought of trying new terpenes tantalizing? Check out our menus, serving California, New Mexico, and Oregon, where you’ll find our boasting bouquet of buds with countless exciting opportunities to take advantage of the power of terpenes.


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