Terpenes: How to Follow Your Nose in the Dispensary

Terpenes: How to Follow Your Nose in the Dispensary

June 28, 2022

If you’ve spent time around any local scenes where cannabis is frequently enjoyed, you may have heard the word “terps” or terpenes thrown around. 

What are terpenes and what do terpenes do in cannabis? This quick article takes you in deep to answer that question 

You’ll learn about the most common terpenes in cannabis and their unique benefits. We’ll also go over how to use your nose to identify strains by their aromatic profile so that you can predict their effects.

Read this until the end to get a special deal on click & collect cannabis from TYME. Alright, let’s get started

What Are Terpenes?

Cannabis’s unique aromas and smells are thanks to chemical compounds called terpenes. 

Naturally produced within the plant, there are dozens of different terpenes, each with its particular benefits, aroma, and effects.

In nature, plants and some insects use terpenes as chemical messengers to attract pollinators and deter predators. At a larger scale, volatile terpenes released into the atmosphere can even influence the weather. 

In humans, terpenes have many therapeutic properties. Along with their aromatherapeutic qualities, terpenes also influence the overall effect of cannabinoids like THC and CBD.  

Common Cannabis Terpenes

There are countless terpenes found throughout nature, and most of them are also found in cannabis. Similar to human fingerprints, each strain of cannabis expresses a unique profile of terpenes and cannabinoids.

Usually, only one or two Terpenes will dominate a strain’s profile, with others occurring in smaller amounts. These will comprise a strain’s overall bouquet. 

Some of the most common cannabis terpenes include - 

  • Limonene - Citrus lemon-lime aroma that is sometimes sweet or herbal with alleviating, mood-boosting anti-stress effects. Commonly found in citrus peels.
  • Linalool - Flowery, herbal, fresh aroma that provides calming effects and an overall soothing sensation. Commonly found in lavender, eucalyptus, and other plants. 
  • Myrcene - Also known as the “couch-lock” terpene, it has a dank, fruity, sometimes berry-like aroma. Along with synergizing the effects of THC, it also provides a powerful sedative effect. Fun fact, Myrcene is the most abundant terpene found in cannabis.
  • Humulene - Said to suppress appetite and provide anti-inflammatory support, this dank, green, woodsy smelling terpene gives cannabis a nice earthy aroma. 
  • Pinene - Reminiscent of a fresh pine forest, pine needles, and cones, this terpene gives a wonderful lush green, woodsy, herbal, fresh aroma that invigorates the cortex. Pinene helps with focus and, acting as an expectorant, can help to expand the airways. Fun fact - Pinene is the most abundant terpene on the planet. 
  • Caryophyllene - Many strains of cannabis, as well as freshly cracked peppercorns, are full of Caryophyllene terpenes that give it a spicy, clove-like flavor. This terp has powerfully relieving effects of its own and is also great at enhancing the anti-inflammatory pain-relieving properties of cannabis. 
  • Bisabolol  - This floral, herbal, and sweetly scented terpene has a soothing anti-stress effect and is great for skin care. It gives cannabis a soft, flowery aroma and is commonly found in chamomile and apples. 

What Are The Benefits of Terpenes?

Simply smelling terpenes means that you’re interacting with them and receiving their benefits. The benefits of terpenes in cannabis are primarily two-fold. 

First, studies indicate that compounds like THC and CBD aren’t as effective when isolated from naturally occurring cannabis terpenes. 

It appears that the presence of terpenes exponentially enhances the beneficial effects of cannabinoids in a synergistic mechanism known as the entourage effect. 

Secondly, experimenting with unique terpene profiles in combination with different cannabinoid profiles and potencies helps us to choose cannabis strains with the specific effects we want and don’t want. 


Cannabis Strain Terpene Profiles?

So what’s one to do with all this terpene knowledge? Put it to good use by utilizing it to help you choose strains suited for your needs and pair strains with your favorite activity. 

For what feels like eons, we’ve used Indica and Sativa to distinguish between strains with more stimulating effects and strains with more sedative-like effects. 

While this method has its useful place, using terpenes to predict a strain’s effects is a much more specific method of selecting a strain for a specific purpose. 

Alongside potency, try to pick a strain that has a primary terpene that features your preferred effects. For example, if you like something that will help your daytime stress without making you feel too drowsy, pick a strain high in limonene terpenes. 

If pain relief is what you need most, find a strain full of Caryophyllene. If nighttime rest evades you, try an Indica-dominant strain high in Myrcene. 

You can read our article about “How to Talk to a Budtender” here to learn more about terps and dispensary talk. 

How To Shop for Strains With Your Nose

For advanced cannabis enthusiasts, using your nose to identify primary terpenes is the way to go. 

If you spend enough time smelling enough different strains, you’ll begin to notice the subtle differences in terpene profiles.

If you’re really good you’ll be able to pick out the Limonenes and Pinenes at your favorite local dispensary. 

Unfortunately, the Covid pandemic has changed the dispensary experience for too many. If you can’t use your nose or go in-person to speak with a budtender, you’ll need to rely on third-party lab tests to verify purity, potency, and terpenes. 

How To Shop Cannabis Strains Online

Any reputable online cannabis retailer should not only provide your lab tests but should also have info on terpene profiles for their strain selection. 

Click here to browse TYME’s full catalog of the freshest cannabis strains from Canada’s top growers and unlock your exclusive deal.

You can check out the terps on your favorite strains and look at the labs to be sure you’re getting what you want. 

Just add your favorite strains to your cart to checkout, and collect your cannabis at the dispensary. 

Thanks for reading! We hope this helps you with your strain shopping. 

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