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What are Cannabis Terpenes and How Do They Affect Me?

Vanessa Neshevich

There is something about the magickal aromas of cannabis strains that can soothe the mind and invigorate the body. Whether it is the citrusy and sweet smell of Super Lemon Haze or a more pungent yet earthy smell of Death Star, terpenes are what you are smelling. Understanding what they are will open your mind to new avenues of this multi-use plant and deepen your love for it.

Now it’s time to drop some science into the cannabis terpene conversation.

Terpenes are not unique to the cannabis plant. They are organic compounds that give plants flavours, determine how plants taste and smell, acting as a protector from herbivore predators and a seductive attractor to pollinators. Terpenes can also be identified as one of the major components of one of the witches time honoured ways of working in energies of nature into their magick and lives, essential oils.  And much like essential oils, cannabis terpenes have many benefits that can assist with calming or energizing to reducing inflammation and improving mental focus. Research on non-cannabis terpenes show that certain strains do have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects.

When looking only at cannabis, terpenes are secreted from the same glands that produce cannabinoids like THC and CBD. Cannabis plants have naturally high levels of terpenes which work together with cannabinoids to boost and modulate the effects of one another in the body’s endocannabinoid system.  A groundbreaking paper by neurologist Ethan Russo revealed how cannabinoids (like CBD) and terpenes can increase or decrease the effects of THC and other chemicals in the body that interact with our endocannabinoid system.  This is mind-blowing! The ability for terpenes to interact with other compounds in the plant show that terpenes play a significant part differentiating the effects within a variety of cannabis strains.  

At this time more research is needed to understand individual terpene’s effects and how they can be used in harmony with each other. We know that they can add so much to the art of growing cannabis and medical world.  With their unlimited combinations it is exciting to see what is next in the scientific and medical research fields of cannabis.

Apothecary Naturals Peppermint Hemp Terpene Soap ($7.50)

Common Terpenes in Cannabis


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