What are terpenes and what do they do?

There are a variety of organic substances out there, many of which are known for their psychoactive and mind, as well as mood-altering properties. The cannabis plant itself plays host to a wide variety of compounds, all of which have their own unique effect, and all of which combine to afford the plant its unique properties whenever used in a certain manner.

One of those compounds is known as Terpenes, and it is quite interesting, especially when considered in light of the entire cannabis plant and the unique benefits it provides to the actual psychoactive compound, which is Denta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.

What is the function of Terpenes?

Terpenes are basically compounds that lend a plant its particular scent, and they are not unique to cannabis plants either. Yes, quite a lot of plants actually contain terpenes, which, with subtle differences in chemical makeup, can provide unique smells which are a signature of the plant in particular.

The same is true for cannabis plants, only the role of terpenes is increased to include the smell of the fumes, as well as the distinct feel and taste. Take, for example, the Sour Diesel strain, which is Sativa dominant. The name suggests what the smell would be like. This smell is due to the unique chemical setup of the terpenes in Sour Diesel, which gives it the thick and sharp diesel smell.

Even though they are thought to have a role in the psychoactive alterations of the mind, this is not really the case, since it requires the rest of the chemical multitude to produce the effects that we all know and love!

What are the effects of Terpenes?

As mentioned earlier, they are responsible for the scent of the plant. However, when coupled with the THC content, the scent can be part of the sensory concerto that goes on once we have had a few powerful hits. The scent lends itself to make the smoker feel good about each hit as they inhale it, and the distinctive smell of each strain, especially when it is genetically engineered to have a very good smell.

If the cannabis strain has a fruity smell, then chances are that the terpenes used in the cannabis plant are also found in the plant which the former smells like.

What are the Benefits of Terpenes?

Some cannabis strains can have a very strong smell, which is not always the most desirable. This is certainly true for some of the stronger strains, and if it weren’t for the scent compounds, people would have a hard time smoking it. Therefore, the main benefit of terpenes is that it makes the strain easy to smoke, and provides some much-needed character to the strain, which often becomes the defining feature, among similar tasting ones.


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