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Trust Your Nose: Terpenes and Cannabis

Posted by Jessilyn Dolan on 7th Jan 2021

There's a lot of information online about Terpenes and Cannabis. It can get pretty complex, but I'd like to just break it down for you.

I like to call terpenes the essential oil of the plant. They are organic compounds that provide the aroma and flavor in cannabis and a variety of other plants, like hops and lavender.

Photo by Nicholas Githiri from PexelsPhoto by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

You can learn more specifics about the different types of terpenes over at where they have created visuals like this one to help explain the power of terpenes:

In cannabis, terpenes are secreted in the same trichome glands that produce cannabinoids like THC and CBD. Trichomes are the shiny, sticky, mushroom-shaped crystals that cover the leaves and buds and act as a defense mechanism in nature, protecting the plant from insects and animals through the production of fragrant terpenes that repel these dangers. 

Terpenes not only are responsible for the aroma and flavors of cannabis, but they greatly influence and enhance the therapeutic effects of cannabis by interacting with cannabinoids. This is known as the entourage effect

One of the easiest and best tips I can give someone when choosing the cannabis that is best for them is to trust your nose. 

  • If the aroma entices you, go for it. 
  • If the aroma is unpleasant, skip that cannabis. 

This is how some traditional Chinese medicine practitioners recommend choosing your cannabis, and what just may work for you too! 

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