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Terpenes and Marijuana


Terpenes and Marijuana




Other Terpenes:

Other terpenes that can be found in marijuana resin are, for example, phellandrene, phytol, humulene, pulegone, bergamotene, farnesene, D3-carene, elemene, fenchol, aromadendrene, bisabolene, and many more…

We see then that the endless possibilities of terpene profiles are responsible for variations in taste and effects of marijuana. Some combinations of terpenes can act in synergy (the effects are added), while others are antagonists (the effects inhibit each other). Some terpenes increase the assimilation of THC, while others affect the flow of dopamine and serotonin, two of the main regulators of mood and behavior.

Synergistic effects of terpenes and cannnabinoids

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(source: Halent Laboratories)

We know that some medical marijuana users have noticed that one plant in particular helps them more than others. When analysing these plant cannabinoids we see, however, that they have the same or very similar levels than other plants whose effects are lesser. We can see that some terpene profiles, together with suitable cannabinoid rates, are more effective for patients than other similar varieties. We notice then, through the effects of marijuana, that terpenes do have a role. Unfortunately, current chromatography techniques do not allow accurate identification of all terpenes present in marijuana.

This diversity offered by nature is impossible to reproduce for the pharmaceutical industry, which attempts to isolate the active principles in order to patent its synthetic reproduction. Pure THC causes very different effects than marijuana because it is missing all the terpenes and cannabinoids that modulate its effect.

The plant’s age, maturity, and time of harvest may also modulate the levels and amounts of terpenes. Usually, the smell becomes more intense during flowering, but it can vary depending on weather conditions, environment (fertilizers …), or plant stress. You will notice, for example, the smell of a plant is usually stronger earlier at dawn than at dusk.

Terpenes are responsible for both the flavour and aroma of the plant. It is important to remember that a plant with little aroma will always have little flavour.


Chart of marijuana aromas

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(source: Big Book of Buds)

Terpenes and their interactions on the brain is a fascinating subject, which opens the way to numerous medical researches and another level of exploration and creativity for seedbanks.

Through recognizing the different families of terpenes, we can predict the effects of a marijuana bud only with its smell!