When I shop at my local recreational marijuana dispensary in Denver, I pay a lot of attention to the terpene profiles of the various products.
Terpenes are natural occurring chemical compounds and are found in more than just cannabis.
They are responsible for the flavors, smell and colors associated with many herbs, citrus fruits and cannabis. They cause certain strains to taste and/or smell unique and some offer therapeutic benefits. Recent studies indicate that the terpene profile works in partnership with the cannabinoid content of a strain. Two strains of cannabis flower with the same percentage of THC will produce a different experience. Terpenes aren’t intoxication but can influence the effects of THC. I think that most people are way too preoccupied with how much THC there is a strain rather than focusing on the terpenes. There is research indicating that some terpenes offer curative potential for mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. THC, CBD and other cannabinoids and the terpenes interact with each other to create an “entourage effect.” The full spectrum of cannabis compounds work synergistically to determine the effects and sensations. I make sure to read the labels on products. Lab-tested cannabis brands often list the terpene profile and packaging date. I look for freshly packaged products because terpene concentration often diminishes with time. One my favorite terpenes is beta-caryophyllene, which is also found in cloves, hopes and rosemary. It is supposed to be good for treating symptoms of anxiety and depression. I also look for Linalool which has a smell similar to lavender and is good for alleviating stress.