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What are terpenes and what do they do?

Terpenes are commonly known in cannabis for good reason. They produce weed’s unique aromas, and add to its effects, too. Like THC, terps can be just as important to your overall buzz or high. So, it’s important to understand what terpenes are, and what they can do. Then, you’ll be asking - how do I increase the levels of terpenes in my crops?

Rest assured, we’ve got the answers to all your terpene questions. Keep reading for our ultimate guide to terpenes, and everything you need to know.

Why Cannabis & Plants Need Terpenes

There’s a rhyme and reason to everything when it comes to nature, and plants. All plants, including cannabis, produce terpenes as a way of protection. The terpenes also serve as the aromatic centers of the plants. The aromas work to fend off herbivores, insects and other dangers natural to the environment. They also help attract beneficial insects, for the purpose of pollination.

For cannabis, terpenes are the aromatic oils found in the trichomes of the plant. That are also quite well-known for luring in consumers to try specific strains. While trichomes are technically glands, you know them as the crystal coating found on buds. That means higher quality, resin coated buds are typically more pungent than others.

How Cannabis Terpenes Are Unique

Cannabis terpenes are especially unique, since each strain has their own individual profile. When consuming cannabis you’ll experience terpenes’ effects, too. Think of the scent ‘lavender’ and how it can promote sleep, and rest. The lavender plant produces a terpene that cannabis does too. That being, Linalool. Linalool is naturally sedating, hence the similarities between the flowers, aromas, and effects.

What adds to the importance of terpenes in weed, is how they interact with cannabinoids. Early studies show terpenes and cannabinoids amplify one another’s effects. Meaning, the compounds are stronger when used together vs. using separately. This phenomenon is known as the ‘entourage effect’.

The Most Common Cannabis Terpenes 

From what we know, there are over 100 different types of terpenes in cannabis. But, there’s a few that are more prominent than most. The following are the most common terpenes, plus their effects, aromas, and the strains they’re in.

Myrcene - Myrcene is the terpene that’s most abundant in commercial grown and sold cannabis. The terp is responsible for weed’s musky, herbal and earthy aromas. For effects, it’s anti-inflammatory, analgesic (pain relieving), antioxidant, sedating and relaxing in nature. High levels of Myrcene are found in the strains, White Widow and OG Kush

Caryophyllene - Caryophyllene is the second most ample terpene found in cannabis plants. Which means you’ll likely recognize its effects and scent. The terpene has a spicy, woody and clove-like aroma. With hints of herbal undertones. For effects, caryophyllene is stress relieving, and ideal for anxiety and depression like symptoms. The terpene is abundant in the strains, Northern Lights and Critical Mass

Limonene - Limonene is found in our favourite citrus, and lemon flavoured bud. The zesty and refreshing terpene is uplifting in effects. Which is ideal for elevating moods and stress relief, too. Strains like  Do-si-dos and Sour Diesel are packed limonene. 

Pinene - Pinene not surprisingly has a piney, woody and earthy aroma. The terpene is anti-inflammatory in effects, and can also promote alertness. Pinene is ample in strains like Pineapple Kush and Bubba Kush

Terpinolene - Terpinolene is less common than other terpenes in cannabis. The terp has a fresh, herbal and citrus scent. Effects wise, terpinolene is anti-oxidant in nature, and also sedating. Terpinolene is found in the popular strain, Jack Herer.

Linalool - - Linalool is sedating, and relaxing in nature. It is a terpene that produces a floral and herbal in aroma. Effect wise, linalool is anti-inflammatory and analgesic, too.  Linalool is abundant in the strains, Amnesia Haze and Master Kush.

Increasing & Protecting Terpenes When Growing Cannabis

Now that you know how terpenes add to delicious aromas and amplified effects...you’re probably wondering, how can I increase my crop’s terpene levels? Over the years, many growers have learned how to increase terpenes.

To learn from the pro’s, here’s a few ways to ensure you’re elevating and protecting terpenes when growing your own.

Grow a cultivar or strain with high terpene production or pungent aromas  

Just like THC, some strains naturally produce higher levels of terpenes than others. Which is why you’ll notice some strains or seeds are described as being more pungent than others, when you’re browsing descriptions. So, seek these types of strains to start off on the right foot.

Choose a medium that nurtures terpenes 

Soil mediums are more beneficial for high terpene counts versus hydroponics. But not just any soil - the higher quality, the better level of important  nutrients.

Implement stress techniques 

Techniques like low-stress training and defoliation can help ‘stress’ your plant just enough, to build up its protection mechanisms. Like, how your plant produces terpenes as a way of protecting itself.

Harvest properly for optimal terpene protection

If you harvest your plant too early, then you could be losing out on the complete growth of cannabinoids and terpenes. If you harvest too late, the volatile compounds can degrade and break down. So, ensure you time your harvest properly for the highest level of each. Flushing your crops just prior to harvest helps increase aroma and scent too, by removing excess nutrients.

Maintain optimal environments for drying and curing 

After harvesting, excess heat and humidity can degrade terpenes. So, you’ll want to keep an optimal environment for curing, to ensure you protect the precious scent centers.

Turn Up The Terps

As you can see, terpenes are important not only to the scent appeal of your cannabis plants but the strength of effects, too. So, now you can seek specific aromas for specific highs. Plus, use the methods you learned today to amplify terpene levels in your crops.

The more you know, the more your cannabis benefits and skills can grow. Shop 420seeds.com, including our high resin collection for highly pungent, and quality terpene-filled crops, today.

 

 

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