In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics of cannabis terpenes. Produced by resin glands inside a marijuana plant, terpenes play a big role in both the flavor and the overall chemical composition of the plant.
At Whole Leaf Medical Dispensary and CBD, we’re happy to explain terpene profiles regarding any of our medical marijuana, from dried flower to edible cannabis, concentrates and many other varieties we stock. In today’s part two, we’ll look at a few more interesting areas of terpenes – the “entourage effect” they often help promote, some tips on vaporizing them and a note on how they might be a big part of future changes in cannabis classification.
We noted the individual therapeutic benefits of terpenes in part one, but it’s important to note that they can also provide combined benefits with cannabinoids and other compounds in the cannabis plant. This will often increase or suppress the overall impact, a phenomenon known as the “entourage effect.”
Essentially, the entourage effect involves combining cannabis compounds to get the full therapeutic benefits therein. Different terpenes may cause varying effects when combined with separate compounds or potencies, which is part of why similar or even identical strains grown differently may not always produce precisely the same impact. On top of all this, terpenes increase the rate at which cannabinoids enter the bloodstream, benefitting the smoking or vaping experience significantly.
Like other cannabinoids, terpenes can be destroyed or lose their benefits if they are vaporized improperly. Different terpenes have ideal boiling points if you’re using a dab rig or nail – this article from Leafly has a general primer on these points.
One common approach here is to use a burning device with a temperature control option. If you prefer vaporization as your cannabis intake method, do some advanced research on your terpene profiles and the proper burning temperature.
Interestingly enough, terpenes may also be part of a growing shift within the cannabis industry toward different classification of plants. We generally talk about strains in terms of indica, sativa or hybrids, but these are labels based on the physical characteristics of the plant – not the chemical characteristics.
Many in the field believe this is an outdated method of classification, one that doesn’t account for the massive variety of cannabis that’s been brought on by generations of cross-breeding. Some are pushing for classification based more on the chemical composition, and this area features terpenes directly. Particularly as legalization around the country continues to grow, don’t be surprised if you see terpenes mentioned more regularly when it comes to classifying your bud.
For more on terpenes in cannabis, or to learn about our pain management or any other area of our medical cannabis program, speak to the staff at Whole Leaf Medical Dispensary and CBD today.