Terpenes in focus

You may know the term cannabinoid —  the group of powerhouses in cannabis like THC and CBD, but there’s another group of superheroes in your cannabis providing all kinds of support and potential therapeutic benefits — terpenes!

Terpenes are the organic compounds found in Cannabis that give it its smell and flavour. With more than 200 terpenes occuring in nature and even some insects, it’s no wonder there’s so many different smells and notes to cannabis.

So why should you care about terpenes?

Well, in my opinion, they matter more than classifying a strain as a sativa or an indica.

It’s really the terpenes that determine a lot of how the cannabis you are using effects you, as well, terpenes have many associated potential therapeutic benefits.

The most abundant terpene in cannabis is Myrcene. One of the main effects it’s known for is its sedating properties. If you are looking to use cannabis for sleep or relaxation, you would be wise to look for strains with an abundance of myrcene.

You can also find Myrcene in lemongrass, hops, basil, mangos, and its namesake, Myrcia sphaerocarpa, a medicinal shrub from Brazil traditionally used to treat diabetes, diarrhea, dysentery, and hypertension.

Myrcene’s aroma is earthy, fruity, and clove-like — I like to joke it kinda smells like a Grateful Dead concert.

One of the special things Myrcene does particularly well is its ability to increase the permeability of the blood-brain barrier, allowing cannabinoids to enter the brain quicker and with potentially more potency.

That’s why it’s absolutely true that eating a fresh mango about 45 minutes before you consume cannabis will intensify the effects.

Stay tuned for more Terpenes in focus.

— Written by Hart Steinfeld, co-host of the Cannabis Show.

For further insight into all things cannabis, don’t forget to check out The Cannabis Show (new episodes every Wednesday) and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The Cannabis Show is also available as an audio podcast, subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Overcast.

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