Basically a terpene is the "essential oil" distilled from plants (including their respective parts such as seeds, bark, leaves, stems, roots and flowers etc.) One of the factors that determines the purity and therapeutic values of an oil is its chemical constituents. Its important to note that these constituents are influenced by soil conditions, fertilized (organic or chemical), geographic region, climate, altitude, harvest season and method of distillation process. For example, common thyme or Thyme vulgaris, produces several different chemo types, depending on the conditions of its growth, climate and altitude depends on the strength of its essential oil production. The essential oil of a plant is divided into two distinct groups:
- Hydrocarbons made up exclusively of Terpenes.
- Oxygenated compounds made up of alcohol and ketones.
Terpenes are the largest family of natural products found throughout nature. High concentrations of terpenes are found directly "after" flowering. It's impossible to categorize cannabis into a terpene category until the plant reaches full flower maturity.
Terpenes (aromatic plants) have long played an important role in human civilization. Essential oils (terpenes) have been a part of religion, marriage ceremonies, dating, cosmetics and "medicine". Although the use of terpenes (oil) has evolved over the years, the basic principles remain the same. From the beginning of time, oil extracted from aromatic plants have been recognized as the most effective medicine known to mankind.
Today, scientist, physicians and researches, as many individuals concerned with managing their own personal health are just beginning to explore and discover some of the amazing benefits pure, therapeutic grade oil to offer.
If you have ever seen a picture of mature cannabis plants taken with a microscope lens, then you have noticed the many translucent resin glands coming from the buds (flowers), leaves, and stems of the plant. This translucent, sticky, gland is known as a trichome. The trichome is home to the active (medicinal) ingredient in cannabis (essential oil). Each trichome also houses a specific percentage of these medicinal values, depending on its individual genetic make up of the strain.
The trichome (oil) develops into numerous shapes and sizes but only in these types of cannabis plants: Sativa, Indica, Ruderalis, and Hybrids. each trichome (oil) has a very specific terpene.
In today's cannabis market, breeders are creating seed strains with specific terpene profiles. Taste and smell are equally as important as the "type of high" each individual plant can provide. Over 120 different terpenes can be manufactured by Cannabis, some only in trace amounts while others in the double-digits. Drug sniffing dogs smell odorous terpenes, not THC.
Terpenes embody the regenerating, oxygenating and immune-strengthening properties of Cannabis. The oils are so small in molecular size they can quickly penetrate the skin. Terpene oil's are lipid soluble and are able to penetrate the cell membranes. Oil's can affect every cell of the body within 20 minutes allowing it to metabolize like other nutrients. Cannabis oil (essential oils) contain oxygen molecules that help transport nutrients to starving human cells. Because nutritional deficiency is an oxygen deficiency, disease begins when he cells lack oxygen for proper cell growth. Oil's may detoxify the cells and blood in the body. Oil's have the ability to pass the blood-brain barrier, enabling them to be effective treatment of a wide variety of diseases. Terpene oils help promote emotional, physical and spiritual healing.
Terpenes and the Brain
High levels of terpenes help increase the amount of oxygen in the limbic system of the brain, particularly around the pineal and pituitary gland. this leads to an increase of secretions of antibodies, endorphins, and neurotransmitters ( serotonin & dopamine).
Smell/Taste- Woody, menthol
Today's use- Calming, antibacterial, immune stimulant
Historical use- Tranquilizer, tonic, used in depression.
Smell/taste - Spicy, sweet
Today's use - Analgesic, antioxidant, immune stimulant.
Historical use - Child birth
Smell/taste - Mint
Today's use - Increased circulation, pain relief, centering
Smell/taste - Clove, citrus, fruitie.
Today's use - Most common terpene in cannabis. Antimicrobial, antiseptic, anti-carcinogen, muscle relaxing effect.
Smell/taste - fuel, diesel, pungent.
Today's use - Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-cancer agent, cholesterol suppressant.
Historical use - Clarity of thought, energy, liver dysfunction.
Smell/taste - Pine tree smell, woody taste.
Today's use - Increases mental focus and energy
Historical use - Known as the "memory" terpene.
Smell/taste - Floral, lime taste.
Today's use - Couch lock effect, sedative, insomnia, PTSD, & anxiety.
Smell/taste - Floral
Todays use - Muscle pain & anxiety.
Smell/Taste - Mint, candy taste.
Today's use - found in small quantities of cannabis. Stops the proteins that destroy memory.
Smell/Taste - Spicy, hot, hops taste
Today's use - Anti-depressant, anti-alcoholic agent, pain relief
Historical use - Used for weak hearts, digestive problems