What do they do?
Throughout history, terpenes have been used for a wide variety of purposes, from food flavoring, to perfumery, to therapeutic uses, but the most noteworthy role terpenes play, is in our consumption of food. Also, terpenes are widely used with cannabis concentrates, both for dabbing and vaping. They are a common component in cannabis vape cartridges.
Terpenes are found in high quantities in various essential oils. The terpenes in these essential oils are responsible to the uplifting affects you experience if you smell the rind of a lemon or walk through a pine forest.
For example, limonene is in the essential oil of lemons and limes, the familiar smell of lavender is created by linalool, and another common terpene is pinene, found in – you guessed it – pine needles.
Terpenes in Cannabis
From skunky, to fruity, to floral, the bouquet of smells associated with cannabis can be highly diverse and varied from cultivar to cultivar. There are over a hundred different terpenes found in cannabis, which have evolved with the cannabis plant as a defense mechanism against bacteria, fungi, insects, and other pests.
Terpenes are produced depending on external factors such as humidity, light intensity, and temperature. It is for this reason different plants have different terpenes. As such, the difference between the effects of an “Indica” versus a “Sativa” is mainly in the terpene profile of the plant.