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by Amy L. Hogan
Excerpt: Susan Trapp, Ph.D., the CEO, and founder of Terpedia, would like to see the terminology changed, though. “In the cannabis industry, the entourage effect is understood as a theory that all compounds in cannabis work together when taken together,” she says. “This really implies a ‘synergy’ as opposed to ‘entourage.’ Nevertheless, terpenes, cannabinoids, and the endocannabinoids our bodies produce all work in concert with each other inside the human body.”
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More of a floral scent? What you’re smelling are the terpenes. They give each strain of cannabis a unique aroma.
Terpenes are aromatic hydrocarbons produced in the same glands of the cannabis plant that make the cannabinoids, like THC and CBD (more on those in a bit). Most plants produce these organic, oily compounds to attract pollinators or ward off predators. Their relationship with cannabis, however, is a bit more complex.
While research on the effects of terpenes is lacking, it is believed they offer their own therapeutic benefits, in addition to playing a vital role in elevating the effect of each individual cannabis strain.
Taylor Olson, the retail marketing manager for Verano’s Zen Leaf dispensaries, is devoted to making sure that terpenes play a greater part in the cannabis conversation. “In doing so, this helps cannabis users -connect to the plant and offers a deeper understanding of how various strains and terpene profiles will affect their bodies, and begin to enhance overall wellness,” she says.
HOW TERPENES WORK “Terpenes are one of the many pieces in the chemical equation that make up the truly unique characteristics of cannabis,” says Tessa Adams, chief marketing officer at Moxie Extracts. They are also one of the most overtly distinct identifiers of a cannabis strain. “Yes, they contribute to the aromatic and flavor profiles. They also play a huge role in modulating the uptake by the consumer, depending on the ratio of minor and major cannabinoids.” Terpenes stimulate the olfactory system, which is strongly connected to the part of our brain that processes memories and emotions. Do you know how a whiff of Love’s Baby Soft cologne can take you back to a junior high dance? Terpenes work in a similar manner, soothing or stimulating the body.
TYPES OF TERPS
Taylor Olson, the retail marketing manager for Verano’s Zen Leaf dispensaries, explains how to identify five of the most prevalent terpenes in cannabis.