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What are Terpenes?

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in the marijuana plant that play an important role in delivering therapeutic benefits to the body. They are also the compound that sets medical marijuana apart from other plants.

Terpenes are present in most plants as oily hydrocarbon particles, but in medical marijuana, they add the tastes, aromas, and even increased therapeutic benefits. They are also known for amplifying the calming, focusing, and antibacterial properties of medical marijuana. Terpenes play a major role in determining if a strain is a sativa or an indica because the blend of terpenes in a strain impacts how it will affect the patient.

Terpenes are responsible for the smell of medical marijuana, but also play a secondary role as a pivotal defensive tool for the plant’s health, as well as your own health. Read on to find out more about what terpenes are, how they function, and the varying benefits they add to medical marijuana.

How They Work

Terpenes are aromatic hydrocarbon oils, produced by the same glands that also produce cannabinoids in marijuana. Researchers have identified over 100 different terpenes in the marijuana plant that may promote a number of health benefits, including relaxation, relief from various forms of chronic pain, and helping the sense of euphoria combined with THC to ease certain ailments.

Independently, the therapeutic effects of terpenes may not be enough to meet a patient’s medicinal needs, but they can help someone consuming marijuana find the right strain or variation that can present them with more than just THC. For example, if you are looking to consume something more helpful for anxiety, you might want to check out a strain high in linalool, which is a terpene also found in lavender plants and is known for its calming effects.

In wildflowers, terpenes help the plant survive by emitting one of the several pungent odors and strong flavors they may produce, terpenes are a crucial protector in the wild, repelling predators and attracting pollinators to help the plant thrive to the best of its ability.

These terpenes and terpene production glands are primarily located in shiny, hair-like structures which grow atop the exterior of the bud, known as trichomes. A shinier, crystalline glow off the plants could also be indicative of high terpene volume and high trichome content. If they appear to glow a pure white or amber sheen when viewed under a magnifying lens, that means the plant was picked at peak ripeness.

The Research

Marijuana products with THC or CBD profiles have both exhibited enormous potential in treating the symptoms of numerous health problems. Esteemed pharmacology researchers such as  Dr. Ethan Russo also point out that cannabinoids and terpenes collaborate in numerous intricate ways to aid in amplifying the effects of medical marijuana. Bonding from extremely similar sources, even acting as safety mediators to modulate THC’s psychoactive properties.

Experts commonly call this phenomenon the “Entourage Effect.” In another long term study on CBD epilepsy therapy, full-spectrum cannabis products demonstrated an approximate 71% reduction in seizure symptoms, just short of being double the seizure reduction rate of cannabidiol isolate (36%) products taken on their own. Whilst it’s important to stress that research is still in its relative infancy, the science so far illustrates how full spectrum cannabis, cannabinoids, and terpenes can be beneficial.


When evaluating the right cannabis products to use, examining the strain’s cannabinoid content is something to consider. Patients should also be bent on maximizing those cannabinoid benefits to their fullest potential with a sizeable, healthy, balanced boost of terpenes. If you have any more questions regarding the terpene content in any of our store’s products or any further inquiries, please visit our contact page for further consultation. Please feel free to call us to book a phone consultation with our pharmacist and find the best treatment plan for you.

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