I am an inquisitive woman by nature, and when something intrigues me I want to know as much as possible about the subject. When I first started learning about the effects of cannabis, I was adamant about it being science and not magic - so I looked into identifiable and testable compounds that would be easy to understand with the proper research. Yet the more I learn about all of the different compounds of cannabis, the more I'm beginning to wonder if this plant is where science and magic collide. Most people know about the wonderful effects behind cannabinoids, but what I want to talk about today is terpenes - the science behind the aromatic molecules that no one talks about.
Terpenes are essential oils made by all plants that give each it’s own unique scent, flavor, and effects when consumed. So far, scientists have identified over 100 terpenes that are native to the cannabis plant. Cannabis terpenes are produced in the resin of the plant, along with cannabinoids like THC and CBD. Terpenes are also highly volatile and evaporate easily when disturbed. This is why heavily manufactured cannabis can lose much of its effectiveness even though it tests with a high THC percentage. Terpenes are also why strains with a seemingly low THC percentage, can have a very heavy and stony effects. Many times you can predict how a strain is going to effect you just from the scent alone!
Here at The Agrestic we prioritize the highest quality cannabis which has been expertly and lovingly cured so they retain as many of the original plant compounds as possible. I can count on everything on the menu to get me where I want to be, from 10% THC to 30% THC
While there are some terpenes that are unique to cannabis, most terpenes are the same molecules that can found in other plants, and can provide similar benefits when extracted- regardless of their original source. For a fun experiment buy a very ripe mango and eat it an hour or so before consuming cannabis. Myrcene, most commonly found in mangos, has the ability to increase cell permeability which allows the body to absorb THC at a faster rate. Which means when you smoke cannabis when you already have a lot of myrcene in your system, you’ll get higher faster! I have tried this myself and while I have not noticed a huge difference I really enjoyed the mango and will be running the experiment again in the future
For those who can be overwhelmed by cannabis at times, and fall into an anxious spiral, it is helpful to know that it is frequently caused by a terpene that is interacting negatively with your body. Another helpful thing to know is that a few cracks of fresh black pepper will frequently counteract the anxiety and paranoia. The black pepper trick works as it is a unique terpene called caryophyllene, native to black peppercorns, which is has anti-inflammatory, pain relieving, and anti-depressant properties. These are fantastic by themselves, but it also binds to and activates the cannabinoid 2 receptors (CB2) alongside THC and has a calming effect.
There are many resources online with great information if you want to learn more on your own! I referenced a few of these myself to make sure my information was current and correct while writing this post.