What in the green-house-thumb is a terpene, you may ask?
What in the green-house-thumb is a terpene, you may ask? Terpenes are compounds that come from the trichomes of female cannabis plants. Fun factoid for you: Our wonderful weed can neither grow, nor survive without terpenes. It’s true. Yep, it’s that important. It’s like cannabis’ very own olfactory guardian angel-- tending to our planet’s ganja-garden in order to ensure a fully uninterrupted and safe harvest.
Simply put, terpenes for those of you that are uninitiated in their beneficial properties, can be quite therapeutic. They can help kill viruses, and even sever the continued growth of some cancer cells. Go terpenes! They’ve also been proven to help with pain relief. I could sure use some of that relief right about now.
Hey, MJ, just how many types of terpenes are there, pray-tell? Well, honestly, there are way too many types to keep track of in one single, solitary post. A deeper dive into terpene-strain-vivisection is definitely one to be pencilled into the books on the docket down the road. For the sake of simplicity and brain-wave -brevity, however, let’s start with no more than one single, solitary handful. That’s five, in case you lost count. There are five main types of terpenes to keep track of. Easy enough.
Myrcene is the most common terpene to be found in cannabis. This kind of strain has also been known to make you go “sleepy times”. So, if you’re suffering from some rather irritating insomnia, tap into a touch or two of that sweet, sweet myrcene. And why not add some of that triple-Z-tea while you’re at it? Good night, and sweet cannabis dreams to one and all!
The second type of terpene to commit to ye old cerebral cortex, is that of caryophyllene. This is the one out of the fab five that’s the hardest to pronounce. At least for me it is, alright? It can be presently accounted for in several herbs and spices, for instance. Highly concentrated levels of this specific strain tend to give off a rather powerful smell, not unlike that of cinnamon. Is that making you percolate any crafty ideas for that special someone during next month’s most famous and/or infamous day? Lock that idea down, friend! Caryophyllene is a unique terpene because it’s the only one that can turn on those super high-tech-sounding cannabinoid receptors.
When life gives you lemons, make limonene. Bet you were thinking I was gonna say ‘lemons’, right? The third most common type of terpene is limonene, which as you guessed it, can be found in both lemons and limes. It has a very citrus-sy/juniper-type aroma to it. This terpene is most typically found in sativa strains. Limonene is known to be one of the more euphoric terpenes. It can help elevate one’s mood and reduce levels of stress. Sounds good to me!
The fourth terpene is one that’s gonna make you feel super “outdoorsy”, even if you’re more partial to be a prone potato on the big, comfy couch. Pinene smells just like how it sounds. This fourth terpene can be both an anti-inflammatory, as well as also help open one’s airways. So, the next time you’re dreading that impending extended family dinner, with all sorts of controversial conversation that you’d rather not be forcibly privy to-- maybe try some pinene on for size, in order to level oneself out first. You’re welcome, in advance.
The fifth and final of the main five types of terpenes to commit to memory, is humulene. No, it doesn’t give birth to homunculi, nor does it make one more humble. Although I’ve been told I should learn to be more of that. Humble, not a homunculus. Humulene has been used as an appetite suppressant. In layman’s terms, humulene can help with weight-loss. It can be found in all sorts of everyday herbs, and some kinds of beer. Now that’s pretty nifty.
There you have it, a beginner’s course on the main five types of terpenes. Now go out into the world, be fruitful, and tap into some justifiably deserved terpene time.