Terpenes are a common compound found in cannabis that have a variety of uses. Cannabis terpenes can simply be described as the compound that give cannabis its smell and flavour. Terpenes are so much more than just flavour though, in fact, terpenes have been studied and used for decades to treat medical conditions.
Terpenes are known to have potential therapeutic properties such as antianxiety and antidepressant, anti inflammation, anti-fungal, antidiabetic, neuroprotective and more. They are also thought to be the reason why some cannabis strains are relaxing, while others are energising. The effects of terpenes on their own are well documented, but what do terpenes really have to do with cannabis?
It wasn’t until recently that cannabis byproducts started to become mainstream, a shift that has seen manufacturers refine Cannabis products to only contain the “key” ingredients that people tend to look for. The cannabis compounds found in most cannabis products are CBD, CBG and THC. While those compounds are crucial to having a well balanced endocannabinoid system and working homeostasis, we can increase the absorption and potency of them by a significant factor when combined with terpenes.
Our Endocannabinoid system is the network of receptors that react to the ingestion of CBD and other cannabinoids. Homeostasis is simply the mechanism by which our bodies maintain fairly stable conditions and is thought to have a significant effect on our immune systems.
Adding terpenes to your cannabis regime can increase the overall potency of your high, and potentially affect homeostasis due to a phenomenon called the Entourage Effect. The entourage effect is potential for the increased potency of cannabinoids when terpenes are added. Its findings are that the less cannabis plant compounds that are consumed together, the lower the likelihood of profound effects. The Entourage Effect makes sense when you compare the effects of taking a portion of isolated CBD (a singular CBD compound) and compare the effects to a portion of isolated CBD with terpenes.
Terpenes can also change the type of effect you could experience from cannabis. Some cannabis strains are relaxing, while others are energising. Relaxing terpenes such as Myrcene are found dominantly in relaxing cannabis strains, and interestingly in Mangos too. Energising terpenes like Limonene are found across most energising strains and in real fruits like Lemons.
Keep reading and we’ll share how we like to add terpenes into our cannabis products to enhance overall potency.
Infuse flower & Hash with terpenes
A lot of cannabis and hash simply has a low terpene content. Growing cannabis with a naturally high terpene content is very difficult and involves creating the perfect conditions for the plant to thrive. This can be nearly impossible to do with prohibition suppressing innovation, resulting in fairly terpene depleted cannabis. Due to the lack of synergistic plant compound, cannabis of this quality will have low potency unless terpenes can be reintroduced to the other plant compounds. Fortunately this is straightforward.
Terpenes are liquid in nature, and thus must be handled with a pipette. A single drop of terpenes on a medium to large sized cannabis flower would be enough to enhance the profile. The same can be done to a gram of hash. The effects can be manipulated by using certain terpenes in higher concentrations. The strain Granddaddy Purple is known for its relaxing effects due to the dominance of the terpene Myrcene. This is a very popular terpene for late night infusions.
Add terpenes to cannabis vapes juice
We always add terpenes to our vaporisers because the benefits are amazing, and it’s one of the easiest ways to bring more terpenes into our routine. Terpenes are fat soluble, so as long as you’re adding terpenes into a vape oil/cannabis distillate, they should mix and add both flavour and enhanced effects to your cannabis vape.
Everyone likes a different concentration of terpenes in their cannabis vapes, we find a couple drops per 0.5ml of vape juice is the perfect amount. We recommend mixing the terpenes into your vape juice in your tank as opposed to in your vape juice bottle. This allows you the chance to correct any mistakes should you make any.
Make edibles with cannabis terpenes
Cannabis edibles are a great way to take on strong effects from cannabis, and should you want to make those effects more potent, or you simply want to have control on the relaxation/energy, terpenes can be added easily. It should be noted that most edibles have almost no terpenes because terpenes are usually lost in the process of heating up cannabis and infusing it into cooking oils.
To reintroduce terpenes into cannabis edibles, the terpenes should be mixed into the cannabis recipe at the point at which the temperature is not too much higher than 100F. The reason for this is that terpenes are very volatile, most of them begin evaporating at 100F. Fortunately the rate of terpene evaporation is much slower than the time it takes for you to compete making edibles and consuming them.
We really value adding terpenes to our edibles because they often have the adverse effect of causing extreme couch-lock and laziness. By combining energising terpene profiles such as Super Sour Diesel, Og Kush, Strawberry Cough, Maui Wowie, Durban Poison, the risk of extreme couch-lock can be mitigated.
Stop cartridges from crystallising
Terpenes can be used to enhance the effects of 510 vape cartridges, but they can also assist in preventing cannabis extracts from crystallising within vape cartridges. Cannabinoids crystallise when the concentration of cannabinoids exceeds a certain threshold. Cannabinoid particles eventually get too close to each other and form bonds that lead to the formation of solid crystals out of liquid cannabis oil. When terpenes are added, the cannabinoid particles are once again distanced, bonds are broken, and it will return to a liquid state.
Add terpenes to water
It is true that terpenes don’t actually mix into water, they merely emulsify with terpene particles suspended in water. This isn’t to say that you can’t benefit from terpenes in this way though. Terpenes can be inhaled and ingested, and through our personal experiences we can attest to the terpene suspended in water method being potent. Slow consumption is our advice for anyone looking to infuse water with terpenes, there’s no benefit in consuming 1 litre of terpene infused water in 5 mins. Our experience is that sipping on terpene infused water for the duration of time effects (such as focus) is the best way to use this method. 3 drops per 500ml is our suggested dose.
Terpene profiles and their effects
To help you on your journey with terpenes, here’s a breakdown of the terpenes we like and their effects