Tennessee Marijuana Card Guide: Terpenes 101
While many Tennessee cannabis cardholders will be more familiar with compounds like THC and CBD, terpenes play an equally important role in the cannabis plant.
Terpenes make a huge impact on how a strain smells, tastes, and even works – terpenes have their own medicinal and psychoactive effects, and they’re not just found in cannabis, terpenes are found in many plants, fruits, and vegetables.
In this Tennessee Marijuana Card Guide, we’ll cover terpenes and what they do, how they work, and how to pick the right ones for your treatment plan!
What is a Terpene?
Really, they are just groups of organic plant compounds (hydrocarbons) that can be found in many plants, fruits, and vegetables.
For cannabis, terpenes are responsible for a lot of how the plant tastes and smells, and in fact, a plant’s terpene profile can influence the effects it offers just as much, if not more than THC!
Terpenes are like the supporters of the cannabis plant, they help add the flavor and smell, and they help work out the type of effects you’ll experience.
Terpenes can influence the “high” from cannabis by being either sedating or energizing, for example, effects that are usually correlated to being either an “indica” or “sativa”.
In some cases, terpenes can bind to receptors the same way that THC does, and a strain’s terpene profile can even determine how the “high” feels – happy vs. sedated, energized vs. sleepy.
Different Kinds of Terpenes
Terpenes are not exclusive to cannabis at all, in fact you can find terpenes in many different plants, fruits, and vegetables.
Right now, there are approximately 20,000 known terpenes, with around 150-200 presently identified from the cannabis sativa species.
Here’s a list of a few popular terpenes found in cannabis, what they do, and what strains you might find them in:
Myrcene is found in mangos, hops, lemongrass, and of course, cannabis. It helps promote sleepiness and reduced pain relief, which is why it’s commonly found in indica dominant strains like Grandaddy Purple and OG Kush.
Limonene is found in oranges, peppermint, and in cannabis strains like Wedding Cake and Banana OG. It produces a lemon scent and boasts mood boosting properties, stress relief, and even some antibacterial properties are linked to limonene.
Linalool is a fragrant terpene that is also found in lavender, rosewood, and in strains like Zkittles and Do-Si-Dos. Linalool promotes anti-convulsant, analgesic, and anti-anxiety properties, and is favored for its lovely floral smell.
Caryophyllene is a unique, peppery terpene found in black pepper, cloves, and cinnamon. Strains like Girl Scout Cookies, Chemdawg, Cookies & Cream, and GG4 are just a few that have a caryophyllene dominant terpene profile.
Any cannabis connoisseur will instantly recognize every name on that list, as they’re notoriously some of the most desired strains to date.
Caryophyllene is a unique terpene because it’s the only terpene known to contain a cyclobutene ring in its molecular structure.
Jargon aside, this helps caryophyllene easily bind to CB2 receptors, a function not usually found in terpenes.
When caryophyllene binds to receptors, it doesn’t produce euphoric effects like the other terpenes do, and instead promotes anti-inflammatory effects and immune system regulation.
What is a Terpene Profile?
Each cannabis strain will have its own make-up of terpenes, with some being very present and others being either limited or not present. This is what makes up a strain’s terpene profile and gives a really good picture of what to expect from the strain.
When a strain has an overwhelming amount of one terpene and not as much of the others for example, it can especially alter the taste, smell, and effects from the plant.
Each terpene also has its own boiling point, medicinal properties, flavor, and scent, and aside from flavor and scent, terpene profiles in combination with cannabinoids also make up the whole of the psychoactive experience with cannabis.
Many heavier indica strains are known for their sedation because of their terpene profiles, and it’s the same way with many sativa strains that are known to be very hyperactive, they’re usually known as such because of their terpene profiles.
Often, a plant’s terpene profile is mistaken for its class, which is frequently the case with indicas and caryophyllene or myrcene for example.
In many cases you can have sativas that are absolutely sedating, and indicas that seem to put an extra pep in your step, and this is most likely because of the strain’s terpene profile.
How to Choose the Right Terpene Profile
Picking the right terpene profile can make a really big impact on the experience you have from consuming cannabis, and if you care about the taste and smell, then terpenes should be the first thing you look at.
The best way to choose the right terpene profile is by understanding what symptoms you have that cannabis can help with, and then identifying the terpenes that are best associated with those symptoms.
There are a lot of resources that can help you figure out which terpenes are right for you, and in fact, there are many comprehensive lists of terpenes available, and Leafly or Weedmaps can help you find strains that have the terpenes you’re looking for after you’ve identified them.
Dialing in your preferred terpene profile is a great way to get the most out of your medication, and knowing which terpenes help which symptoms the best can help make your medicine more efficient at treating the ailments you have.
Medical Cannabis in Tennessee
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Being a Tennessee cannabis patient allows you the freedom to take your medication the right way for you.
We’re dedicated to helping patients every step of the way, feel free to give us a call at (833) 781-5611 and we can answer your questions about getting a medical cannabis card in Tennessee.
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