A la Découverte des Terpènes de Chanvre

Discovering Hemp Terpenes

Romain Lyomat

What are hemp terpenes?

Cannabis contains hundreds of fascinating phytochemicals. Cannabinoids usually take center stage, but terpenes work behind the scenes to produce aromas and flavors. In addition to supporting the sensory side of cannabis, they have an essential impact on the potency and benefits provided by the plant.

What are terpenes?

They are widely distributed in nature. They are, for example, the ones who provide the unique scents of pine forests or orange peel.

They contain the aromatic characteristics of plants, including those of cannabis. These are oils secreted naturally by the plant which give, depending on the variety, a fruity, minty taste, an earthy, citrus or even cheese smell.

They are produced by the same glands that produce THC and CBD. Although they have not always received the same attention as these molecules, things are changing.

The discovery of their essential role in the effects of cannabis is recent and it allows us to better understand how this unique plant works.

The role of terpenes

As is often the case in the plant kingdom, terpenes are a means for the plant to defend itself against predators. By emitting certain aromas, plants can repel certain insects and attract others, depending on its pollination needs.

The amount and type of terpenes produced by a cannabis plant depends on several factors. The same variety does not necessarily always produce the same aromatic compounds. This can depend on the climate, the soil, the fertilizers used or the age of the plant.

The most interesting aspect of terpenes, however, is not that they are responsible for the diversity of flavors and aromas in cannabis, but that they act in synergy with cannabinoids, such as THC.


So some strains may have the exact same levels of THC and CBD, but their effects may be very different.

Researchers even claim that it is the terpenes that are responsible for the unique effects of this strain.

How do they work?

They act in countless ways. In addition to adding a pleasant taste and smell to the cannabis experience, these molecules also play a major role in the effects of each strain.

Researchers have identified an interaction between terpenes and cannabinoids, including THC and CBD. Molecules from these two families appear to work together to produce enhanced effects - a phenomenon known as the entourage effect.

Cannabinoids attach directly to cannabinoid receptors in the body to produce their effects, while most terpenes react to other receptors.

Some terpenes like limonene, caryophyllene and pinene work in concert with THC. CBD and linalool have a special synergistic relationship. They also produce effects on their own.

A large number of studies document the fascinating effects these molecules produce.

Do terpenes get you high?

They do not produce a psychoactive effect in the same way as THC. They do, however, act in more subtle ways to alter mood by interacting with systems, via serotonin and dopamine.< /p>

These molecules also influence the effect generated by cannabinoids and modify it in a noticeable way. For example, limonene provides a cooling and stimulating sensation. Myrcene, on the other hand, provides a more relaxing and dizzying effect.

But fear not, consuming terpenes is safe when it comes to drug testing.

These molecules are everywhere and chances are you are already unknowingly ingesting it every day. They enter your system with every sip of orange juice and every breath you take while walking in the woods.

Terpenes: the next frontier in medical cannabis

They have the potential to completely transform the cannabis industry. The discovery of a synergistic relationship between cannabinoids and terpenes has paved the way for a future of carefully tailored strains designed for specific conditions and experiences.

Many consumers Cannabis enthusiasts are already interested in full-spectrum extracts, which contain more than just cannabinoids. These blends contain high levels of terpenes, flavonoids and other cannabis phytochemicals that combine to produce a holistic effect.

Today, manufacturers are focusing on custom blends that harness the power of the entourage effect to further relieve symptoms.

For example, studies suggest that limonene may enhance the antioxidant effects of THC, while linalool may enhance the relaxing properties of the cannabinoid. Similarly, linalool appears to enhance the potential of CBD to reduce feelings of jitters.

Despite these interesting results, the research is still in its infancy. With over 200 terpenes and 100 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, the future of research into the entourage effect is sure to find amazing results.

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