Essential oils have over 300 different chemical compounds/ terpenes that impact the mind, body, and spirit. Think of cannabis consumption as enhanced aromatherapy, in which the effects of terpenes are amplified by cannabinoids. The ratio of cannabinoids to terpene dictates the way your body interacts with a dose of cannabis.
Terpenes have different chemical profiles, each with its own therapeutic benefit. There are many different terpenes found in a Cannabis plant, dependent on the strain of cannabis flower, how it was grown, where it was grown, how much water and sunlight it received, what kind of nutrients were applied. Much like a fine wine, every one of these conditions determines the quality and quantity of the terpenes.
Each cannabis variety has its own profile of terpenes that give the flower its flavor and aroma. For example, it can be floral, herbal, earthy, woodsy, funky, or skunky aromas, all stem from the terpenes native to that specific plant. Each cannabis variety also has its own specific profile of medicinal terpenes, which is why we obtain unbiased third- party lab testing. The process is a method of identifying the percentage of chemical components within the cannabis. The same as with essential oils, it is used to identify any possible adulteration of an essential oil. These reports are extremely important for an aromatherapist when formulating a blend for clients.
On average, there are about ten to twenty main terpene components found in the cannabis. One of the more prominent terpenes found in our cannabis, for example, is alpha-pinene, emits an aroma like turpentine and pine trees, it is found in numerous conifers trees, rosemary, and parsley. It is one of the most commonly occurring terpene in nature. Breathing deeply while walking in the woods is very invigorating because the alpha-pinene terpene is an expectorant and bronchodilator, helps sooth respiratory issues.
Like when you are suffering from congestion or bronchitis, caution must be taken with asthmatics as it could potentially be irritating instead if soothing. It also offers anti-inflammatory, anti-tumoral, anti-microbial properties and research has shown promise as a memory aid due to being anti-acetylcholinesterase, (blocks this enzyme) leaving the potential for enhanced management of memory disorders like Dementia and Alzheimer’s.