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What are Terpenes and Trichomes?

Terpenes (Terps) explanation:

Terpenes are naturally occurring large groups of unsaturated hydrocarbons found in plants and their essential oils.

They are also responsible for the aromatic profile and flavors produced by Cannabis - and in our products.

Terpenes come in different forms, but monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes are mainly found in Cannabis; which provide the unique aromas, flavors and effects of different strains. Here is a quick overview of the 2 different types of terpenes:

Cannabis Monoterpene Example: “The a-pinene and b-pinene terpenes inhibits the activity of acetylcholinesterase (reducing nerve excitement) in the brain. Therefore, it is claimed to aid memory and minimize cognitive dysfunction induced by THC intoxication” (NCBI Article - Sect. 4.1)

Cannabis Sesquiterpenes Example: “B-Caryophyllene, a spice (pepper) aroma, is the most available sesquiterpenoid in cannabis plants and extracts...It is also responsible for the cannabis anti-inflammatory effects. This sesquiterpene is also proven to give gastroprotective, analgesic, anti cancerogenic, antifungal, antibacterial, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, antioxidant, anxiolytic, analgesic, and neuroprotective effects.” (NCBI Article - Sect. 4.2)

Terpenes + Cannabinoids produce their own unique entourage effects that vary by strain. This is additional to entourage effects that may be produced by the combination of different cannabinoids, so an in-depth knowledge of both terpene profiles and cannabinoid makeups will help you determine your best route to desired effects. You can begin to start identifying what terpenes work best for you, and search for strains with similar terpene profiles.

You can find the most commonly found cannabis terpenes here - British Journal Pharmacology. See Illustration table below.

Cannabis terpenes - THE Dispensary

Trichomes Explanation:

Trichomes are “fine outgrowths or appendages on plants, algae, lichens, and certain protists.” (Cannabis Glandular Trichomes)

Trichome structure

They are the tiny crystals that you see on the leaves and buds of your favorite strains. They are the stickiness you feel on the buds, and the carrier for the amazing bud aroma. (They are also what “Kief” and "Hash" are made from.)

Trichomes come in Bulbous (smallest), Capitate sessile, and Capitate-stalked (largest) form. They serve as a defense mechanism for cannabis, but they also serve another purpose...

What are cannabis trichomes?

They all deposit and store cannabinoids and terpenes, but most of the synthesis happens in the stalked glandular trichomes.

“Metabolites, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, are formed within secretory disk cells that line the base of the glandular trichome head and stored in the subcuticular cavity.” (Cannabis Glandular Trichomes) The differences in the trichomes’ structure that hold terpenes, metabolites, and cannabinoids differs between strains. These differences produce different effects based on the user’s unique endocannabinoid system.

Take Away - Keep an eye on terpene/trichome profiles!

Having the understanding that terpenes and trichomes play an important role in effects, flavor, and aroma; you to start to realize different strains effect your Endocannabinoid System uniquely. From there, you can start to make educated decisions about what strains/products to select based on your personal experiences.

Who knows - you may be the next "Cannabis Sommelier"!

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