What Makes Cannabis So Tasty?

Jan 14, 2022 | Cannabis Products, Cannabis Science

If you’re an avid cannabis connoisseur, you know how delicious cannabis is. And we’re not just talking about edibles.

But what makes cannabis so tasty?

The short answer is terpenes. And this isn’t news. But the industry’s increased understanding of them is. As such, there’s a level of sophistication that was previously lacking.

How a Terpene Makes Cannabis So Tasty

Terpenes are what make each bud unique.

Just the flowers themselves can elicit the essences of pine, grape soda, lemon icing, or any other number of scents. Such odors are courtesy of tiny molecules called terpenes.  

And this is even before cannabis is then further infused into all sorts delicious edible forms such as olive oil, honey, chocolates, gummies, tonics, and teas.

Edibles have come a long way since pot brownies. These days, folks are no longer trying to hide the flavor. With more than 200 varieties of terpenes in cannabis alone, chefs and cultivators alike are taking advantage of these complex flavors and highlighting them to create a multi sensory cannabis experience.

So What Are Terpenes?

Without getting too scientific, terpenes are volatile hydrocarbon chains that exist throughout the plant kingdom. They help determine how a plant smells and tastes and, in some cases, even how it makes one feel if they consume it.

This last aspect is an especially exciting discovery. Because for a long time, these little molecules were overlooked in the cannabis world as growers and consumers focused on the cannabinoids and how they affected individual consumers. THC and CBD essentially stole the spotlight.

We now have a deeper understanding of how minor molecular differences can dramatically alter cannabis. Plus, just as there’s the entourage effect with THC and CBD, it seems – mostly anecdotally – that terpenes also come into play. Although they seem to lend more to the experience.

So while terpenes may not be necessary to feel the effects of CBD or THC, they will certainly have a part in making the experience either more relaxing or more uplifting. And they’re definitely going to have everything to do with the flavor.

It’s like the difference between taking a caffeine pill or enjoying a delicious cappuccino. Or downing straight grain alcohol versus sipping a complex scotch. Cannabinoids are the engine, and terpenes are the steering wheel. 

What Are Some of the Better Known Terpenes?

At the date of this post, cannabis is still federally prohibited. As a result, there has been little research on weed-bound terpenes. Fortunately, research on other (legal) plants has showcased the potential of certain terpenes to alter a consumer’s experience.

For example, linalool which is found in lavender can have a sedative effect. Pinene found in pine can reduce inflammation to protect brain cells during strokes. And limonene in citrus rinds delivers a euphoric feeling. All three of these terpenes are found in cannabis.

Here are five other cannabis terpenes that have been studied in other plants:

1. Myrcene

Myrcene imparts a musky, fruity and earthy flavor. This terpene is found in mangoes, lemongrass, cloves, and cannabis’s close relative hops. It’s been shown to have calming and relaxing effects.

2. Beta-Caryophyllene

There is evidence that the peppery, spicy, and earthy beta-caryophyllene can have anti-inflammatory, pain relieving, and antimicrobial properties. This terpene is found naturally in cloves, cinnamon, and black pepper.

3. Terpinolene

For many years, those interested in alternative healthcare have turned to tea tree oil as an antifungal and antimicrobial. This is the result of terpinolene which is also found in pine and apple. It has sharp woody and citrusy notes.

4. Humulene

Humulene demonstrates both anti-inflammatory and appetite suppressant properties. This spicy, earthy, and woody terpene is found in sage, hops, and coriander.

5. Eucalyptol

The unmistakably minty and cooling effects of eucalyptol are found in eucalyptus, salvia, menthol, and tea tree. It’s effective for pain relief and clearing sinuses.

Again, as we noted above, evidence of how these terpenes interact with cannabis is largely anecdotal for now. But we can only guess that hard data is forthcoming.

In the meantime, terpenes offer a new way for cutting-edge cultivators, provisioning center budtenders, and consumers to talk about cannabis and make reasonable assumptions about what to expect from a strain.

Whatever the case, you can certainly count on your cannabis being tasty.

Discerning Producers Strive for the Best Cannabis

Knowing that it’s the terpene profile that makes cannabis so tasty, high-end growers are diving deep into understanding them. As such, they will have the most complex and flavorful cannabis.

So don’t settle for less. 

Get the full experience with top-shelf cannabis rich in terpenes. Click here to find out where you can buy our high quality products near you.

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