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The Terpenes in the Cannabis Plant

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New Member
September 30th, 2010 | by J.Marcu |

There are numerous references in popular Cannabis literature which claim that Cannabis strains can smell like mango, melon, and even grapes. Well, it might not be their imagination. The odor of cannabis comes from over 120 terpenes (a.k.a. terpenoids fragrance molecules) that are made by the plant(1).

The main ingredients in Cannabis Fragrance

Terpenes have some interesting effects on humans, including modulating the effects of THC (2) and decreasing memory loss(3). Terpenes are non-toxic and other types of plants have a unique mixture as well. One terpene is unique to Cannabis (m-mentha-1,8(9)-dien-5-ol). All others occur in fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Many of the beneficial terpenes on Cannabis also occur in tropical fruits. So, maybe it isn't your imagination when something smells like mango, melon, or even grapes.

Cannabis' odor molecules may offer benefits to patients, as these molecules have medical applications of their own. At a recent cannabinoid science meeting Ethan Russo M.D. highlighted some of the most interesting aspects of terpenes; the fragrant component of Cannabis(4):

Linolool has anti-anxiety and sedative properties (also in lavender).

Beta-Caryophyllene is a potent activator of CB2 Receptors and is found in nearly all plants.

Myrcene has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and muscle relaxing properties (also in Mangos).

Nerolidol has sedative and anti-malarial properties (Also in citrus rind). Limonene is also found in citrus rinds and is very abundant in Cannabis.


Limonene is available through retailers by the bottle or barrel

Terpenoids can also alter the effects of THC and other cannabinoids. It's probably best to think of these skunky molecules as enhancing the positive effects of cannabis and reducing the negative effects of cannabis. For instance, terpenes are also wonderful antioxidants. 'Skunky' molecules should not be confused with 'funky' odors, from contamination such as fungus or, bacteria, a smell that resembles musk or moldy bread.

Unfortunately and ironically, the smell of this plant causes a lot of trouble. Since THC does not have a smell, drug dogs are trained to find one, very smelly molecule called -caryophyllene-epoxide. It's an unfortunate catch 22 for Cannabis patients; that the odor molecules in Cannabis are probable cause for police. Yet, smell does not necessarily have anything to do with potency. Even the smelliest Cannabis could, in theory, not have THC in its trichomes.

Non-cannabinoid parts, such as terpenes, are of medical importance and possibly central to understanding the diverse benefits and varieties of Cannabis reported by patients-over 700 varieties of cannabis have been reported.

GW pharmaceutical's Cannabis extract, Sativex maintains a strict ratio of THC and CBD but also maintains a strict ratio of certain terpenes. The data on the cannabinoid content is widely available on the web and in cannabis scientific literature, yet the company doesn't mentions what the actual concentrations of terpenoids might be.

You could try to sniff out the culprits but even the most well trained perfumist may not be able to pick out an individual terpene from Cannabis.

Attempting to sniff out the terpene content of Sativex or Cannabis is tempting and it's hard not to speculate: is it linalool? Is it eugenol? Or is it 1,8-cineole? Only time (and our perhaps our noses) will tell.

1) Grotenhermen, Russo. Cannabis and Cannabinoids. Page 34 (2002)
2) Agarwal et al. Research communication in substance abuse 1989;10:155-168.
3) Carta et al. Brain Research 1998; 809 (1);1-4.
4) O'Shannauesy's Winter/Spring 2008. Russo Previews What's in The Organic Pipeline.


Source: The Terpenes in the Cannabis Plant
 

Syrinx

New Member
September 30th, 2010 | by J.Marcu |

There are numerous references in popular Cannabis literature which claim that Cannabis strains can smell like mango, melon, and even grapes. Well, it might not be their imagination. The odor of cannabis comes from over 120 terpenes (a.k.a. terpenoids fragrance molecules) that are made by the plant(1).

The main ingredients in Cannabis Fragrance

Terpenes have some interesting effects on humans, including modulating the effects of THC (2) and decreasing memory loss(3). Terpenes are non-toxic and other types of plants have a unique mixture as well. One terpene is unique to Cannabis (m-mentha-1,8(9)-dien-5-ol). All others occur in fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Many of the beneficial terpenes on Cannabis also occur in tropical fruits. So, maybe it isn't your imagination when something smells like mango, melon, or even grapes.

Cannabis' odor molecules may offer benefits to patients, as these molecules have medical applications of their own. At a recent cannabinoid science meeting Ethan Russo M.D. highlighted some of the most interesting aspects of terpenes; the fragrant component of Cannabis(4):

Linolool has anti-anxiety and sedative properties (also in lavender).

Beta-Caryophyllene is a potent activator of CB2 Receptors and is found in nearly all plants.

Myrcene has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and muscle relaxing properties (also in Mangos).

Nerolidol has sedative and anti-malarial properties (Also in citrus rind). Limonene is also found in citrus rinds and is very abundant in Cannabis.


Limonene is available through retailers by the bottle or barrel

Terpenoids can also alter the effects of THC and other cannabinoids. It's probably best to think of these skunky molecules as enhancing the positive effects of cannabis and reducing the negative effects of cannabis. For instance, terpenes are also wonderful antioxidants. 'Skunky' molecules should not be confused with 'funky' odors, from contamination such as fungus or, bacteria, a smell that resembles musk or moldy bread.

Unfortunately and ironically, the smell of this plant causes a lot of trouble. Since THC does not have a smell, drug dogs are trained to find one, very smelly molecule called -caryophyllene-epoxide. It's an unfortunate catch 22 for Cannabis patients; that the odor molecules in Cannabis are probable cause for police. Yet, smell does not necessarily have anything to do with potency. Even the smelliest Cannabis could, in theory, not have THC in its trichomes.

Non-cannabinoid parts, such as terpenes, are of medical importance and possibly central to understanding the diverse benefits and varieties of Cannabis reported by patients-over 700 varieties of cannabis have been reported.

GW pharmaceutical's Cannabis extract, Sativex maintains a strict ratio of THC and CBD but also maintains a strict ratio of certain terpenes. The data on the cannabinoid content is widely available on the web and in cannabis scientific literature, yet the company doesn't mentions what the actual concentrations of terpenoids might be.

You could try to sniff out the culprits but even the most well trained perfumist may not be able to pick out an individual terpene from Cannabis.

Attempting to sniff out the terpene content of Sativex or Cannabis is tempting and it's hard not to speculate: is it linalool? Is it eugenol? Or is it 1,8-cineole? Only time (and our perhaps our noses) will tell.

1) Grotenhermen, Russo. Cannabis and Cannabinoids. Page 34 (2002)
2) Agarwal et al. Research communication in substance abuse 1989;10:155-168.
3) Carta et al. Brain Research 1998; 809 (1);1-4.
4) O'Shannauesy's Winter/Spring 2008. Russo Previews What's in The Organic Pipeline.


Source: The Terpenes in the Cannabis Plant
Hi Folks,

There's a new terpene supplement product called Pan's Ink. You add a drop of it to your herb before smoking and it modifies and boosts the effects of your medicine. Perfect for those who want a consistent effect from their herb.

Check out: www.pans-ink.com.

--
Syrinx
 
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