Updated: Oct 14, 2021

By Tatiana Melendez | Chronic Resources | February 21, 2021

In the last year alone, the word “cannabis” has been popular among states. Leading some states to push for recreational and promoting other states to advocate for medicinal usage.

With that being said, there is no doubt the demand for cannabis has shone light on Oklahoma’s love and dedication to the plant.

Ever since State Question 788 passed in 2018, the OMMA report, as of February 8, 2021, shows 6,769 active growers, 1,290 active processors, 2,090 active dispensaries, 74 active transportation, and 370,591 active patients’ cards. Despite the bad stigma associated with cannabis, Oklahoma embraced it and made cannabis available to patients right away. Fast forward to 2021, sales have exceeded 1 billion dollars!

As “cannabis” increases in popularity, there is another word that usually gets mentioned in the same conversation – Terpenes. Have you heard of terpenes before?

Terpenes, also referred to as terpenoids, are of significant interest to humans because of its diverse role in the field of foods, drugs, cosmetics, and vitamins to name a few.

Whilst THC potency is nice to look at, terpenes are much responsible for the pungent garlic smell that burns the eye, or the heavenly sweet berry taste from inhaling, and let us not forget about a citrusy orange peel taste that follows an exhale. Sound familiar?

Say you found a strain called “apple fritter” and loved it. Next time it is back on the shelf, you purchase it and medicate, but it did not meet your expectations. Talk about a mood killer. This could be due to differences in curing and/or growing techniques; each harvest could be different in terpene profile; However, you do not need a botany degree, or become a marijuana grower to know which terpenes fit you best. The more you become acquainted with terpenes, your nose will soon start to identify the smells – as one friend and longtime grower said to me “the nose knows!”.

The more you become acquainted with terpenes, your nose will soon start to identify the smells – as one friend and longtime grower said to me “the nose knows!”

What else makes terpenes so popular? Terpenes, as it results, are also part of the medicinal aspect produced by the plant.

Research supports terpenes could potentially aide in healing, stress-alleviation, and concentration because it binds to receptors in the brain and central nervous system. As a result, you get that “couch-lock” feel after a long hard day, or a burst of energy when you need it the most.

For example, terpene caryophyllene is found among plants such as clove, hops, black pepper, cinnamon, oregano, and rosemary. Another fun-fact about caryophyllene - it is known to be the only terpene to bind to Cannabinoid receptor subtype two (CB2) and can potentially provide a “morphine-like feel” to those seeking pain relief.

Interestingly enough, a few studies on mice have researched the effects of induced stress to measure the antidepressant effects of the terpene. Results showed caryophyllene to be highly effective in reducing the stress and anxiety exhibited by the animals while undergoing their various stress tests. Of course, much more research is needed to fully understand terpenes; however, these promising indications show that caryophyllene may prove useful in treating human mood disorders and addiction in the future.

Asking your budtender about terpenes could help you medicate according to your symptoms and they can guide you with finding the desired therapeutic effects.

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