Multiple factors separate the types of cannabis plants, including THC concentration, CBC concentration, and physical appearance. Terpenes are another factor which render cannabis strains unique. Most plants have terpenes, but the wide array of terpenes associated with cannabis plants is a prime way to differentiate strains.
What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are hydrocarbons in plants’ essential oils. Plants generate terpenes to repel predators and attract pollinators. Cannabis plants release terpenes from secretory cells in their glandular trichomes. Terpenes are responsible for the flavors and smells associated with cannabis strains. There are over 100 different kinds of cannabis terpenes, leading to the wide variety of marijuana strains available to consumers.
Myrcene – which is also found in mangos, thyme, and lemongrass – has an aroma that is described as earthy, herbal, or musky. Limonene has a citrusy aroma, which is not surprising since limonene is also in orange rinds and lemon rinds. Caryophyllene leaves a spicy aftertaste; it is also found in cinnamon and black pepper. Terpinolene – also found in cumin, nutmeg, and lilacs – is associated with piney, floral aromas and tastes. Pinene – which is also used by pine needles, nutmeg, and rosemary – gives cannabis a strong aroma and flavor of pine.
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