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What Are Cannabinoids and Terpenes?

theleafonline.com June 8, 2021
What Are Cannabinoids and Terpenes?

By the year 2030, the cannabis industry is on track to be worth $100 billion. Cannabis is legal for medicinal purposes in 34 out of the 50 United States and legal for recreational use in 12 of those states plus the District of Columbia. 

The industry is growing rapidly because cannabinoids have shown to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, help with depression and anxiety, and more. 

The effects of cannabis have been widely known to come from active cannabinoids like THC and CBD, but researchers are seeing more and more evidence that a different class of active compounds found in marijuana are just as important. Introducing the terpenes. 

Even if you are new to cannabis products, you may have heard of terms like cannabinoids and terpenes. What are they? Keep reading to learn more. 

Active Chemical Compounds 

Two of the active chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant are terpenes and cannabinoids. They each have important roles. Cannabinoids give you the psychoactive, therapeutic, and medicinal benefits of cannabis. Terpenes give cannabis products flavor and smell. Let’s look at how each one functions. 

Terpenes 

Terpenes have a chemical structure that is similar to cannabinoids. Part of their purpose is to give the plant its aroma and flavor. The plant secretes terpenes from the resin glands and gives off a unique aroma. 

Terpenes are not unique to cannabis. Other plants secrete the aromatic molecules to attract pollinators and to ward off predators and other environmental dangers. They also help with the plant’s oxygenation and regeneration. 

Upwards of 200 of these compounds have been found and identified in cannabis plants. Only around 12 of them are effective. The most well-known include myrcene, limonene, pinene, and caryophyllene. 

Cannabinoids 

Most of the 100+ discovered cannabinoids don’t give you the high that THC does but they regulate how your cells interact with the endocannabinoid system. This bodily system regulates things like appetite, memory, mood, sleep patterns, reproduction, and more. 

Cannabinoids work with your body to naturally heal or stabilize. They offer improvements to both your mind and body. 

Better Together 

Terpenes and cannabinoids interacting in your body produce a synergistic effect. This is commonly known as the “entourage effect.” The two compounds work together within your endocannabinoid system to calm or enhance the other’s therapeutic properties and side effects.

Have you heard of the entourage effect of terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids like THC and CBD? Click to learn more about how cannabis compounds yield a better result when they work together rather than alone. 

Cannabinoids and Terpenes: A Synergistic Effect 

Researchers continue looking at the interaction between cannabinoids and terpenes and it’s always evolving. The study of how their synergy affects the medicinal and psychoactive impact of cannabis keeps going to achieve better cannabis strains. 

Looking for more information on hemp, CBD, and other marijuana-related topics? Be sure to bookmark our site for easy access to all aspects of the cannabis industry from the political side to business to science to information on understanding cannabis. 


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