What Does Terpenes Mean?
Terpenes are a large class of organic hydrocarbons; they are the part of a cannabis plant that gives cannabis its fragrant aroma. In the form of an oily, fragrant-laced substance, terpenes are secreted from the cannabis flower’s resin glands. The smelly terpenese substance produced by the marijuana plant is used to repel predators and attract beneficial pollinating insects.
When ingested either orally or inhaled as a smoke, terpenes bind to the person’s brain receptors in a similar fashion as the plant’s cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It is believed that a combination of the cannabis plant’s cannabinoids and the terpenes work together to create the psychoactive ‘high’ reaction. Because terpenes provide the marijuana plant with its telltale aroma, they contribute widely to its aromatherapy applications.
Terpenes should not be confused with terpenoids. Terpenoids are terpenes that have been denatured by oxidation during the drying and curing process of the flowers, or otherwise chemically modified.