Terpene Sauce: An Elite Concentrate
You know the saying “a little dab'll do ya?” Well, it was certainly coined by someone who indulged in a little too much terp sauce.
Undeniably one of the more elite cannabis concentrates, terpene sauce features a compelling blend of aromatic terpenes and pure THCA crystals. A little dab of terp sauce packs both flavor and punch. In fact, High Terpene Full Spectrum Extracts (HTFSEs) consist of around 50 per cent THCA and anywhere between 13-40 per cent terpenes for a balanced and therapeutic high.
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Found all throughout the plant kingdom, terpenes are naturally occurring plant-based compounds and the main reason certain plants smell the way they do. They also play a vital role in altering the high delivered by certain cannabis strains — a phenomenon commonly referred to as the entourage effect. Here are some of the most dominant and well-known terpenes found in most cannabis plants. Terpene sauce makes them much easier to manage and manipulate.
- Pinene — This cannabis terpene, found in strains like Jack Herer, Strawberry Cough, and Blue Dream, smells like pine trees and has anti-inflammatory traits. Pinene also helps to improve airflow and respiratory functions and can reduce memory loss related to THC. Additionally, the pinene terpene has been beneficial for patients with arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and cancer.
- Limonene — Limonene gives strains a refreshing citrusy smell much like lemons. For therapeutic applications, limonene is known to improve mood and reduce stress. Researchers have found limonene to carry antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. Strains that have “lemon” or “sour” in their name, including Sour Diesel and Super Lemon Haze, usually have a high concentration of this terpene.
- Caryophyllene — Strains like Super Silver Haze and Skywalker highlight the spicy and peppery notes of caryophyllene. Besides its analgesic and anti-anxiety qualities, some studies have found that this terpene can be used to treat alcoholism by reducing cravings.
- Myrcene — If it smells like mango it’s probably myrcene. Strains that contain at least 0.5 per cent of this terpene usually provide sedative effects. Myrcene is also known to reduce inflammation and relieve chronic pain, making it a good supplement during cancer treatments.
- Linalool — There is a reason LA Confidential smells more like weed than Rock Star. The familiar marijuana smell with its spicy and floral notes comes from linalool. This terpene also offers strong sedative and relaxing properties and has been beneficial to patients suffering from insomnia. Well-known linalool strains include Amnesia Haze, Special Kush, and OG Shark.
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Also called 'sauce,’ terpene sauce has risen within the ranks to emerge as one of the most potent and popular extracts to come from a cannabis plant. Due to its strength, caution should be used when dabbing or vaping terp sauce, especially for those who are new to the effects of cannabis.
How to Make Terp Sauce
Terpene sauce is made by curing live resin concentrates and extracting the purest terpenes as they ooze freely from the crystallizing THCA. Don’t expect results overnight. Terp sauce isn’t complicated to make but there are quite a few steps involved. If you’re a seasoned smoker or have found that it gives you great therapeutic relief, terp sauce is worth the effort.
- From farm to freezer. Start by flash-freezing a live cannabis plant to preserve the integrity of the terpenes which can degrade quickly after harvest. You can freeze your cannabis plant for up to two years but the less time the better.
- Remove sought-after cannabinoids and terpenes through butane hash oil (BHO) extraction. This process uses highly flammable substances and should only be performed by individuals who have the right equipment and sufficient experience.
- Set the liquid aside in a cool, dark space to cure for about two to three weeks, or until the viscous terpene sauce separates from the “cannabis diamonds” of crystallized THCA.
- (Note: This next step should be supervised or performed by a skilled or professional extractor using a diamond miner.) The terpene liquid and THCA then need to be lightly purged, separately, with gentle heat to off-gas the bulk of the solvent. The terps are purged for around 60 hours, while the crystals need about 72 hours.
- Once the solvent has lifted, the crystals and terps are reunited as a potent and savory sauce. UV-proof containers are recommended for storage.
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In addition to dabbing, terp sauce can be consumed like many other extracts; discreetly and easily through portable and desktop vaporizers. If you prefer to sit back and relax with a joint, why not add some terp sauce?
The advent of terp sauce has made it possible for cannabis connoisseurs to not only enjoy a strain’s unique flavors, but also control their own experience. While many concentrates eliminate terpenes in the process of becoming a concentrate, terp sauce is a way to illuminate them. High-quality plants are advised for best results.
Written by Karen Lloyd | Freelance Writer, Digital Marketing Expert
Karen Lloyd is a freelance writer, digital marketing expert and hippy at heart in the city with a small studio, spacious deck and enormous passion for all things cannabis, urban gardening and food equity in Toronto.