Cannabis gets its scent from compounds in the plants called terpenes. Terpenes are fragrant oils found in many types of plants, especially coniferous (evergreen) varieties. The chemical compounds they secrete give fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs their signature scents. There are over 100 identified terpenes, many of which are unique to the cannabis plant.
Although cannabis is often generally associated with a certain musky aroma, each strain of cannabis has its own scent. The individual scent of a strain will be based on the number and type of terpenes present and which ones are dominant. Terpene scents range from spicy and peppery to earthy and woodsy to floral and fruity.
Making this equation even more complex, each terpene can itself have multiple aroma profiles. Also, terpene levels can vary from crop to crop, which can lead to inconsistencies in the scents within the same strain.
We all have individual preferences for smells and tastes, so knowing the terpene profile of a cannabis product can help you choose one with a scent and flavour profile you’d most likely prefer.
Since many terpenes are associated with various types of plants and herbs used in naturopathic remedies, some theorize that terpenes play a role in the effect of cannabis. For instance, linalool, a common terpene found in lavender, may be associated with relaxation. We believe in the “the entourage effect,” referring that cannabinoids and terpenes work together in the overall effect of cannabis.
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