At first, terpenes, or terps, may seem like mysterious components in a magic potion. You may be more familiar with them than you realize, since they are found in many other plants than just marijuana.
Before we get too ahead of ourselves, let’s discuss where cannabis terps come from. Terps are created in the same resin glands as THC and CBD. These give each strain a distinct scent and flavor, however, they’re not just an aroma or taste. They can actually impact how a strain makes you feel.
We’re gonna borrow an infographic from the wonderful folks over at Leafly that outlines six of the most common terps found in cannabis. This simple to read, color-coded wheel is a great starter reference.
The six included in this chart are only a handful of the 150 identified terpenes found in marijuana. We recommend focusing on the most common six that are provided above. These are the most influential terpenes.
How do you know which strain has which terps? Unless it’s listed with the strain or your budtender knows offhand, it comes down to doing your research. The most useful tool might be your nose itself, however. If you look at the chart above it provides the dominant scents you can expect from any particular terpene.
Taking a quick sniff of what you want to purchase is ideal. Some dispenaries may allow this; some may not. We’ve found folks have a keener nose than they realize and will often recognize scents, and therefore terp profiles. Scent is a strong influencer for taste, and most folks know what they like by taste. Many companies are beginning to include terpene profiles on their product packaging as more and more folks become as discerning as wine enthusiasts.
Science has a long way to go to better understand what these powerhouse terpenes can do for us, but as use becomes more mainstream and legalized in more places, more research will follow.
Got a favorite terp? We want to know! Tell us in the comments.