What are Terpenes and Why Do They Matter?

Part of our job at First State Compassion is to ensure that when our patients visit us, we’re providing exactly the type of medical cannabis they need to address their specific concerns. As patient advisors, we like to think of ourselves as cannabis sommeliers, choosing from our array of products and strains to provide you with the right delivery system to address your therapeutic needs. 

Factoring into our recommendations are the levels of both THC and CBD – two of the main active ingredients in medical marijuana – present in each strain. However, lesser-known components of medical cannabis are terpenes. These fragrant oils secreted by the same glands that produce THC and CBD called trichomes – continuing the wine metaphor – provide each variety of cannabis its specific bouquet and “flavor.”

But their value extends much deeper than the surface enjoyment of smell and taste. It’s believed that terpenes also impart complementing therapeutic properties in the varieties in which they’re prevalent. These fragrance profiles and their corresponding effects are represented along a scale from herbal and piney to citrusy and fruity on the energizing end.

In addition, terpenes are believed to have even more specific effects that can relate to the treatment of individual conditions. For instance, the terpene myrcene, which possesses an herbal aroma, falls on the far end of the calming scale and, understandably, promotes a calming effect. However, its potential therapeutic values include working as an antioxidant and treating insomnia, pain, and inflammation. On the other end of the scale is linalool, with a floral aroma, mood-enhancing properties, and medicinal benefits believed to include treatment of anxiety, depression, pain, and inflammation. As such, it’s important to consider the terpene concentrations in cannabis strains when choosing one that’s right for you.

Within the wide variety of our strains at FSC, there are differing and combined levels of terpenes that, applied strategically, can help our patients with specific conditions get the relief they’re looking for. Our patient advisors are trained and equipped to explore and understand our patients’ needs, using their in-depth knowledge of our strains and their terpene levels, to guide patients to the variety that will benefit you the most.