Why Do Terpenes Matter?

Viviane Schute

Cannabis enthusiast and student of the art of solventless extraction.

Many of best practices for pressing rosin revolve around maximizing terpene preservation and expression. What are terpenes, and why are they important?

Terpenes are hydrocarbon compounds that give cannabis it’s distinct aroma, flavor, and effect. Like the familiar cannabinoids THC and CBD, terpenes are created in the glands on the leaves and flowers of mature cannabis plants. 

There are over 125 terpenes that have been identified in cannabis, and they work together to create the myriad expressions across a multitude of different strains that are being bred today. 

Flavor 

The same terpenes produced by the lemon plant, pine tree, and hops are also produced by cannabis. These terpenes are expressed in the flavor profile of cannabis that’s smoked, vaped, or dabbed and they define the overall sensory experience. 

A tasty dab is due to the amount and unique balance of terpenes in the product. 

Aroma

Terpenes impart not only unique flavors, but also unique aroma. Terpenes are the essential oils that are released in the air when you break apart a high-quality bud or gently work a well-crafted rosin.   

Terpenes give rosin its “nose” and contribute to the signature smell of distinct cannabis strains. One of the most desirable features of rosin is a clear and heavy scent, indicative of a high terpene content. The better the terpene expression, and better the overall experience when consuming the product. 

For short and mid-term storage, The Press Club FEP sheets do a great job of preserving the complex aroma of your fresh rosin.

Effect

Many of the familiar terpenes share similar boiling points with cannabinoids like THC and CBD. This means that whether you’re vaping, smoking, or dabbing cannabis, you’re able to simultaneously unlock the flavor profiles of terpenes alongside the inhalation of cannabinoids.

However, each individual terpene and cannabinoid has a specific boiling point, so it’s ideal to optimize them individually via the temperature at which it’s consumed. 

Terpenes work in concert with cannabinoids in ways that aren’t fully understood, however there’s no question they have a large impact on the chemical interactions that take place while consuming cannabis. Terpenes enhance the therapeutic effect of cannabinoids, which is quite possibly the most important reason to optimize their presence in cannabis. 

Conclusion:

It's likely that terpenes will help define the future of the cannabis industry landscape. Much is yet to be discovered regarding interactions between various terpene and cannabinoid ratios found in each distinct cannabis strain. We know that various strains produce noticeably different experiences, and we know that terpenes play a significant role, however the exact mechanisms and biochemical interactions are exciting topics of future research. 

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