What are Terpenes in Herbs?
Terpenes give unique flavor, aroma and effects to herbs.
They are any of a class of hydrocarbons occurring in plants and animals and empirically regarded as built up from isoprene, a hydrocarbon consisting of five carbon atoms attached to eight hydrogen atoms (C5H8). The term is often extended to the terpenoids, which are oxygenated derivatives of these hydrocarbons.
And the name Terpene? Story is that it is related to Turpentine which is is a volatile essential oil obtained from the wood of pine trees. And Terepenes are known as a class of Terpenoid and they have lots of names like:
Hemiterpenoids, Monoterpenoids, Sesquiterpenoids, Diterpenoids, Sesterterpenoids, Triterpenoids, Tetraterpenoids, and Polyterpenoid. Some people like to call them Terpeniods but I don’t for the same reason I don’t call Salmon by the name Salmonids (A fish biologist and my Dad both get my reference).
OK, let’s try putting that into something we both can understand.
It’s what you are smelling. It’s what you are tasting. And maybe even it’s even why you are feeling that way after vaping various herbs.
Terpenes are organic compounds found in herbs, they contribute to their flavor, scent and color. Terpenes are an interesting class of organic compounds, produced by a variety of plants, particularly conifers. These compounds are an active ingredient for essential oils and are used in aromatherapy. They are thought to have medicinal properties, and to help in fighting bacteria, fungus and stress.
For example: Limonene, which is a terpene found in cannabis, is also present in citrus fruits, juniper and peppermint, and has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-depressant effects. Moreover, it is suggested that this compound exerts anti-carcinogenic properties, and is known to increase blood pressure.
Terpenes interact with the endocannabinoid system and can also influence neurotransmitters in the brain. For example they can affect dopamine and serotonin production and destruction. Limonene can increase serotonin production thus elevating your mood.
Plants like rosemary, mint or basil have very strong terpene profiles, and this is why they’re referred to as aromatic plants. Cannabis contains a wide range of terpenes (over 200) that are thought to interact synergistically with the cannabinoids in the plant, and to enhance its health effects. Each plant strain tends to have unique terpene compositions; hence different strains have different smells, tastes, and effects.
So when vaping herbs it is good to know what terpenes you are consuming. Proper usage of terpenes can lead to some interesting flavours, aromas and effects on you. We will explore each herb, their terpenes and effects on this site. From there you will be able to make an informed decision on what to use for what purpose. Maybe even mix them up into a recipe of your choosing. Let us know what works for you.