Everything You Need To Know About Terpenes Of Cannabis
You might have experienced that the smell slightly defers even when you try the same cannabis strain twice. The secret lies in the compound called terpenes. Cannabis contains more than 100 terpenes and each of them has its benefit. In short, cannabis contains higher concentrations of terpenes. And, you will discover more about them in the article. So, continue reading.
What are terpenes?
Secreted from the same glands that create cannabinoids such as CBD and THC, terpenes are nothing but aromatic oils. They have distinctive varieties with flavors such as pine, mint, berry, and citrus. Unlike other plants that have a strong smell, terpenes of cannabis are meant for adaptive purposes.
It means they are used to attract pollinators and repel certain kinds of predators. Different factors contribute to the development of terpenes in plants. And, these include weather, climate, age, soil type, fertilizers, and time of day. More than 100 different types of terpenes are found in the cannabis plant.
What’s interesting is the fact that every strain consists of a unique terpene composition and type. In short, a strain with a cheese-like smell will likely have this smell on its descendants. Terpenes play an important role when it comes to differentiating the effects of several cannabis strains.
However, more studies have to be conducted to understand more about how they can differentiate and to what length. Certain terpenes can promote stress relief and relaxation, whereas some others might promote acuity and focus. For example, myrcene is commonly found in relaxing cannabis strains like Granddaddy Purple and Blue Dream.
The effect profile for any kind of terpene might change whenever it comes to contact with other compounds in a process called the entourage effect. Again, more research has to be done to understand the impact of each terpene when used in collaboration with other compounds. While there could be mild differences, terpenes can add their value to horticultural art.
Moreover, cannabis could have therapeutic value because of the terpenes. But it will depend on their unique medicinal properties and other features. Many analysis labs test terpene content and you can have an idea about the effects of the strain they might create. Terpenes can open up new medical and scientific areas needed for cannabis research.
Terpenes: Physical and chemical properties
While the terpenes of cannabis are colorless, some of the impure samples are found to be yellow. Boiling points depends on their molecular size, which can range from 110 to 220 degree Celsius. Because these compounds are non-polar to some extent, they are not soluble in water. Also, they have very low specific gravity and tend to float on water. And, terpenes are very much flammable because they are hydrocarbons.
Terpenoids, on the other hand, have the same physical properties. However, they are polar and soluble in water. Also, they are less volatile compared to terpenes. Highly polar Terpenoids consist of glycosides and are associated with sugars. Moreover, they are very flammable and water-soluble. Terpenes are irritants and therefore, cause discomfort to your gastrointestinal tract when ingested.
The width of these trichomes is more or less around 50 to 100 micrometers. They are quite larger and you can also see them without a magnifying glass. Their external structure is made up of stalks that consist of both hypodermic and epidermal cells, which combine to form a sort of basal cell.
The basal cell remains attached to the gland head. This is then joined by a cuticle layer, which acts as the primary spot for the synthesis of terpenoid and cannabinoid.
These are non-glandular in nature. These are thin extensions that protrude from the surface of the plant. However, they do not have a spherical resin top head.
These trichomes make it difficult for predators to attack the plants. They also protect the plants from light and wind.
These are also non-glandular and are without resin heads. They look similar to the unicellular trichomes. The trichomes are generally arranged in rows. They look like slim, curved hairs
Antherial sessile trichomes:
These trichomes are smaller in size than the capitate stalked trichomes. The size of their width is around 80 microns. These trichomes are glandular, which means that their stalks have resin heads on top of them. These cannabis trichomes have a layer of secretory cells that produce cannabinoids and terpenes.
Under these secretory cells, lies the basal tissue. Along with this tissue, there also lies a head that serves as the storage of cannabinoids and terpenes.
In the case of cannabis plants, trichomes provide defensive properties. They help cannabis plants to survive for a long period of time so that they can produce seeds and continue their lifecycle. The production of cannabis trichomes is important and necessary for the continuation of life.
Trichomes exist on young cannabis plants in small quantities. They remain invisible to the naked eye. As the plants start growing, the quantities of the trichomes increase. They gradually become more noticeable when the flowers are about to bloom.
At the end of the bloom, you will notice a thick formation of cannabis trichomes on the leaves and the buds. This is what makes the blooms appear silver.
You can use a magnifying glass for checking the production of the trichomes. In case you have wisely selected the seeds of the cannabis or are cultivating from clones of an already known mother plant, then, you will observe that the production of trichomes increases gradually as the harvesting time approaches. This leads to the production of good quality buds.