Cannabis Terpenes Explained: Profiles & Effects

If you’ve ever visited a cannabis farm or dispensary, you may have heard a talk about sativa and indica strains. However, one topic of discussion that is commonly neglected is the plant’s terpenes. These compounds arguably play a more important role than tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) when experiencing cannabis’s potential wellness* and psychoactive effects. 

They are also responsible for weed’s flavor and aroma. What’s more, examining different plant terpenes is a better way to choose a strain based on the psychoactive effect or symptom you’d like to treat.* 

In this blog, we’re going to explain what terpenes are and the role they play in the wider endocannabinoid system. This way, you can choose a plant based on its desired outcome more accurately. Here are some top tips from a leading cannabis farm in Jamaica.

What Are Terpenes?

The cannabis plant has over one hundred compounds. Terpenes, THC, and cannabidiol (CBD) are just some of these compounds. Terpenes are so important as they contribute to what’s known as the ‘entourage effect.’ The ‘entourage effect’ is the theory that cannabis works with all its compounds to create its effects.

The Endocannabinoid System

Cannabis compounds work with the endocannabinoid system to potentially strengthen the immune system. They could also aid in anti-inflammatory functions.* This internal system can influence biological functions, regulating metabolism, learning, memory, and certain functions of the nervous system.* 

Terpenes work with the rest of the plant’s compounds to interact with our endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system can help maintain our body’s internal balance.* Some studies even suggest that these compounds work with this system to potentially provide pain relief.*

Terpenes & Cannabis Quality

As mentioned above, terpenes are also responsible for weed’s aroma. Since a strong aroma is associated with high-quality cannabis, it makes sense that they also influence the plant’s quality. Since terpenes are the first part of the plant to degrade, it’s crucial that the plant is handled correctly after harvesting. At the JACANA cannabis farm, we ensure that all our plants are cut, transported, and processed with care to ensure you get the optimal benefits* from every product we offer.

Extraction techniques are also very specific and require a gentle process, ensuring that all these helpful compounds are not lost when creating the final product. Thus, a final product that has all its original compounds, including terpenes, is a plant that has been grown, cultivated, cured, and extracted with skill and care. JACANA offers a range of ‘full spectrum’ extracts that contain all the plant’s essential compounds to provide the ultimate cannabis experience.

How Terpenes Influence Your ‘High’

Very often, we may choose our cannabis strains based on whether they’re sativa or indica. Sativa strains are usually associated with what we call a ‘daytime’ high, while indicas are associated with a ‘nighttime’ high. However, as a leading cannabis farm, we understand that choosing a strain based on its effects can be more accurate when looking at the types of terpenes that can be found in the strain.

Terpenes have a lot more going for them than appealing to your taste and smell. There are over 400 terpenes in the cannabis plant, which are still being explored by science. Many of them are hoped to help alleviate depression and anxiety – such as beta-caryophyllene and linalool. Others have been used traditionally for their revitalizing, energizing effects, like humulene – also found in ginseng. Finding the right balance of terpenes may, in the future, be a better indicator of the effects of a given strain than whether it’s sativa, indica, or a hybrid.

Some common terpenes include:

(Caryophyllene) depression
Linalool floral, sweet, citrus anti-anxiety, sedative, pain relief
Humulene outdoorsy, woodsy anti-inflammatory, appetite suppressant
Limonene bright, citrusy reduce anxiety & depression
Sabinene peppery, spicy anti-bacterial, antioxidant
Pinene (Beta-pinene) outdoorsy, earthy, pine anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial
Borneol minty, metallic anti-inflammatory, pain relief
Phytol floral anti-inflammatory, reduce anxiety
Eucalyptol minty, menthol

Terpenes vs THC

When it comes to the effects of cannabis, THC and terpenes work together. While sativas and indicas commonly produce different effects, plants can be bred to contain specific terpenes that control how the THC interacts with your body. 

For example, a calming cannabis strain may have the terpene linalool. A more energetic strain may have the terpene pinene. Terpinolene is a sedative and can help you sleep. In fact, it’s the terpenes that dictate whether a plant is an indica or sativa.

A Final Word from JACANA Life Farm

Overall, smoking based on THC quality is not necessarily the best practice. Terpenes dictate how cannabinoids interact with your system and will change the effects, which can change from person to person, too.

It is very difficult to find the correct strain or have all the necessary information you need when buying on the black market. This is why buying from regulated dispensaries is so important. You want to know that it was grown, dried, cured, and lab-tested for purity or potential contamination. At JACANA, all our products are grown on our own cannabis farm in Jamaica. They are tested to ensure they meet international standards of quality and that you get exactly what you need when choosing your cannabis strain.

At JACANA, we are dedicated to providing products that are effective – producing an experience that is as pleasant as possible. Book a tour at the JACANA Life Farm or visit one of our four dispensaries in Jamaica to get a taste of some of the finest cannabis on the market!


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.