What Does Terps Mean

What Does Terps Mean? And Why the Fuck Does it Matter?

What does Terps mean? For some it’s the annoying new word on the block, but it actually has nothing to do with cannabis at all. It’s a general scientific term, suddenly used by a new wave of cannabis connoisseurs . The same people who once didn’t even know what they were smoking, suddenly want all the info on the type of terpenes found in weed. This information is very important and vital to cannabis, but it isn’t something that can be spoken about in a mainstream way. But what the fuck does terps mean? And what do they have to do with weed?

What does Terps mean? 

Terps, or terpenes, are basically the essential oils of plants, fruits, and vegetables. Yes, all of these, not just cannabis. They are what gives them their smell, taste, and their appearance. On a molecular level, they are chemical compounds that happen naturally. Because they are natural, they are basically just a part of what makes a plant itself. There are about 120 terpenes associated with cannabis, and hundreds more relating to all plants. Found on the buds of cannabis, terpenes are found as an oil, or substance. More so than the leaves and stems. I will go over some of the more popular terps as well as some of their psychoactive effects, but be warned. There is very little research about the effects of terpenes on humans, therefore a lot of these claims come from unverified sources. Still, there is not doubt that terpenes, along with cannabinoids, play a big part in a person’s cannabis experience.

How do Terpenes Affect the Body, and do they Make you High?

The simple answer is no. Terps, while very much psychoactive, do not actually get you high. If you’ve heard that eating a mango before getting high will make your high last longer, then you are already familiar with some of the associations between terpenes and cannabinoids. That’s because certain terpenes and cannabinoids work together to create each smoking experience. Choosing the right terpenes can have certain effects on the user, and play coop with THC. While some terpenes have been found to help with mental health conditions, some are just an indicator of the type and quality of cannabis.

It’s important to remember that THC is what provides the “high”. So we have to consider that terpenes work side by side with THC to provide different types of highs. 

Why are Terpenes Important in Weed?

Essentially, terpenes are the essential oils of plants. When you smell a lemon, the citrusy smell is from a terpene. When you sniff a bag of weed and get a whiff of gas, that’s a terpene. Terpenes are a plant’s natural defense system, but they do far more than just protect it.

With what’s called the “entourage effect”, the combination of THC and certain terpenes create unique experiences. Whether it’s a calming effect, or hunger, this can be stimulated by a certain combination of THC and terpenes. Although not completely verified, there is a strong belief that terpenes sway a high in different directions depending on their abilities.

Remember that although terpenes are found on cannabis, they cannot be smoked alone. It sits within the trichomes of the plant, because terpenes work together with THC. They alone will not get you high, but together with THC they can cause different reactions in your body and brain.

This is also how strains are crossed and offspring are created. You can literally take 2 plants with different terpene profiles and create an offspring plant with characteristics from both.

Name of Terpene:Characteristics:Found In:Used to Treat:
Myrcene (Beta-Myrcene)Earthy & muskyWhole cloves, lemon grass, mangosAnti-inflammatory
Alpha-Pinene (Beta-Pinene) PlantPine trees, fernsUsed to fight cancer
LimoneneCitrusyLemon, orangesAppetite suppressant
Beta-CaryophylleneWoodsy & spicyPeppersCalming and relaxing
LinaloolFloralLavenderVery sedative
HumuleneHopsyBeerHeavy cerebral effects
TerpinoleneFloral Sage, cyprusDepressant, induces drowsiness and sleep
OmiceneSweetMint, parsley, orchidsTreats diabetes

Final Thoughts on What Terps Mean

Terpenes, or terps, are one of the most important chemical compounds in marihuana. That’s why it’s important to me that my readers know what to look for. If you’re smoking weed that isn’t chemically tested, you will have to discover these terps on your own. Becoming an expert on terps is like becoming an expert on wine. Consider the smell and sensation you get from cutting an orange peel. Those are terps, and you can experience similar feelings when breaking apart the buds of certain cannabis flowers. I’m a fan of limonene and omicene terps, which is why I stick to certain strains over others. Trial and error is part of the game, and finding your favorite strain will be a part of the fun.

I do not fake being an expert, nor do I know everything that has to do with cannabis, but as I learn, so will you. I plan on passing on my knowledge as much as I can, and terps are a fairly new discovery in cannabis. So new, in fact, that its hardly tested and there are very few reports on the “entourage effect” phenomena. Despite the last couple of years, there is still very little reputable research. Most of the information is by self funded cannabis researchers.

What does Terps Mean
An example of Terpene information found on Dispensary pages. This is from Mission Dispensary.

Enjoy cannabis as the plant that it is. Understanding the significance of every part of it will cause you to enjoy it in a deeper and more personal manner. We used to not even know what type of weed we were smoking, now a days we have local growers, dispensaries, and facilities that offer education as well as product knowledge. For now, I will continue to put together posts about cannabis for my audience.

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