You may have seen us re-tweeting some obtuse and verifiably wrong information from a relatively new twitter account, Stoners Against Terps. Today being the day that it is, we can reveal that we are the instigators of that account. Our intent was to have some fun while bringing awareness to one of the most important and underrated components of cannabis: terpenes.
What are terpenes?
Terpenes are organic hydrocarbons that humans are able to smell. There are literally thousands of terpenes and terpene isomers. We smell them because they are highly volatile and evaporate in the air at room temperature. A few parts per million can go a long way in changing the smell of something.
They’re important to all plants…
All plants produce terpenes – not only for herbivore defense, but also in response to many other biotic and abiotic stresses. For instance, corn roots damaged by the pest Diabrotica virgifera virgifera emit the sesquiterpene (E)-β-caryophyllene which attracts entomopathogenic nematodes (i.e. worms that eat the pest, but not the roots).
…but especially to cannabis
Whenever you open a fresh bag of cannabis, you probably note a variety of smells that come forth. It might smell like skunks, flowers, or berries – these aromas are terpenes. Furthermore, the latest science indicates that terpenes found in cannabis can affect your experience – scientists call this the “entourage effect”.
The aromas found in the many phenotypes of cannabis are numerous and varied. Even 1% terpene content in cannabis flowers is considered a large amount. Their volatility can also make them difficult to preserve. The way cannabis is cured can make a big difference in how much of a strain’s signature terpene profile shows up in the final packaged product.
Spokane: we were joking, but these folks aren’t
Not everyone enjoys the terpenes found in cannabis. The Spokane County Commissioners have banned new outdoor cannabis farms due to complaints from what appears to be a very small number of residents. We encourage the County Commissioners to investigate these complaints in a fact-based and evidence-driven manner, as it is difficult to believe that the low concentrations of terpenes in cannabis could cause physical distress to individuals or be so overpowering as to permanently devalue adjacent properties. If you live in Spokane County, the cannabis farms in your county that are providing employment and bringing revenue to your region would benefit from you making your support known to the County Commissioners. You can find their information here.
PS: New Method!
Can’t get enough terpenes? We can’t either – and that’s why we developed a brand-new method to test your cannabis for terps! Our new method finds more terps more accurately than ever before. Find out more here.