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. The cornucopia of aromas found in the many phenotypes of cannabis out there are numerous and varied. Terpenes are not limited to just marijuana. Terpenes are naturally pre-sent in a wide variety of plants and they can also be created by and synthesized by living organisms.
Terpenes are organic hydrocarbons. 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. Even 1% terpene content in cannabis flowers is considered a large amount. Their volatility can also make them difficult to preserve. The way marijuana is cured can make a big difference in how much of a strain’s signature terpene profile shows up in the final packaged product.
In this document you’ll find a brief explanation of terpenes, how we find and quantify them, and some descriptive information about some of the more common ones we find in terpene testing. Confidence Analytics is currently calibrated for over 20 terpenes and we are adding more every month. Using GC:FID (headspace injection) we see these molecules with excellent resolution; truly a “Gold Standard” of terpene testing.