Understanding Terpenes

The fragrance and aroma — or what wine people call the “nose” in cannabis — comes from terpenes. We recently looked at one specific terpene, known as limonene. Let’s take a step back and examine terpenes in general:


Monoterpenes are light terpenes such as myrcene, limonene, terpinolene and linalool. These aromatic compounds are responsible for the lighter, aerial and floral aromas of the cannabis scent. Sesquiterpenes, the heaviest terpenes, are compounds like caryophyllene and humulene. These terpenes are responsible for the heavier undertones of the cannabis scent; think of pepper, oregano, hops, mangoes, etc.
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The essential oil of fresh cannabis has higher amounts of monoterpenes compared to that of sesquiterpenes. Upon curing, monoterpenes evaporate more quickly due their smaller size, and the terpene profile grows richer in sesquiterpenes. Not only that, but curing can lead to the loss of up to 55 % of the essential oil, a.k.a. the terpenes.
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Some of the best dabs around today are what’s called live resin. While it’s still BHO, the main difference and key to its flavor is the starting material: live resin uses fresh, frozen whole cannabis flowers as opposed to buds that have been dried and cured. Extracting the oil from fresh plants captures a unique aroma that gets lost in the curing process.

Extract artists and dabbers applaud live resin for its high terpene content, but what do lab-tested terpene profiles of live resins have to say about it? Some of highest terpene concentrates at the 2015 Michigan Medical Cannabis Cup were live resins, but lab tests tell an even more interesting story than that when taken into context. Terpene analyses confirm that live resin indeed has more of a “fresh plant” terpene profile than cured-bud extractions.

This material is from an interesting article on live resin, another new product now finding its way to market in a re-legalized future. Find that complete original post HERE.


[Image via: Google images “terpenes”]

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Author: DavidB

a heathen, but hopefully not an unenlightened one

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