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What Are Cannabis Terpenes?

Terpenes are organic compounds produced by cannabis plants that are responsible for creating its unique aroma. Formed in the trichomes of cannabis flowers, terpenes help protect the plant by acting as a deterrent against predatory animals and insects. There are many factors that influence a plant’s development of terpenes, including climate, age/maturity, plant nutrition, and time of day. Over 100 different terpenes have been identified in cannabis plants, with different cultivars displaying unique terpene expression profiles.

Like cannabinoids, some cannabis terpenes have been found to bind to and activate endocannabinoid receptors located throughout the body. When terpenes work together with cannabinoids, a process known as the entourage effect, the therapeutic potentials of both terpenes and cannabinoids increase dramatically. The presence of terpenes can modulate cannabinoid absorption by the body, effectively raising or lowering the amount of THC or CBD that reaches the endocannabinoid receptors.