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Discussion in 'Cannabis' started by momofthegoons, Jun 3, 2017.

  1. momofthegoons

    momofthegoons Nurse Ratched Staff Member

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    What are cannabis terpenes?

    Terpenes are as unfamiliar as they are pivotal to cannabis lovers, since they determine the plant’s aromatic fragrance. They are what give Cheese its signature old cheese smell and Dinamed CBD its citrus aroma. However, these compounds have been pushed into the background overshadowed by cannabinoids – mainly THC and more recently CBD – and their effects. Then why not explore the potential of these compounds that can even be found separately in the market? What are terpenes and what properties do they have? Let’s find out!
    Out of the many chemical compounds present in cannabis, some 140 belong to this group of organic hydrocarbons known as “terpenes”. Terpenes are volatile molecules that evaporate easily and reach the nose helping us identify the vegetable we are looking at. In fact, terpenes are not exclusive to marijuana, but they are present in many other plant species. These compounds, which account for cannabis aroma, have most likely played a major role in mankind’s strain selection and cannabis domestication, as the aroma is very much taken into account in breeding.

    What are terpenes?
    Terpenes are organic compounds made up of carbon atoms and hydrogen that consist of repeating units of a 5-carbon molecule known as isoprene. According to the number of repetitions (isoprene units), they are classified in different groups, and so cannabis has:

    • Monoterpenes: made up of 2 isoprene units, that is 10 carbon atoms. The main monoterpenes present is cannabis are limonene, myrcene, pinene, terpinolene and linalool.
    • Sesquiterpenes: made up of 15 carbon atoms.
    • Triterpenes: made up of 30 carbon atoms, they are mainly found in cannabis roots, fibres and seeds.
    The terpenes found in the chemical composition of cannabis are synthesized in the secretory cells of glandular trichomes and its production is increased with light exposure. Just us cannabinoids, they are mainly found in resin.

    What are the functions of terpenes in cannabis plants?
    These fragrant compounds are found in higher concentrations in unfertilized female cannabis flowers and play a major role in protecting the plant from bacteria, fungus, insects and other environmental stresses.

    The number of terpenes and their composition varies according to the genetics of each plant and to the growing conditions. As we have just explained, these aromatic compounds are used by plants to repel predators but also to attract pollinating insects. There are several factors that can affect their production: the weather, the maturing period, the nutrients, the soil and even the time of day of harvest.

    Even if each plant has its own unique terpene profile, the smell of the plants of the same variety tends to be similar, which is helpful when it comes to identifying the strain. This is because the terpene combination in the individuals of a same genetics is very similar, and so we can tell a Cheese from a Critical +or an Original Amnesia through smell.

    Terpenes as precursors of cannabinoids
    Terpenes are believed to be involved in cannabinoid production, as these are made up of terpene blocks and phenol groups. In standard growing conditions, the terpene and the cannabinoid levels have been found to be correlated, which could be explained by the fact that both monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes are synthesized in the same glandular trichomes as cannabinoids.

    How is terpene oil (aka cannabis essential oil) extracted?
    Cannabis essential oil can be extracted via steam distillation, a simple and traditional process in which the steam passes through the plant material (marijuana) taking the oil with it. Contrary to cannabinoids, terpenes are water-soluble, this is why this method ensures that only terpenes – and not cannabinoids – are extracted. As a result, the obtained essential oil has no psychoactive effect whatsoever.

    The process is simple: you just have to place the cannabis together with some water in an R. B. flask and heat it up so that the water turns into steam. This way, the terpenes are transferred to a second flask through a glass outlet along with the steam, were it is refrigerated and turned back into water. Once in liquid state, the essential oil containing the terpenes floats on top of the water and can be easily separated.

    What are the applications of terpene essential oil?
    With the above described process, it is possible to extract the terpenes of all the cannabis strains known to date. Can you imagine having the flavour and aroma of an OG Kush in the palm of your hand? Or opening a bottle and being carried away by the powerful fragrance of a Cheese? Companies such as Terpalchemi are already extracting the aromatic essential oil of cannabis and marketing it in several countries around the world.

    These extracts are delicacies that are sold in small quantities, as huge amounts of cannabis are necessary in order to produce a tiny amount of oil. Here are some of its applications:

    • Aromatherapy: the oil can be added to creams, lotions and massage oils.
    • Enjoying the aromas of cannabis without its psychoactive effects by adding the oil to cigarettes.
    • Dabs: when cannabis extractions are performed, some terpenes may be lost in the process, and along with them, the taste of cannabis. Well, this type of oil can be the perfect solution in such cases.
    And the list doesn’t end here. With the FDA and other agencies having classified it as a safe substance and producing no psychoactive effects, the possibilities are endless.

  2. momofthegoons

    momofthegoons Nurse Ratched Staff Member

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    A new bar in Downtown Los Angeles is making cocktails spiked with terpenes that are also found in cannabis. There’s nothing wrong with adding an extra terp-kick to your drink, but advertising the terpene’s cancer benefits is a whole separate ball game. Is it any help that this new spot is called Prank Bar?

    Prank Bar makes cocktails, such as the “Mon Frere,” a mix of Plymouth Gin Cocchi Americano, limonene terpenes and Regan’s Orange Bitter (I’m no mixologist, but isn’t it redundant to add limonene to a drink that already has orange bitters?), and their limonene-packed “Anti-Inflammatory” ambrosia. These drinks probably carry a powerful aroma, but don’t expect them to cure you of depression or cancer.

    This whole terpene craze seemingly started with a review published in the British Journal of Pharmacology in 2011, titled, “Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects.” Written by Ethan Russo, a genuine pioneer in the field of cannabis science, this paper made quite a splash in the cannabis industry. After legalization progressed and labs popped up to analyze legal cannabis products for potency—and essential oil content—the terpene obsession really picked up.

    Looking at data from different cannabis samples and trying to observe differences in terpene content between strains, some labs began making unsubstantiated claims regarding terpenes.

    Indeed, the claim that myrcene, the main terpene in cannabis, somehow increases THC delivery to the brain is based on absolutely nothing, sorry folks. Nevertheless, connoisseurs began to demand higher terpene contents for the flavor, the “medical benefits” and this popular idea that terpenes modulate the effect of cannabinoids in the brain and are responsible for the perceived subjective effects of different strains.

    Differences in cannabinoid content is a much more likely scenario for explaining the diverse effects of different cannabis strains—due to the proven and measurable effects these have on the brain.

    However, the medical research that Russo used in his famous “entourage effect review is not hearsay from cannabis industry herbalists; in fact, he wrote the paper while serving as the senior medical adviser to GW Pharmaceuticals, the Big Pharma manufacturer of the cannabis drug Sativex.

    For example, reported anti-anxiety properties of limonene are based on research done on mice using bitter orange extracts, which indeed show effects. But these mild observations cannot be directly translated to humans and often require very high doses. Limonene was also studied in a Phase I clinical trial for treating cancer, but has not yet advanced to Phase II. Similarly, myrcene has been studied for its pain-relieving properties, but conclusive evidence in humans has not been identified.

    A review published this past January about the applications of terpenes for colorectal cancer indicated that terpenes may act as preventive agents, but their potential (not proven or even loosely indicated) cancer-fighting properties need further investigation.

    Any mild medicinal benefits from terpenes in prevention of disease or induction of mild anti-anxiety effects can be best obtained from their natural sources. Want some of those limonene anti-anxiety effects? Eat an orange. Want the limonene gastro-esophageal benefits? Squeeze some lemon over your meal. The calming effects of caryophyllene? Sprinkle some oregano over your pizza.

    The benefits of a vegetable-rich diet don’t just stem from vitamins and fiber, think of all the terpenes!
    Squiby likes this.
  3. Baron23

    Baron23 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Mom, great couple of articles. We just don't yet have the needed research and it seems our community lurches a bit from fast spreading fad idea to fad idea (really the primary meaning of the word meme).

    But, we all have direct experience with differing chemotypes of MJ and there are definite differences between many of them. Is it terps? If not, what combination of canninoids make the difference in effects that we experience?

    We still don't know while all the while processors are dumping in terps to their cartridge oils. We are a bit of the blind leading the blind on this, I believe.
    momofthegoons likes this.
  4. momofthegoons

    momofthegoons Nurse Ratched Staff Member

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    @Baron23 about a year ago it was all the rage to add a bit of terps to your dab before hitting it. You could buy all sorts of 'flavors.' I tried a couple and wasn't at all impressed. I felt it ruined a real good dab.... :twocents:

    I've noticed that most of the companies that were selling terps aren't around anymore. That's always a good indicator of how good an idea is. :biggrin:
    Baron23 likes this.
  5. momofthegoons

    momofthegoons Nurse Ratched Staff Member

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    Fragrant oils in cannabis harvested for medical treatment

    Israeli medical cannabis company Bazelet is developing proprietary technology to isolate and utilize specific terpenes to treat specific ailments.
    By Brian Blum FEBRUARY 8, 2018, 7:00 AM

    One of the reasons research into medical cannabis has leapt so high in recent years is that the plant itself is remarkably complex. There are 142 different “cannabinoids” – active components – in cannabis that can target different illnesses.

    The two best known are THC, the main psychoactive ingredient that also treats pain and nausea; and CBD, which is non-hallucinogenic and works on the autoimmune system.

    The cannabis plant also contains terpenes, fragrant oils that provide a distinctive flavor and aroma. Many cannabis blends are named after their terpenes, which can provide a “blueberry” or “sour diesel” taste, for instance.

    Israeli medical cannabis company Bazelet announced this week that it has developed proprietary technology to isolate and utilize specific terpenes to treat specific ailments, including chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, epilepsy and autism.

    Bazelet says its technology can “improve the therapeutic quality of cannabis by adding a small amount of selected and indication-specific terpene blends.”

    Bazelet has been conducting clinical trials on terpenes for pain relief and PTSD at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem and for epilepsy at Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel in Petah Tikva.

    Bazelet last year filed its first patent application for the terpene technology and two more are planned. The company has filed 14 patent applications in total for medical cannabis-based products including packaged cannabis buds, cannabis oil, sustained release cannabis capsules, and the PUFFiT-X vaporizer that looks and works like an asthma inhaler.

    Bazelet is also closely tracking proposed changes in Israeli law that may soon enable massively increased exports of medical cannabis. The company is ready with a new manufacturing site that will have an extraction capacity of 60 tons of year, sufficient to serve 100,000 medical cannabis patients.

    Bazelet runs a technology incubator out of which 10 patent applications have been filed in the last year alone. That could be a profitable IP portfolio to have: The medical cannabis market is expected to reach a market value of $56 billion by 2025.
    BD9 likes this.

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