The first workshop titled “Understanding Terpenes” kicked off on May 10th. Emma’s engaging style explained complex credible scientific information in a format that was easily discernible and visually appealing. As an added plus, these workshops are presented at Tillamook Station, a private event space where cannabis consumption is permitted.
Emma kicked off her talk buy debunking the over reliance on clarifying strains as indica or sativa as the key factor in assessing one’s cannabis experience. Instead, she noted how terpenes determine the nuances of experiences one can experience ranging from sleepy or silly to downright sexy.
Using a flock of geese as an analogy, she noted how terpenes are similar to the head goose. They are at the front creating an easy channel for the cannabinoids to ride the coattails of the terpenes.
In presenting the research, Emma noted that so far the research conducted on terpenes have been mostly on rats. Also, this research has tested just for terpenes and not for terpenes combined with cannabinoids. However, enough anecdotal evidence has been accumulated that one can make reasonable hypothesis about the effects of terpenes combined with cannabinoids. That being said, Emma recommends that anyone begins their experimentation with a micro dose and then gradually increases the amount as need be.
While Emma’s talk focused on terpenes found in cannabis plants, she added that terpenes can be found in most plants, adding that essential oils are highly concentrated forms of terpenes. So that participants could obtain an olfactory sensation of sampling different terpenes, Emma offered terpenes isolates from True Terpenes for interested parties to smell.
Terpenes vary greatly from plant to plant and are contingent on genetic differences that are greatly influenced by changes in the environment when growing individual cultivars. That’s why say a Sour Diesel or an OG Kush from one grow may produce a different effect from another strain grown by another farm or even the same farm but under different growing conditions.
Following are the terpenes Emma discussed in detail during her workshop.
This is the number one terpene found in cannabis that’s also present in hops, and has a grassy, earthy, sweet aroma. It’s primarily responsible for determining if the effect felt from from a strain will be uplifting or relaxing. This terpene possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties, as well as functioning as a muscle relaxant.
The citrus aroma of limonene boosts serotonin and dopamine levels, so one feels more energized. Its medicinal qualities include antioxidant. anti-inflammatory, and antibiotic. In addition, limone increases the permeability of the mucous membrane including the digestive tract. This allows cannabinoids to pass through the body quicker, and may help fight colon cancer and prevent acid reflux. Also, as limonene sequesters estrogen, it could help with breast cancer and increase one’s sex drive.
The greatest therapeutic value to this pine scented terpene is that it reduces or eliminates one’s memory loss or negative side effects from consuming THC.
This terpene which smells like Pine-sol cleaner is commonly found in the 'haze' strains that create the experience of a cerebral haze. Also, it can be a potent cancer-fighting compound with antioxidant and anti-proliferative properties. Emma notes how cannabis with a dominant concentration of terpinolene combined with a high THC concentration can really stimulate the user to where they need to be kept busy.
This terpene with its clove, pepper, spicy, earthy smell can help relieve inflammation and pain, while reducing anxiety and relaxing one’s muscles.
Linanool’s sweet, earthy, lavender scent helps reduces anxiety while helping one to relax and de-stress. Also, it’s an analgesic, anticonvulsant, and a potential anti-cancer agent.
This earthy, grassy terpene also found in hops works as an appetite suppressant with anti-proliferative effects.
With a diesel aroma, carene functions as an astringent. It’s responsible for dry mouth and eyes and works great for drying up excess fluids due to menstruation, congestion, and arthritis.
This terpene is reminiscent of cumin and thyme, and possesses antifungal and antibacterial properties.
This workshop concluded with an analysis of an actual lab result of the terpenes present in a strain. Emma helped non-scientists decipher these lists of numbers by encouraging participants when analyzing results to look for those terpenes present at 0.2 percent and higher.
Those based in Portland and interested in exploring other cannabis and science topics should check out this link for more information about upcoming workshops.