THC is primarily responsible for the psychoactive feelings you get from smoking weed along with the relaxation and “chill”. CBD, however, is non-psychoactive but instills a sense of focus or energy along with a number of other health benefits. These cannabinoids can be taken separately for their individual benefits, or together to take advantage of what’s known as the entourage effect – consuming cannabinoids & terpenes together for their synergistic effects on health. Think of the entourage effect as a hockey team’s powerplay: sure, each player on the PP is probably a talented star in their own right, but when all the top-dogs play together towards a similar goal within a certain timeframe, there’s a far greater chance of success. There’s a lot of research into the synergies between cannainoids – THC, CBD, CBG, CBN – & terpenes, and how certain combinations can lead to increased health benefits.
If cannabinoids are the instigators for the effects (both good and bad) of cannabis consumption, terpenes are the flavors and aromas that are unique to each kind of cannabis strain. We were talking about cannabis in terms of vehicle metaphors, but let’s switch gears to marijuana and wine. Terpenes, like the bouquet of a rich, fruity and velvety dark red wine, make up the tastes, smells, textures and color profiles of a cannabis flower. These aromatic metabolites are found in the oils and resins of the flowers, stored in the trichomes (little white hair-looking protrusions that make the buds look like they’re covered in “sugar”). Cannabis and other plants evolved terpenes as a means to defend themselves from the environment & pests but also to attract pollinators. They also conveniently store all the cannabinoids we so-covert in the trichomes and oils of the flowers, making it easy for humans and animals to get the health benefits by consuming the buds. Some examples of terpenes are Linalool, Myrcene, Pinene, Caryophyllene and Limonene.