There are more than 200 different terpenes in cannabis, each playing a specific role. The Understanding Terpenes series will take a look at terpenes found in cannabis and the medical benefit they bring.
Terpenes are what give plants their smell. They are hydrocarbons, organic compounds consisting entirely of hydrogen and carbon, part of the essential oil of the plant.
Through research, discoveries are being made that not only do they add flavor and aroma to cannabis. They also play a very important roll in the effects of the cannabis and medical benefits they add.
Temperature is Important for Terpenes
You will notice we share a temperature with each terpene. This represents the temperature at which each terpene should be vaporized at for the optimal utilization of that specific terpene.
We talk about the different methods of consumption and the various types of cannabis available in this earlier discussion, Cannabis Consumption Methods.
Smoking VS Vaping Dried Cannabis
When we smoke cannabis in by joint, bong or pipe it is combusted at a high temperature. It is ground up and smoked by one of the methods mentioned. All plant material is burnt and you are left with ash.
When cannabis is vaporized it is being consumed at a lower temperature using a dry flower vaporizer. The vaporizers are battery powered, most with digital screens.
The dried cannabis is ground up and placed in a chamber of the vaporizer. The vaporizer can then be set to a specific temperature to extract the terpenes present in the cannabis.
Terpenes and Convection
Dried flower vaporizers work using convection (hot air). This method is very different than smoking. You are vaporizing the terpenes out of the cannabis. The temperate noted is the boiling point for that specific terpene which creates the vapor.
When you take a puff from the vaporizer hot air coverts the resin from the flower into a vapor which you inhale.
Note: this is not like the vaping of oils you hear about in the news. The smoke – vapor is very light and quite different than the smoke that happens from combustion.
The plant material is not burnt and has been decarboxylated (the THC is now active) and may now be used for creating edibles or topicals.
Because of the cleaner nature of vaporizing cannabis it is the preferred method suggested by medical professionals.
If you are looking for something to help you focus, get energized or perhaps you would like something to aid in sleep or relaxation, once you understand what each terpene can do you can fine tune your cannabis experience.
Be sure to check out the entire series, Terpenes In Cannabis where we look at each individual terpene and their medical benefits.