You know it when you smell it. Maybe that smell even got you in trouble once or twice. Top shelf connoisseur-level bud, the absolute dankest of the dank, always smells. Why can you usually tell who has the good stuff just by sniffing around? The short answer: terpenes. The most common terpenes found in cannabis are shown below. These volatile organic compounds are what give high quality cannabis its amazingly complex taste and smell.
As we learn more and more about the medicinal benefits of cannabis, we begin to view it in a different light. Our knowledge and vocabulary has expanded beyond THC, but it hasn’t expanded far enough. Lately, the focus has been aimed towards the other major cannabinoids – CBD, CBN, CBC and CBG – which have been shown to alleviate symptoms such as pain, nausea, seizures, and inflammation. But these cannabinoids, on their own, do not tell the full story. They do not account for the total effects felt.
Without terpenes, cannabis would be very bland. THC and other cannabinoids have little odor or taste – which sounds about as enjoyable as eating a flavorless bowl of rice.
Without terpenes, cannabis would be very bland. THC and other cannabinoids have little odor or taste –about as enjoyable as eating a flavorless bowl of rice. You need to spice things up a bit! Alpha-pinene, myrcene, limonene, and linalool may not roll off the tongue, but their sensory descriptors like piney, musky, fruity, tropical, spicy, floral, and citrusy immediately conjure up memories of familiar tastes and aromas. It’s then no surprise to learn that terpenes aren’t unique to cannabis – they can be found in everything from plants and herbs to fruits and spices.
Terpenes are an important component to the overall cannabis experience, not only influencing a strain’s taste and smell but also influencing its effects on the body and mind. The total effect of all of the components in cannabis is referred to as the “entourage effect.” This documented phenomenon is what distinguishes one strain from another, and research shows it relies heavily on the physiological effects produced by terpenes.
Terpenes shape the feelings and effects a strain delivers. Whether you’re a patient seeking therapeutic effects, a grower looking to tailor a strain or just looking for a certain kind of buzz, it’s time to learn about terpenes and to use them to your advantage.
Over 100 different terpenes have been identified in cannabis; and despite not being quite as popular or as well-studied as cannabinoids, these diverse molecules are instrumental in delivering the physiological and psychoactive effects of cannabis. Terpenes work in concert to either catalyze or inhibit effects of other compounds within the plant. This entourage effect is the culmination of a unique and synergistic combination of cannabinoids and terpenes, producing maximal medical efficacy and ultimately, allowing patients to distinguish which strains work best for them.
Knowledge is Power—Get to Know Your Terpenes
You don’t have to be a scientist or botanist to learn about the most common terpenes found in cannabis and the effects they have on your body. Using your nose and the guide below you can begin to identify which terpenes will offer you the therapeutic relief or general experience you desire. All you have to do is pick a strain, or a desired effect, or a symptom you want to relieve; customize your cannabis to meet your needs.
Terpene profiles can vary considerably from strain to strain, meaning they can also serve as a unique identifier for a given strain. Knowing a strain’s terpene composition can allow you to test a sample and verify its identity. This ultimately empowers patients, doctors, recreational users, and growers alike – giving them the ability to confirm the identity of a strain using a chemical fingerprint, so to speak.
To Know Your Profile, Chemical Testing is Needed
Your nose can only get you so far. Chemical analysis is needed in order to truly know what’s in your cannabis. Analyzing cannabis for its chemical profile will allow growers to target and produce certain results, it will allow patients to predict how a strain will make them feel and what symptoms it may alleviate, and it will allow recreational users to anticipate characteristics of their overall experience. Basically, it doesn’t matter if you’re a patient seeking certain therapeutic effects, a grower looking to design a specially tailored strain or a recreational user looking for a certain kind of buzz, it’s time to learn about terpenes and to use them to your advantage. It’s time to empower yourself with the right knowledge and tools so that you can get the most out of your medicine.
The only question left is: how can you get the total chemical profile of a given strain without the expense and hassle of lab testing? Enter MyDx.
Daniel Yazbeck, CEO of MyDx, has focused his science and technology expertise to bring the world’s first hand-held chemical testing platform to the masses. MyDx is essentially a portable laboratory that utilizes an analyzer paired with a cannabis-specific sensor that is used to detect terpenes and cannabinoids. The result is a Total Canna Profile™ (TCP), a comprehensive analysis of three cannabinoids and twenty-two terpenes, all delivered via the CannaDx app.
“We are basically a terpene analyzer at heart,” says Yazbeck. “MyDx uses electronic nose nanotechnology to ‘sniff out’ chemicals in nearly any solid, liquid or gas form, depending on what we train it to detect.” When presented with a sample of cannabis, MyDx will deliver a strain analysis– revealing the most medically-relevant cannabinoids and terpenes, whose ratios have been shown to play a key role in the entourage effect. MyDx then leverages this scientific knowledge combined with crowd-sourced data to predict how a strain will make you feel and what symptoms it can potentially alleviate.
Using the CannaDx app, you can track how a strain makes you feel or what symptoms it relieves, allowing you to hone in and identify which strains work best for you. You no longer have to rely on anecdotal feedback or the arduous process of trial-and-error. MyDx and the CannaDx app will finally provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to get the most out of your medicine. The CannaDx app will be constantly fueled by scientific data, delivering insights and recommendations that will help individuals, growers, and the industry at large make better decisions and produce healthier products.
“MyDx will essentially let you customize your cannabis, whether you’re growing it or consuming it,” says Yazbeck. “The data and insight provided by MyDx can fuel a new generation of healthy cannabis consumption, tailored to meet targeted Total Canna Profiles™ which produce desired results.”
Cannabis is just the beginning for MyDx—additional sensors will let people test the purity of their food, air and water through the analyzer, providing a complete testing platform that will empower everyone to live a healthier life.
For more information about MyDx and its CannaDx cannabis testing platform, visit mydxlife.com. The CannaDx app is free and available for both Android and iOS systems. For an interactive video of the device and App, please visit https://www.mydxlife.com/overview-video/.