Over 100 different terpenes have been identified in the cannabis plant, and every strain produces a unique terpene type and composition. The most fascinating characteristic of the family known as Terpene is their ability to interact synergistically with other compounds like cannabinoids, specifically cannabidiol – CBD.
Terpenes are fragrant essential oils secreted in differing concentrations in different cannabis strains alongside cannabinoids like CBD and THC. CBD and THC bind to cannabinoid receptors concentrated heavily in the body (CB2) and brain (CB1) respectively where non-psychoactive and psychoactive effects are produced.
Some terpenes also bind to these receptor sites and affect their chemical
output. Others can modify how much of each compound CBD and THC
passes through the blood-brain barrier. Their hand of influence is called the “entourage effect” and even reaches to neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin by altering their rate of production and destruction, their movement, and availability of receptors.
The effects these mechanisms produce vary from terpene to terpene; some are especially successful in relieving stress, while others promote focus and acuity.