THE TERP DID YOU SAY TO ME
So what's this terpene thing you keep hearing about?
The very quick and short answer: terpenes are what you smell when you smell cannabis and they hold numerous medical benefits.
Terpenes (and terpenoids) are aromatic organic compounds found in many plants and even some insects. Plants developed terpenes to ward off herbivores that might eat them and to attract helpful predators and pollinators. Cannabis has naturally high levels of terpenes. "Dank" flower gets its stank from being rich in terpenes.
So...why do terpenes matter and why should you care?
They directly affect your high and contribute to The Entourage Effect of cannabis
They have medical benefits
They give cannabis, concentrates, and vape oil its natural flavor
A groundbreaking 2011 paper by neurologist and researcher Ethan Russo described the way cannabinoids and terpenes work together to boost and modulate the effects of one another in the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS). For a long time THC was considered the only chemical of psychoactive importance in cannabis. Russo and team helped reveal how other cannabinoids (like CBD) and terpenes can either increase or decrease the effects of THC and other chemicals in the body that interact with the ECS.
In the same paper by Dr. Russo it was revealed that terpenes “could produce synergy with respect to treatment of pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, fungal and bacterial infections.”