If you’ve ever visited our dispensaries, you know there is so much more to our flower than just indica and sativa! As a patient, it’s likely you are treating more than just feelings of sluggishness or insomnia. At Verdes, we explore the details of your symptoms so we can better customize your medicine. One way we do this is through terpene analysis. Terpenes are the pungent oils that give each strain of cannabis its scent. Terpenes serve as a blueprint for the way a strain will affect you. This might leave you asking – how important are terpenes and why should I care about them when choosing my medicine? Here’s what our Director of Nursing, Briana Perez wants you to know about terpenes and other therapeutic properties of cannabis.

At Verdes, many patients select cannabis strains solely based on potency levels of THC and CBD. While there’s nothing wrong with that, there is more to cannabis than these two compounds. We now know that there are countless beneficial properties of the cannabis plant, however I’d like to focus on terpenes and their contribution to the entourage effect. Listed below are a few terms to consider in your cannabis journey:

What Are Terpenes?

Terpenes are the aromatic oils of the plant that give each strain its unique quality. Terpenes significantly influence the therapeutic properties of cannabis. They help to enhance the medicinal effects of cannabis while reducing the side effects of THC. Terpenes are also present in many foods and herbs. Some terpenes are great for anxiety, sleep, pain, and inflammation while others are beneficial for gastrointestinal disorders. These are just a few examples of what terpenes have to offer.

What About Indica & Sativa?

The terms indica and sativa describe the species of the cannabis plant, which is distinguished simply by the plant’s appearance. These terms are not reflective of the therapeutic qualities of the different strains. Terpenes work with the other compounds in the plant to create the widely varying effects associated with each strain of cannabis.

Why Should Patients Care?

Understanding the therapeutic properties of terpenes opens a new world of possibilities for symptom relief. If you find a strain that is highly effective for you, we can examine the terpene profile of that strain to gain insight to some of the potential compounds that are effective in alleviating your symptoms. If the particular strain is not available at the time, we can find something comparable based on the terpene content.  Patients should also know that all Verdes strains have an analyzed terpene profile which is available at the front counter in our terpene binder.  We have also recently modified the labels on our flower packaging to reflect the two most prominent terpenes in each strain.

These new labels will help our patients understand how the medicine can hone in on their specific needs. Indica (purple) and Sativa (red) still noted in top left corner.

For further research on how terpenes are effective, I would recommend this article by Dr. Ethan Russo in British Journal of Pharmacology. “Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid effects” (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/)

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