What are trichomes, cannabinoids, and terpenes? These three components of cannabis are some of the most important. Trichomes secrete oils that contain psychoactive compounds like THC and CBD. Cannabinoids refer to any chemical found in the marijuana plant, including THC and CBD. Terpenes produce flavors and scents that can vary based on what they’re derived from. All three play a role in determining how high you feel when smoking weed or eating edibles with cannabis-infused oil.
Trichomes are what initially get you high, without fail. You can see them in action by looking at a leaf. Some trichomes are sticky, others are solid, but some are both. The sticky ones contain compounds that produce smoke and spiky shapes when smoked or scratched. Some terpene-rich trichomes contain nicotine as well, which can cause a tingling or burning sensation. Trichomes can be found on any part of the plant, but are most dense on the leaves. Terpenes are also something to pay attention to. Trichomes and terpenes are similar in that they produce aromas and flavor when burned or consumed. Terpenes aren’t as sticky and are white to pink in color.
Cannabinoids are the molecules found in the marijuana plant. They are more complex than terpenes, but less than trichomes. They’re what gives marijuana its intoxicating, psychoactive properties. What they also give you a very high, however, are those brainwaves that can induce effects like relaxation and euphoria. Each THC molecule has four distinct components. They are: Cannabinoids that are well known for producing psychotropic effects, like the mind-altering compound THC, are known as the major chemical components of marijuana. Cannabinoids that produce the plant’s secondary psychoactive effects, like CBD and CBG, are less well–known. Terpenes Terpenes are the chemical components of cannabis that vary greatly among varieties.
Terpenes are the essential oils found in cannabis that give off different flavors. This is something you’ll likely want to learn more about in the future. Terpenes are the reason why you can smell bud better when it’s burned than just smoking it. When you light up an edible, you are essentially burning terpenes to create those unique flavors and aromas. In addition to making edibles smell nice, terpenes can also impact your body in ways that help it become more productive. Many people experience higher moods, more focus, and a heightened sense of smell while using terpenes-heavy strains. When a trichome-rich strain is consumed, it acts like a herb called Simcoe. As more THC is introduced, it will slowly influence more and more cells in the brain.
Potential Benefits of Cannabis-Infused Oils
If you’re a fan of food and vaping, you may be familiar with flavors like terpene oil from Hawaiian food, shoyu from miso soup, or terpene notes from the mint, lemon, and chocolate flavors from many pre-rolls and gourmet edibles. How do these flavors work? Imagine that you’re infusing a pre-roll with infused terpene oil from either a lemon, strawberry, or green tea tree.
- Lemon would smell minty fresh.
- Strawberry would smell light and fruity.
- Green Tea would smell bitter and spicy.
Cannabis extract producers prefer terpene oil because it smells the best. You can quickly identify strains that contain high levels of terpene oil because they are very fragrant. Terpenes are a natural and organic way to produce cannabinoids for infusing in cannabis.