So, what are "Terps?"
Terpenes and terpenoids are the new obsession of the smoking industry. You’ll often hear dabbers referencing the “terps” within their concentrates— but what does that mean exactly? To add to the confusion, these two words are often used interchangeably. While more research is required to learn more about these compounds, the little we know about terpenes and terpenoids is fascinating!
Is there a difference between Terpenes and Terpenoids?
Terpenes and terpenoids are very similar. Terpenes are naturally occurring organic compounds found in fruits, herbs, and other plants. They belong to a class of compounds known as hydrocarbons. Terpenoids are denatured terpenes— meaning they’ve been exposed to oxygen and chemically altered as a result. While plants are curing, many terpenes are converted to terpenoids. It is the combination of these compounds that create the aromas and flavors in different plants. Different harvests of the same exact plant can even yield different terpene and terpenoid profiles depending on the growth conditions and cure time.
Okay, but how do Terps fit into my smoke seshes?
Terpenes and terpenoids affect much more than just our olfactory glands, they also act on receptors within our brain when inhaled. Different terps carry different effects and with over one hundred different terpenes, the effects vary. Myrcene, a terpene responsible for the earthy aromas and flavors of hops is known for creating “couch-lock” effects. Linalool, a floral terpenoid reduces anxiety when ingested.
In addition to altering your smoking experience, terpenes and terpenoids deliver a variety of therapeutic effects. Linalool, camphene, and humulene have all demonstrated anti-inflammatory qualities. Terpinolene, a terpene found in sage and rosemary was found to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells. As more studies are conducted, the benefits of terpenes and terpenoids are being discovered in droves.
The presence of terpenes and terpenoids within our smoke seshes is a driving force behind changing the public’s perception on smoking. Terpenes and terpenoids give people the ability to pick and choose specific effects they’d like to experience from smoking. Though more research is needed, we can only go higher from here.