Terpenes and Cannabinoids Worth Knowing
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Terpenes and Cannabinoids Worth Knowing

At Kanterra Science, our focus is on unique cannabinoid isolations that allow us to deliver cannabis experiences that can’t be found anywhere else. In addition to THC and CBD, we are able to isolate a number ‘minor cannabinoids’, which can interact with other components of our body’s Endocannabinoid System, or ECS. By isolating these cannabinoids and then creating unique formulations with them, we can design customized cannabis products that offer consistent results each and every time.

Additionally, with our Common Ground collection, we’ve developed strain-specific vape extracts using a cryogenic extraction process, which results in true, full spectrum distillate with richer terpene profiles, and larger amounts of minor cannabinoids.

Below we’ll introduce you to some of these lesser-known cannabinoids and terpenes found in our products that are definitely worth a second look.

A couple of cannabinoids worth knowing

Our whole-plant extraction process also allows us to capture additional cannabinoids beyond the majors (CBD and THC). These compounds are known as the ‘minor cannabinoids’ and they interact synergistically with terpenes in a method that is known as “the entourage effect”. Below are a couple of elusive minor cannabinoids that you don’t hear as much about (but you should).

CBG

CBG or cannabigerol is a non-intoxicating minor cannabinoid that has been observed to function as a buffer to THC’s psychoactivity and may even reduce the feelings of paranoia that can accompany higher levels of THC. CBG is considered the mother of all cannabinoids. This is because CBG-A (the acidic form of CBG) breaks down to form CBG, CBC, THC, and CBD when heated.

CBG research is limited compared to the major cannabinoids like THC and CBD. However, there are early studies showing CBG as having many potential health benefits such as antioxidant properties, helping with skin conditions by acting as an antibacterial and antifungal agent, working as a neuroprotectant. CBG has also shown promise relating to appetite suppression and lowering intraocular pressure, which is beneficial to those suffering from glaucoma.

CBC

CBC or cannabichrome is considered one of the “big six” cannabinoids prominent in medical research. Similarly, to CBD and CBG it is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid. CBC is converted from CBGA into cannabichrome carboxylic acid (CBCA), and then finally to CBC after exposure to heat and or UV light a.k.a decarboxylation.

Studies have shown that CBC can have a positive effect as a neuroprotectant and can also promote neurogenesis (brain growth). CBC has shown potential towards anti-inflammation and analgesic properties, especially when paired with THC. CBC is sought after for it’s potential as an all-natural treatment for migraines, depression and collagen-induced osteoarthritis.

CBN

CBN is a non-intoxicating minor cannabinoid that hasn’t been studied as much relative to the majors. It is one of the 150 known cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It is classified as a rare or minor cannabinoid as it makes up less than 1% of the cannabis plant and typically only found only in trace amounts.

There is no way to cultivate a strain high in cannabinol as cannabis trichomes do not produce CBN like they do other cannabinoids and terpenes. It is however created naturally as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) degrades and molecules break down as the plant dries and is exposed to air and heat.  Many factors play into this including levels of THC in the flowers, exposure levels to light, heat, air and time. In order to produce CBN on a larger scale to be used as an ‘API’ (active pharmaceutical ingredient), processes like biosynthesis or chemical synthesis are needed.

While CBN doesn’t have any sedative properties on its own, once paired with aged THC, the resulting loss of certain monoterpenoids and additional presence of oxygenated sesquiterpenoids (older terpenes) work together synergistically to create the sedative effects that people seek out CBN for.

THCV

Similar in structure to THC, Tetrahydrocannabivarin or THCV is believed to have lesser psychoactive effects than THC and may even reduce the psychoactive effects of THC while offering additional benefits such as appetite suppression and energy boosts. Only a few select strains of African landrace sativa contain higher amounts of this cannabidiol (such as Durban Poison or Jack the Ripper). Some cannabis enthusiasts seek out strains high in THCV after googling “cannabis that won’t give me the munchies”, or a “high functioning cannabis strains” to help provide the motivation to attack their workout or to-do list. Additionally, research is growing on this cannabinoid every day as it has shown promising results pertaining to weight loss, blood sugar regulation and improved insulin resistance making it a potential candidate for Type 2 diabetes treatment.

A few terpenes worth knowing

In addition to some of the more common terpenes, cryogenic extraction allows us to capture and preserve some highly volatile compounds – ones that are typically too fragile to be captured in large amounts. Below we’re going to shine a light on some of these mysterious terpenes.

Bisabolol

Bisabolol is a cannabis terpene produced by the chamomile flower, delivering a nutty, fruity scent with herbal and floral undertones. Since 1951, dermatological and cosmetic products have listed bisabolol as a key ingredient. Bisabolol is sought after for it’s perceived anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. This terpene typically only exists in small quantities in most cannabis strains which leads to a subtle aromatic profile. However, adept strain hunters may be able to detect hints of bisabolol in some cultivars.

Caryophyllene

Caryophyllene is a terpene known for its spiciness with hints of wood, it is an abundant terpene found in many cannabis strains, as well as black pepper, basil and cinnamon. It has a strong, spicy aromatic profile. Caryophyllene is often used in cannabis topicals and is regarded for its purported anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties and is often used in non-cannabis personal hygiene products for the perceived benefits above.

Cymene

Cymene is a terpene that is found in more than 100 different plants such as anise, oregano, eucalyptus, cilantro, thyme, coriander and mace. Its aromatic profile can be described as woody and spicy with citrus undertones. Cymene’s antimicrobial properties and zesty scent are used in many consumer products such as fragrances, cosmetics, natural cleaning and food products (and only in trace amounts of cannabis). Therapeutically speaking, Cymene is sought after for its purported anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-oxidative effects and corresponding ability to act as a neuroprotectant because of these properties – talk about one overachieving compound.

Farnesene

Farnesene is a terpene known for its bright, tangy, green apple characteristics also found in turmeric, ylang-ylang, and basil. The compound can give off a fruit-like and earthy smell and has flavours of citrus and wood. Farnesene is typically sought after for it’s purported benefits as a muscle relaxant, sedative and overall calming effects. It is believed to be an effective antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal compound that feels as good as it smells.

Guaiol

Guaiol is an evasive cannabis terpene occuring only in trace amounts throughout nature and only rarely in cannabis. The olfactory profile of Guaiol is fresh and woody, reminiscent of evergreen trees. Guaiol is sought after for it’s perceived relief of arthritis and host of varying ailments due to it’s targeted anti-inflammatory properties. Due to its lower-than-average boiling point, Guaiol must be vaporized at a low temperature to experience it’s full spectrum of benefits.

Humulene

Humulene is a terpene also found in hops, sage, ginseng and coriander - often found with its isomer β-caryophyllene. These two terpenes are closely related with some structural differences, which is why many of the plants that contain caryophyllene also contain humulene – the two have very similar aromatic profiles. Humulene is what gives beer its bitter and citrusy “hoppy” flavour and what lends cannabis it’s skunky funk. It has been used in Eastern Medicine tracing back to ancient China for its purported anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory purposes and has even shown potential to help combat allergies. Humulene is a big part of a plant’s olfactory profile and is a part of the cannabis plants natural defence mechanism, to protect against pests (other than humans).

Nerolidol

Nerolidol is a terpene found in many beautifully fragranced plants such as jasmine, tea tree, and lemongrass. It’s known for its varied floral aroma with citrus, apples, and rose notes and is often used as a food additive or as a fragrance in perfumes, lotions and cosmetics. Nerolidol is sought after for it’s purported anti-anxiety, antimicrobial, anti-parasitic, anti-oxidant, and pain-relieving properties - not to mention it’s benefits as an all-natural pest repellent.

Terpineol

Terpineol is a cannabis terpene that produces floral, herbaceous, or piney aromatics – with notes of eucalyptus, lilac, floral or lime. It appears in over 150 plants throughout nature from lilacs to pine trees and lime blossoms. Terpineol is regarded for it’s perceived anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumor, and antimicrobial properties. This terpene is a fragile compound and can be difficult to detect as it can easily degrade entirely, shifting the scent and taste profile of a strain. It is often found alongside pinene, which can also overwhelm the delicate notes of terpineol.

We think the impact that some of these cannabinoids and terpenes can have on your overall cannabis experience is pretty profound and due to their rarity of being found in high percentages a completely novel experience to anything you may have tried before.

Check out our current offering of full spectrum products here to experience some of these minor cannabinoids and lesser-known terpenes for yourself.