What Are Terpenoids and How Do They Relate to Cannabinoids

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What Are Terpenoids and How Do They Relate to Cannabinoids?

Professor DeBacco

Terpenes vs Terpenoids
Often used interchangeably, but they do have different definitions.
Terpenes are the naturally occurring combination of carbon and hydrogen
Terpenoids are terpenes that have been modified through a drying and curing process (chemical modification), altering the oxygen content of the compound.
Terpenoids- A subset of terpenes that contain additional functional groups.
These functional groups could have been added to produce a desired effect.

What Are Terpenes?
Terpenes are organic hydrocarbons found in the essential oils of plants.
In cannabis, terpenes are produced in the trichomes of the plant and is what provides the unique scent.
The terpenes smell allow us to make inferences about the strain and possibly physiological effects it may have.

What Can Impact Terpene Levels…
The reason plants develop terpenes in the first place is to attract pollinators and reject predators.
Research suggests that these compounds can have medicinal properties, so they might be important for human use.
Growing Environment
Growing Substrate
Time of Harvest

Identified Terpenes
There are over 100 different identified terpenes in the cannabis plant, and while the differences can be subtle, there are classification systems in place to reduce confusion.
General Smell Classifications…
Commonly shown on a terpene wheel.

Improved Wheel By Terpene Type Not Smell
Terpene categories is an improved method of organization over the aroma given off.
This presentation also includes additional properties of each to allow for improved comparisons to be easily made.

How Terpenes Relate to Cannabinoids
Technically speaking, phytocannabinoids are a form of terpenoid.
They are meroterpenoids, meaning they have a partial terpenoid structure.
Much of the commercial and therapeutic value of cannabis comes from the aromatic monoterpenes, which have a synergistic effect when consumed.
Furthermore, the aromatherapeutic effects of monoterpenoids have been clinically shown effective.

Entourage Effect
The “entourage effect” describes a mechanism where cannabis substances work together to optimize the overall psychoactive benefits of the plant.
The idea is that you want to find the best terpenes-to-cannabinoids ratio possible for your desired effect.

Importance of Testing…
*Not every plant of any given strain will have the same levels of terpenes due to the expression of the individual plant’s phenotypes.

The only way to be sure is through a terpene analysis from a cannabis testing laboratory.

Link to Lecture Slides: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cNznSupdetHfFZKQHiGofnm1KnlbMIvN/view?usp=sharing

*Due to the description character limit the full work cited for “What Are Terpenoids and How Do They Relate to Cannabinoids” can be viewed at… https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AcIja28DETudojVQuZAqnunnnrMshn3C/view?usp=sharing

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