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Terpenes-An Influential Component of Cannabis

Terpenes are aromatic hydrocarbons responsible for the fragrance of plants. They provide a protective function by repelling herbivores and attracting creatures that will prey on the hungry critters. Although they are a flora’s defense mechanism, these compounds are abundant in plants’ essential oils. Because they bind to the receptors in the brain to elicit specific effects, they are widely used in aromatherapy, medicines and perfumes.
Terpenes in the Cannabis plant interact with cannabinoids psychoactive qualities causing an ‘entourage effect’ in the body. In other words, terpenes can enhance the effects, both psychoactive and therapeutic, of the cannabinoids. Research indicates terpenes have properties that contribute to the overall effect of a strain, ranging from sedative and anti-anxiety to an overall feeling of wellbeing.
Although your nose can give you general information about a terpene, the only quantifiable way to know about the terpene component in your cannabis strain is through laboratory analysis.
In order to provide the best possible information to your customers about the effects they can expect by consuming your product, it’s important to find a laboratory that utilizes Gas Chromatography flame ionization detection. This method provides the lowest detection level as well as the most accurate quantitation of these aromatic hydrocarbons.

Integrity Labs currently tests for the 21 terpenes below:

  • alpha-Bisabolol
  • Camphene
  • delta-3-Carene
  • beta-Caryophyllene
  • Geraniol
  • Guaiol
  • alpha-Humulene
  • p-Isopropyltoluene (p-cymene)
  • Isopulegol
  • d-Limonene
  • Linalool
  • beta-Myrcene
  • Terpinolene
  • Nerolidol
  • Ocimene
  • alpha Pinene
  • beta-Pinene
  • alpha-Terpinene
  • gamma-Terpinene
  • Caryophyllene oxide
  • 1,8-Cineol (Eucalyptol)

Marilyn Olson
Scientific Director, Integrity Labs