September 06, 2016 | SimoneFischer
A first-hand breakdown of the benefits of using non-Cannabis derived terpenes to enhance the effects of cannabinoids.
As legal Cannabis takes off in Oregon, people over 21 have safe access to Cannabis and Cannabis products. Instead of buying traditional flower, many Cannabis users continue to explore their options, and legal edibles, topicals and extracts have taken the recreational market by storm.
Oregonians are becoming familiar with the term “cannabinoids” in relation to things like THC and CBD, but what about terpenes? Cannabinoids and terpenes provide medicinal benefits to the user, but terpenes are also responsible for Cannabis’ smell, flavor and contribute to its overall sensory effect.
Over 30,000 different terpenes are found in nature. They have the ability to attract (pollinators) or deter (pests) and respond to outside stimuli. Other than flavor, Cannabis uses terpenes to create a protective layer to shield itself against the elements. Terpenes or “terps” work synergistically with cannabinoids, thanks to the entourage effect. Not only do cannabinoids work better together when more are present, they also have an intrinsic relationship with terpenes.
I interviewed Ben Cassiday (also known as @terpeneguy on Instagram) and Chris Campagna, the COO and CEO respectively of the True Terpenes (@trueterpenes). They specialize in manufacturing isolated terpenes like myrcene or linalool, and terpene strain profiles — such as Granddaddy Purple or Tahoe OG — you can add to enhance your concentrate or flower experience. The terpenes come in clear liquid form in blue vials of various sizes.
I enjoy using Cannabis recreationally, but I’m also a current OMMP cardholder who uses Cannabis to treat an autoimmune condition. I use Cannabis daily without the help of insurance or any coverage of my prescription costs. Imagine paying for all of your prescriptions out-of-pocket without the option of insurance (welcome to my life). My budget is tight and $60 grams — at medical price without the 25 percent Oregon Cannabis sales tax — of quality extracts are not an option without going bankrupt when you use up to a half-gram (or more depending on pain levels) a day.
Without a garden, I cannot afford the quality of medicine at the quantity I use to treat myself. Live resin or nug runs often start at $50 minimum per gram (pre tax). In my experience, terpy dabs taste the best and provide greater medicinal health benefits. The problem is affording them on a steady basis.
Cassiday and Campagna are providing solutions to lacking affordability and accessibility, while creating a food-grade product safe for consumption. If you have Cadillac taste on a Buick budget, adding terpenes to banal oil allows abundant flavor without breaking the bank. Instead, I can buy less flavorful oil (trim runs happen to be cheaper) and introduce my personal terpenes for my specific desired effect.
It’s important to note True Terpene terpenes are not Cannabis-derived. Non-Cannabis derived terps is the key behind affordability because terpenes are naturally extracted from other plant sources. The eucalyptol (found in Cannabis) is derived from the eucalyptus plant, not Cannabis because it’s much more cost effective. When it comes to creating terpene profiles for entire strains like Pineapple Express or Granddaddy Purple, they analyze and recreate the same non-Cannabis derived profile with the naturally derived terpenes.
Access to quality terpenes wasn’t always easy. Usually, you had to “know somebody.” True Terpenes removes the middleman and allows you to purchase direct without the hassle. Instead of hunting all over the city for an extract high in myrcene levels, I can order a vial of myrcene terps and add them when I choose to dab. Buying your own terpenes reduces the pressure of being on a continual wild goose chase trying to find affordable/high-quality extracts.
Instead of spending $80 on a single gram of live resin, you can scoop the $30 trim run to lace with terpenes for the same desired effect at half the cost. I love being able to tailor my terpenes depending on my mood and desired outcome. My favorite application method thus far is applying a thin layer of terpenes on my oil, then promptly dabbing. It provides the fastest relief and allows me to savor each unique profile.
Remember, terpenes evaporate quickly! I advise coating your oil in a thin layer of terpenes (a little dab goes a long way) and promptly close the lid to prevent evaporation. The difference in flavor and effect will blow you away.
You can purchase a slew of terpenes and terpene profiles at BuyTerpenes.com, and learn more about True Terpenes at TrueTerpenes.com.
Simone Fischeris a Portland OMMP patient and Cannabis advocate. She is a contributing editor at Ladybud Magazine and a graduate of women’s and gender studies from Portland State University.