Terpenes are molecules in plants that are almost magical, encharge of creating plant, fruit and flower aromas; ideal for offering unforgettable aromatic experiences.
Maybe you haven’t heard of them, although terpenes are present in the day to day life of everyone.
How are Terpenes Consumed?
As we were saying previously, everybody comes into contact with terpenes in one way or another. Keep in mind that these molecules are present in all plants, trees, fruits and flowers (including cannabis), but they’re also used to make all sorts of cosmetic products and edibles.
Terpenes in Day to Day Life
You might think that if you don’t consume cannabis you’re not in contact with terpenes at all, but this couldn’t be further from the truth; every day, you consume terpenes, either directly or indirectly.
Simply think about talking a walk around plants and trees, where there’s an aromatic plant environment where many terpenes can be found, such as pinene. If you live in the city, you’re also exposed to terpenes, as there are trees on the street and in parks, plants and flowers on balconies, all of which let off terpenes when hit by a breeze or when they’re heated under the sun.
All of these situations bring you into contact with terpenes in the air and most likely, although indirectly, they have modified your mood in some way or other. Doesn’t breathing fresh forest air make you feel much better?
Products such as deoderants, shampoos, creams, food and drinks can contain terpenes such as Linalool or Caryophyllene, as manufacturers add them to increase aroma, flavor or specific aspects of their products.
It’s clear that terpenes can be found in larger or smaller amounts in all types of vegetation, but in this post we want to talk about where to find and how to consume complete terpene profiles (a large combination of different terpenes).
There are many ways to consume terpenes, and one of the most common ways is by consuming cannabis, its derivates, or products with terpenes; there are many ways to directly and indirectly consume terpenes.
How are Terpenes Consumed in Cannabis and Other Alternatives?
Cannabis plant flowers contain a large combination of complex terpenes, just like our terpene profiles.
You can also find terpenes in cannabis derivates, as well as extracts and concentrates, and in certain products created using cannabis or its derivates.
Let’s see where terpenes can be found and how they can be consumed.
There are many ways to consume cannabis flowers, some of which are healthier than others. Some of them are:
- Smoking buds: this is the most common way to consume cannabis flowers, although it definitely isn’t the healthiest. Whether it’s in a joint, pipe, bong or water pipe, it’s considered “smoking” when there’s combustion involved and the cannabis is burnt at high temperatures.
In this case, many terpenes and cannabinoids are lost in the chemical process, meaning that the flavor isn’t as intense, although it’s one of the most instantaneous ways to experience the effects of cannabis.
- Vaporizing flowers: using vaporizers that are specifically designed to vaporize cannabis allows for a healthier experience and more effective experience than smoking.
Cannabis vaporizers don’t produce any type of combustion, which means that you’ll be able to avoid the subproducts produced due to the burning process, as well as allowing you to make the most of cannabinoids and terpenes.
Plus, it allows for a cleaner flavor that respects the aromatic profile of each strain (compared to smoking) because you’re not mixing in the flavor of the paper, smoke and in some cases, tobacco.
Its effect is just as instantaneous as smoking and they last for around the same time (2 hours).
*As we have said in previous posts, buds can lose aroma and flavour (which is to say, part of their terpenes) due to different reasons. Flowers that are low in terpenes will also have a low entourage effect.
Remember, at Cali Terpenes we’ve created the fantastic Terps Spray, designed to give your buds their aromatic power back. Check out our Terps Spray and buds tutorial to find out more.
- Edibles: one of the healthiest ways to consume cannabis flowers is to make edibles from them. The effect produced by cannabinoids is much stronger this way, so you need to be careful; it can be too intense and quite long-lasting if you take too much.
However, when you decarb your cannabis in order to activate the cannabinoids and make the edible effective, many terpenes are lost, so you’ll be able to enjoy and notice some of them, but the most volatile ones will have evaporated.
Don’t worry though, you can add an extra touch of terpenes to your recipes so that they have the aroma, flavor and entourage effect that they should.
There are many different ways to extract the active compounds from cannabis (cannabinoids, terpenes…) all of this contain different concentrations and finishes. These products are also known as cannabis concentrates or extracts, as they have incredibly high amounts of cannabinoids due to getting rid of most of the plant material.
However, extracts or cannabis concentrates don’t always contains a high amount of terpenes; depending on the extraction or purification method, terpenes can be lost in large or small amounts.
This is why sometimes terpenes are added in order to, in a way, give nature its power back, providing the extract with a better flavor, aroma and in order to increase the entourage effect. Check out our Terps Spray and Extracts or Adding Terpenes to Rosin posts in order to find out more, or our category regarding how to use terpenes, and discover our tutorials.
In order to consume cannabis extracts, you can also use different methods:
- Smoking cannabis extracts: as always, smoking is not the healthiest option, but definitely the most common, especially in Europe. It produces an instantaneous effect.
Whether it’s traditional hash (dry extracts) or Rosin (extraction using pressure and heat), when you smoke it you’ll be losing out on terpenes as well as altering the flavor using combustion, smoking, paper and/or tobacco.
Hash is also consumed in bongs and pipes, with a similar results except for not using tobacco in this case.
- Vaporizing extracts: a healthier option than smoking which allows you to make the most of the terpenes in the extract (aroma and flavor) is to use a cannabis concentrate vape.
Most of them are designed to vape products that don’t contain much plant material such as Rosin or BHO, but don’t usually vape dry products (they can damage these devices).
- Dabs: dabs are high doses of cannabis concentrate (for example, BHO), that are inhaled after heating them at high temperatures.
Dabs are generally consumed in glass pipes that have a titanium or borosilicate nail on the outside used to “melt” the extract you’re going to consume.
Nowadays it’s quite a popular method and the tools (pipes, dabbers, carb caps) are more elaborate and artistic every day.
When you use the dab method you’ll need to take special care with the temperatures used to dab; if you reach too high of a temperature, the cannabinoids and terpenes may irritate your respiratory system. From 160°C onwards you can dab perfectly, but not all devices have a temperature controlling system, easily reaching 260°C. Avoid vaping or dabbing at high temperatures (this can’t be avoided when smoking, as temperatures are always too high).
If you dab using the correct temperature, you could say that it’s healthier than smoking, more damaging than vaporizing, and highly effective due to howe fast it’s consumed and the high amount of cannabinoids that concentrates contain.
- Edibles with concentrates: just like edibles made using cannabis flowers, in order to activate the cannabinoids you need to first decarb your concentrate or extract. This is why this method has the same issue when it comes to conserving terpenes when making your edibles. In order to recover its aroma, you can use terpenes
Cannabis tinctures with terpenes could be into this category, one of the best ways to control the dosage when ingesting cannabis.
Edibles and Drinks with Terpenes
A great way to consume terpenes is via food and drink. There’s a never-ending list of recipes in which you can use terpenes, as they’re just additional aroma and flavor in liquid format.
The use of terpenes in edibles allows you to create dishes and cocktails that are truly surprising, as well as being entirely cannabinoid-free, making them psychoactive-free while still containing the beneficial properties of multiple terpenes.
- Edibles with Terpenes: using terpene profiles in food opens the door to many possibilities, as each one of them has complex aromatic notes. You can choose from 47 different aromatic profiles which, combined with the aromas and flavors of your recipes, offer an amazing experience.
Could you imagine chocolates that taste like Amnesia, or crunchy shellfish with an exquisite Sour Diesel aroma? Using liquid or spray terpenes, you can do this and much more.
- Drinks with terpenes: more and more people and companies are venturing to create their own cocktails and drinks using cannabis terpene profiles; they’re super easy to use and the final results surprise everyone that tries them.
You think you’ve tried it all when it comes to cocktails? Wait until you try terpenes – a new world of aromas awaits!
Plus, if you plan on producing canned drinks, we stock various flavors of terpenes designed specifically for beverages that are more hydro-soluble than normal terpenes.
One of the most instantaneous and healthiest ways to consume terpenes is to vaporize them, although this can’t be done using any method. Let’s have a look at the best ways to do it:
- Cold vaping: this is definitely the best way to experience the pure flavor of terpenes. It’s also the only way to experience them in their purest state, without diluting them in another product. Remember, never consume pure Cali terpenes, and never go over 4% when adding to products.
If you want to enjoy an intense flavour and make the most out of your terpenes’ properties, this is an amazing way. Just one drop in a cold terp vape is enough to enjoy it for a while.
It’s also a great way to test the flavor and aroma of each terpene profile before using them on your products; this is why the Terp Station was created, which you can find in the best stores.
- E-Liquids with Terpenes: consuming terpenes in e-liquids has many benefits compared to smoking.
When you vape you can avoid combustion produced when smoking, making the compounds much healthier and avoiding risks associated with smoking (check out our post on smoking vs vaporizing if you want to learn more about the topic).
Terpenes can be added to any e-liquid base, with or without cannabinoids.
At Cali Terpenes we have e-liquids with terpenes and e-liquids with CBD and terpenes ready to be used, as well as an e-liquid base with CBD if you want to create your very own CBD e-liquid using your favorite terpene profile.
- Cannabis and Terpene Concentrates: this is another effective and healthy way to consume terpenes, using concentrate vapes such as CBD distillate. These are usually sold in what are known as cartridges, charges or atomizes that contain cannabis concentrate and, in most cases, terpenes in order to provide aroma, flavor and the entourage effect.
The use of these devices or methods is more popular every day because they’re healthier and more effective than smoking.
Other Products that Contain Terpenes
Last but not least, terpenes can also be consumed via cosmetics, beauty products and aromatherapy.
In the cosmetics sector, for example in creams, isolated terpenes have been used for years not just for the aroma they provide, but also for their individual properties (antiseptic, anti-bacterial…) although they usually only use 2 or 3 different terpenes.
Thanks to terpene profiles, the benefits that these aromatic molecules can provide cosmetic products are quite impressive due to containing a wider range of terpenes.
Terpenes are used in many other day to day products, such as:
a) Candles, essential oils and products designed for aromatherapy
b) Shampoos, gels, creams and body oils
c) Perfumes and colognes
d) Cleaning products
If you have any questions, check out our related posts, frequently asked questions about terpenes, or leave a comment below.
Until next time!