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Terpenes are organic hydrocarbons produced by many different plants. When the plants are dried the terpenes are called terpenoids. These terpenes are the main components of the plants resin (essential oil). Terpenes contribute to the scent, flavor and colors of the plants.
Terpenes are the aromatic compounds in plants and herbs. Mint, Oregano, Basil and Rosemary are well known examples of plants and herbs used in the kitchen on a daily basis. Terpenes found in cannabis can also be found in the herbs mentioned. The terpenes provides natural protection for the plant from bacteria, fungus, insects and other environmental threats. Not only for plants, but also for us.
Many terpenes are known to have pharmacological values. Alpha-Pinene for example is an organic compound found in the oils of Rosemary and Sage as well as many species of pine trees. Pinene can increase mental focus and energy and act as an expectorant, bronchodilator, and a topical antiseptic. Pinene has been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine to retain and restore memory.
Other terpenes like limonene have a relaxing effect and is found in all fruits and plants with a citrus smell. Oranges, Lemons, Rosemary and Juniper. Limonene is known to have anti-bacterial, anti-depressant and anti-carcinogenic properties. Studies show that limonene quickly penetrates cell membranes causing other terpenes to be absorbed more rapidly and effectively. Because of Limonene’s potent anti-carcinogenic and anti-fungal properties, it is thought to be the component protecting marijuana smokers from aspergillums fungi and carcinogens found in cannabis smoke.