Terpene extraction

Published Mar 5, 2019 10:05 a.m. ET

There is a lot of discussion around terpenes, have you ever wondered why? Terpenes are what gives different strains of cannabis distinctive flavors.

The essential oils are used in numerous medicinal ways and products. Terpenes are helping us to understand the numerous benefits of the cannabis plant.

The trichomes of the plant or the little hairs are the housing for THC, CBD, and the terpenes. The production of terpenes is governed by a few abiotic factors, light intensity, humidity, and temperature. The synergy between terpenes and cannabinoids could account for the different effects of the body and mind that some strains have. This is also referred to as the entourage effect.

In all plants, terpenes are developed to help in the control of herbivores that are attracted to the plant. They are also useful for the attraction of pollinators.  Cannabis naturally possesses higher levels of terpenes. If you are referring to “dank” weed, it is because of the terpenes in that strain being rich in the plant.

Knowing how to isolate terpenes from marijuana will be the functional future of cannabis.  The customization of flavor profiles of edibles and extracts will ensure the ability to recreate the taste and the aroma of your favorite strain. The use of the terpene humulene, which benefits the gastrointestinal tract can be identified and applied to a medical terpene product. The effects of terpenes and their synergy between them are proving to be of great interest to the medical cannabis industry.

How to Extract Terpenes

The original terpene extractors were a steam distilling process. The basket of the herb is suspended. In a basket below is a containerof solvent with an inverted condenser. The heated solvent liquefies and drips through the herb thus the terpene is extracted. Steam distillation of terpenes is even donetoday.

Terpene products

There are commercial distillers available today that hold from 15 to 500 gallons of liquid. These are multi-functional extractors.

Supercritical C02 extraction is a very high- tech method. This method is very popular. The process does not leave any residual solvents on the finished product. This method can be fine-tuned to allow for different temperature and pressure which would account for a different yield in the product.

The extraction of terpenes gives the ability to have our cannabis fine tuned into what you want in a strain. This will be beneficial for medical or recreational cannabis use.


You may be looking for the terpene to relieve some physical effects that may include:

• Pain relief
• Antibacterial properties
• Anti-fungal properties
• Muscle spasm relief

Certain other terpenes may help with the mental side of issues that may include:

• Insomnia
• Depression
• Anxiety

Here are some strains that have the most popular terpenes in them:

Blue Dream: Myrcene provides anti-inflammatory along with pain-relieving qualities

Sour Diesel: A mixture of limonene and myrcene. Limonene aids with the absorption of other terpenes through the mucous membranes and digestive tract.

Fire OG: The terpene linalool has a lavender scent great for anti-anxiety components, the terpene does not stay long in the body but while it is there providing great benefits for depressive moods and relief of highly stressful situations.

Gentle care of the terpenes during terpene extraction to the final terpene product will enhance the aromas, the effects and the whole experience of what the terpenes in the cannabis plant have to offer us. Learn about the terpenes in your cannabis you will benefit in the educated choices that you pick. Enjoy!



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