What are Strain Specific Terpene Profiles?
A common definition of “profile” is a representation of something. So in this case the term “terpene profile” is being used to describe the particular chemical compounds, or Terpenes, that a unique variety of cannabis happens to express.
A unique variety of cannabis that is well established is called a “strain.” Established strains come about after a long period of selective breeding. Whereby breeders grow a huge number of plants from seed, each with diverse genetics. From these, those with desired characteristics are then interbred. This process continues until the breeder has a stable unique variety with desired characteristics. This new breed or “strain” can then be described, or profiled. The visible characteristics define this new strain’s “phenotype,” while the chemical composition is used to define the new strain’s “chemotype.”
The chemotype of a strain can be broken down into families of compounds. Cannabis happens to have 3 primary families of compounds among other minor families of compounds. The 3 primary families of phytocompounds are CANNABINOIDS, TERPENES, and FLAVANOIDS.
So when we say strain-specific-terpene-profile what’s really being referenced is the unique terpene family of compounds innate to a particular strain of cannabis.
There are thousands of unique natural terpene compounds produced by thousands of different plants. Cannabis plants have been shown to produce as many as 200 unique terpene molecules, but only a handful of these are produced in any significant amount to be note worthy or nose worthy as it were.
So the exact terpene expression of a particular strain can be quite different from that of a competing strain. In this way a strains terpene profile is “strain specific.” Because of this strain specificity you can think of each of these profiles as a fingerprint of sorts that can be used as an identifier for the particular strain.
Furthermore, strains with similar terpene profiles can be further classified and grouped into families of strains with similar terpene profile composition. The two largest distinguishing families that most people are familiar with are Indica and Sativa, with outliers being called Hybrids.
TL;DR The phrase “strain specific terpene profile” is a reference to the unique Terpenes produced by a particular strain, or chemotype, of cannabis.
For example, the strain OG Kush has a unique terpene profile measuring highest in Beta-Myrcene followed by D-Limonene, Beta-Caryophyllene, Linalool, Beta-Pinene, etc. in descending order.
The Importance of Strain Specificity
Being able to pick the terpene strain of your oil formulation is pretty cool. Giving you the ability to specify flavor, aroma, and even effect. The synergy that exists when you combine cannabinoids and terpenes is often referred to as the entourage effect. Which can be thought of as the interplay these compounds have within your body. As it turns out these compounds work together to bind cannabis receptors throughout your body, and depending on what terpenes are present alongside cannabinoids one can actually predict what receptors have a high likelihood of activation. Armed with this knowledge you can create specific oil formulations with specific effects. You see where this is going..
In conclusion strain specific terpenes are a game changer. Allowing for high level engineering and knowing with reliablility the effects to expect from different oil formulations!
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Thank you so much for reading. Please leave a comment if you have any questions. If there’s anything you’d like to discuss or if there are any other topics of interest that you would like us to cover please let us know in the comments.