Terpenes are Aroma Therapy

Excerpted from Weed: A Connoisseur’s Guide to Cannabis

Fog rolls over the hillsides on an early morning hike. As sunbeams break through the mist, they activate the aromas of the chaparral: the nuanced and layered sweetness of a bay laurel, with its touches of eucalyptus, pine and bergamot; the small bright yellow florets of fennel that form a bouquet bearing a burst of licorice and sweet anise.

The aromatic elements of the natural world, the same ones that are steam-distilled to create essential oils found in food and fragrances, play a vital role in mental and physical well-being. The essences pulled from plants are called both terpenes and terpenoids. The terms are used interchangeably, but they are different in chemical structure. Terpenes are simple hydrocarbons, an organic chemical compound composed exclusively of hydrogen and carbon atoms. Terpenoids are also essentially terpenes, but with additional chemical constituents, most often oxygen, as a result of enzyme-driven reactions within the plant.

“Think of it like terpenoids equal terpenes plus chemically modified terpenes,” cannabis researcher Ryan Lee explains. “Like if someone did a renovation to a house and added a different back porch.”

Terpenoids and terpenes are the aromatic elements that give cannabis its deep depth of incredible fragrances and tastes. As the science behind how cannabis works continues to advance, studies show that not only do they make cannabis smell amazing, but they also play an essential role in understanding exactly how this plant shapes our moods.

Courtesy of The Quarto Group

“Terpenoids modify the cannabis experience in a variety of ways, and can make it more or less sedating, extend therapeutic benefits, and potentially make cannabis safer and better overall,” explains Ethan Russo, one of the world’s most prominent and well-respected cannabis researchers.

Terpenes are found along with cannabinoids in the resin glands of cannabis and many other plants. There are more than 20,000 terpenes identified in nature; about 200 are in cannabis. The genetic diversity of cannabis is vast, each kind contains several different terpenes. That means understanding the scent of cannabis is more akin to a symphony rather than a single note. Layers and nuances of smell ensure that it’s complicated to say a bud smells like only one particular thing.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary cannabinoid that gives cannabis its psychoactive effects, has been the main focus of cannabis research since Raphael Mechoulam synthesized and isolated it in 1964. But cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG) are now gaining increasing attention. Many still may have the misconception that the medicinal effects of cannabis are only about the pharmacology of cannabinoids; they are neglecting about 500 other properties that make up the plant, Russo says. As he explains in his cornerstone cannabis study, Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects, the harmony created by how cannabinoids and other properties of the plant such as terpenes work together (something understood in academic cannabis circles as the entourage effect) has significant ramifications in cannabis therapeutics. The idea is that the magic of how cannabis works is in the sum of its parts, rather than by elements in isolation.

“One molecule is unlikely to match the therapeutic and even industrial potential of cannabis itself as a phytochemical factory,” Russo writes in an academic paper making a case for the entourage effect.  

Russo is a board-certified neurologist, pharmacology researcher and former senior advisor to GW Pharmaceuticals. This U.K.-based company made history in 2018 when the FDA approved a drug that contained cannabinoids, Epidiolex. His current company, CReDO Science, is working to patent products generated from his investigations of the cannabis plant. It’s also capitalizing on his understanding of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), the signaling network responsible for regulating many processes in the body that interacts with terpenes as well as cannabinoids produced internally, endocannabinoids, and cannabinoids derived from plants, phytocannabinoids. Understanding the complexities of cannabis can be approached in the same way as traditional Chinese medicine, he says. 

“Traditional Chinese medicine usually combines a variety of ingredients simultaneously. Some may add to the therapeutic effect, while others are included to mitigate adverse events from the primary agents. Both of these activities are synergistic and produce a better clinical response.”

Russo explains that cannabis, with its various cannabinoids and terpenes, is akin to traditional Chinese medicine in that it’s a single preparation that combines a variety of ingredients.

Courtesy of The Quarto Group

Developing Terpenes

The same chemical components that have protective functioning and beneficial elements in plants can positively contribute to the defense and regulation of systems within our bodies, just like they do for the plant itself. This concept that what benefits the plant that also benefits us also occurs with antioxidants, which plants create to prevent disease; they have a similar function in humans, explaining why a diet high in plants is beneficial for our health. In the same way as antioxidants, terpenes develop in plants to prevent disease for the plant, but they also can help our bodies avoid illness.

As cannabis horticulture expert Ed Rosenthal explains, plants produce terpenes for one of three reasons: to attract pollinators, to repel or kill herbivores, or to attract the predators of herbivores. The odor molecules are costly for the plant to produce and increase when the plant is in flower because it’s invested in its reproduction. Cannabis is wind-pollinated, which means it doesn’t need to attract pollinators. Hence, the benefits of terpenes in cannabis are to keep pests away and attract beneficial insects, which attack the other insects that can damage a crop. 

All About the Aromas

Terpenes unleash concentrated odors that can affect our moods. One of the easiest ways to understand this phenomenon is through citrus, which is a popular aromatic in cleaning products because it acts as both a disinfectant and a deodorizer. Physiologically the smell of citrus denotes cleanliness and has a mood-elevating and immune-stimulating effect. The terpene present in citrus fruits is limonene; it’s also in cannabis cultivars like Do-Si-Dos and MAC (Miracle Alien Cookies). While cultivars named after citrus fruits such as Super Lemon Haze and Lemon G contain some limonene, it’s not the dominant terpene. Super Lemon Haze contains more terpinolene than limonene and Lemon G contains more caryophyllene than limonene. This shows how minor and major terpenes work together to give cannabis its varied effects of scents and tastes. Limes, grapefruits, lemons and oranges are all citrus, but also have other components that give them their distinct individual aromas and flavors.

Courtesy of The Quarto Group

Russo further explains the concept of terpenes through the Japanese therapeutic practice of shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing. In this form of ecotherapy, participants are invited to take in nature’s sensory elements, savoring the sights, smells, and sounds to unplug and release stress. Pinene is in pine needles, tea tree and rosemary, and cannabis cultivars like Dutch Treat and Jack Herer. It’s the terpene that is most prevalent in nature in both coniferous trees and other plants, and studies have shown it can enhance memory and cognition. Within his academic research paper examining the synergistic components of cannabis, Russo addresses how pinene’s ability to aid memory “could counteract short-term memory deficits induced by THC intoxication.”

Myrcene is the most common terpene in cannabis and has a synergistic effect with THC that enhances its sedative properties. Cultivars that are heavy in myrcene (OG Kush, Granddaddy Purple) are helpful for sleep and are known to produce “couch lock,” which is an effect precisely as it sounds, of being locked to the couch unable to move. Myrcene is also in lemongrass, thyme and mangoes. 

Russo argues that thinking about cannabis beyond THC-heavy strains high in myrcene uncovers more of the plant’s subtle beneficial properties.

“Beyond the common form of cannabis that pervades the markets with its high THC and high myrcene, productive of a soporific ‘couch-lock’ experience, other terpenoids, when present in appropriate concentrations, may alter the experience positively to increase the therapeutic index of cannabis by reducing its side effect profile,” Russo says. “Thus, pinene can reduce or eliminate short-term memory impairment engendered by THC, limonene can elevate mood with an antidepressant effect, linalool will allay anxiety, and caryophyllene boosts analgesic and anti-inflammatory benefits while simultaneously reducing craving that is associated with withdrawal symptoms from opioids and other drugs producing dependency.”

Common Terpenes 

Myrcene
Also found in mangoes, hops and lemongrass, myrcene contributes musky, clove-like earthy notes. This terpene works in synergy with THC in amplifying its psychoactive effects. Myrcene is a powerful anti-inflammatory and has shown the ability to improve conditions such as osteoarthritis. 

Limonene
Also within citrus rinds and juniper, limonene contributes sweet fruit scents. Studies show that limonene has antimicrobial and antifungal effects. It is being studied for its ability to inhibit tumor growth and may play a role in treating cancer. 

Caryophyllene
An element of black pepper, caryophyllene has a spicy scent and activates cannabinoid receptors within peripheral tissues, the parts of the body that act as a response to a change in the environment such as skin. It shows promise in treating inflammation, pain, the buildup of cholesterol on artery walls (atherosclerosis), osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

Pinene
The most common terpene in nature, pinene, is associated with the scent of pine trees and is also found in tea trees and rosemary. It has shown to be useful for retaining and restoring memory. Researchers are looking at pinene in regards to treating conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Linalool
Also found in lavender, linalool can produce sedative calming effects and reduce agitation. That means this terpene could have applications in treating conditions such as PTSD. It is also showing promise for its ability to counteract epileptic seizures.

Humulene
In hops, basil, coriander, cloves, ginseng and ginger, humulene has woodsy, earthy flavors and possesses formidable anti-inflammatory properties. It’s best known as the quintessential hoppy flavor in beer.  

Terpinolene
Terpinolene is a terpene in apples and lilacs. Its smells pull from all over the spectrum with a bit of woodsy earth combined with citrusy pine notes. Interest in treatments with this cannabinoid includes coronary heart disease as well as its antifungal properties.

Ocimene
Ocimine is in plants and fruits that have woodsy, sweet undertones. In cannabis ocimene-dominant cultivars are rare. This terpene has flavors of guavas, mangoes, papayas and pine. It’s also in herbs like mint, parsley and basil.

The post Terpenes are Aroma Therapy appeared first on High Times.

Terpenes are Aroma Therapy

Excerpted from Weed: A Connoisseur’s Guide to Cannabis

Fog rolls over the hillsides on an early morning hike. As sunbeams break through the mist, they activate the aromas of the chaparral: the nuanced and layered sweetness of a bay laurel, with its touches of eucalyptus, pine and bergamot; the small bright yellow florets of fennel that form a bouquet bearing a burst of licorice and sweet anise.

The aromatic elements of the natural world, the same ones that are steam-distilled to create essential oils found in food and fragrances, play a vital role in mental and physical well-being. The essences pulled from plants are called both terpenes and terpenoids. The terms are used interchangeably, but they are different in chemical structure. Terpenes are simple hydrocarbons, an organic chemical compound composed exclusively of hydrogen and carbon atoms. Terpenoids are also essentially terpenes, but with additional chemical constituents, most often oxygen, as a result of enzyme-driven reactions within the plant.

“Think of it like terpenoids equal terpenes plus chemically modified terpenes,” cannabis researcher Ryan Lee explains. “Like if someone did a renovation to a house and added a different back porch.”

Terpenoids and terpenes are the aromatic elements that give cannabis its deep depth of incredible fragrances and tastes. As the science behind how cannabis works continues to advance, studies show that not only do they make cannabis smell amazing, but they also play an essential role in understanding exactly how this plant shapes our moods.

Courtesy of The Quarto Group

“Terpenoids modify the cannabis experience in a variety of ways, and can make it more or less sedating, extend therapeutic benefits, and potentially make cannabis safer and better overall,” explains Ethan Russo, one of the world’s most prominent and well-respected cannabis researchers.

Terpenes are found along with cannabinoids in the resin glands of cannabis and many other plants. There are more than 20,000 terpenes identified in nature; about 200 are in cannabis. The genetic diversity of cannabis is vast, each kind contains several different terpenes. That means understanding the scent of cannabis is more akin to a symphony rather than a single note. Layers and nuances of smell ensure that it’s complicated to say a bud smells like only one particular thing.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary cannabinoid that gives cannabis its psychoactive effects, has been the main focus of cannabis research since Raphael Mechoulam synthesized and isolated it in 1964. But cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG) are now gaining increasing attention. Many still may have the misconception that the medicinal effects of cannabis are only about the pharmacology of cannabinoids; they are neglecting about 500 other properties that make up the plant, Russo says. As he explains in his cornerstone cannabis study, Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects, the harmony created by how cannabinoids and other properties of the plant such as terpenes work together (something understood in academic cannabis circles as the entourage effect) has significant ramifications in cannabis therapeutics. The idea is that the magic of how cannabis works is in the sum of its parts, rather than by elements in isolation.

“One molecule is unlikely to match the therapeutic and even industrial potential of cannabis itself as a phytochemical factory,” Russo writes in an academic paper making a case for the entourage effect.  

Russo is a board-certified neurologist, pharmacology researcher and former senior advisor to GW Pharmaceuticals. This U.K.-based company made history in 2018 when the FDA approved a drug that contained cannabinoids, Epidiolex. His current company, CReDO Science, is working to patent products generated from his investigations of the cannabis plant. It’s also capitalizing on his understanding of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), the signaling network responsible for regulating many processes in the body that interacts with terpenes as well as cannabinoids produced internally, endocannabinoids, and cannabinoids derived from plants, phytocannabinoids. Understanding the complexities of cannabis can be approached in the same way as traditional Chinese medicine, he says. 

“Traditional Chinese medicine usually combines a variety of ingredients simultaneously. Some may add to the therapeutic effect, while others are included to mitigate adverse events from the primary agents. Both of these activities are synergistic and produce a better clinical response.”

Russo explains that cannabis, with its various cannabinoids and terpenes, is akin to traditional Chinese medicine in that it’s a single preparation that combines a variety of ingredients.

Courtesy of The Quarto Group

Developing Terpenes

The same chemical components that have protective functioning and beneficial elements in plants can positively contribute to the defense and regulation of systems within our bodies, just like they do for the plant itself. This concept that what benefits the plant that also benefits us also occurs with antioxidants, which plants create to prevent disease; they have a similar function in humans, explaining why a diet high in plants is beneficial for our health. In the same way as antioxidants, terpenes develop in plants to prevent disease for the plant, but they also can help our bodies avoid illness.

As cannabis horticulture expert Ed Rosenthal explains, plants produce terpenes for one of three reasons: to attract pollinators, to repel or kill herbivores, or to attract the predators of herbivores. The odor molecules are costly for the plant to produce and increase when the plant is in flower because it’s invested in its reproduction. Cannabis is wind-pollinated, which means it doesn’t need to attract pollinators. Hence, the benefits of terpenes in cannabis are to keep pests away and attract beneficial insects, which attack the other insects that can damage a crop. 

All About the Aromas

Terpenes unleash concentrated odors that can affect our moods. One of the easiest ways to understand this phenomenon is through citrus, which is a popular aromatic in cleaning products because it acts as both a disinfectant and a deodorizer. Physiologically the smell of citrus denotes cleanliness and has a mood-elevating and immune-stimulating effect. The terpene present in citrus fruits is limonene; it’s also in cannabis cultivars like Do-Si-Dos and MAC (Miracle Alien Cookies). While cultivars named after citrus fruits such as Super Lemon Haze and Lemon G contain some limonene, it’s not the dominant terpene. Super Lemon Haze contains more terpinolene than limonene and Lemon G contains more caryophyllene than limonene. This shows how minor and major terpenes work together to give cannabis its varied effects of scents and tastes. Limes, grapefruits, lemons and oranges are all citrus, but also have other components that give them their distinct individual aromas and flavors.

Courtesy of The Quarto Group

Russo further explains the concept of terpenes through the Japanese therapeutic practice of shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing. In this form of ecotherapy, participants are invited to take in nature’s sensory elements, savoring the sights, smells, and sounds to unplug and release stress. Pinene is in pine needles, tea tree and rosemary, and cannabis cultivars like Dutch Treat and Jack Herer. It’s the terpene that is most prevalent in nature in both coniferous trees and other plants, and studies have shown it can enhance memory and cognition. Within his academic research paper examining the synergistic components of cannabis, Russo addresses how pinene’s ability to aid memory “could counteract short-term memory deficits induced by THC intoxication.”

Myrcene is the most common terpene in cannabis and has a synergistic effect with THC that enhances its sedative properties. Cultivars that are heavy in myrcene (OG Kush, Granddaddy Purple) are helpful for sleep and are known to produce “couch lock,” which is an effect precisely as it sounds, of being locked to the couch unable to move. Myrcene is also in lemongrass, thyme and mangoes. 

Russo argues that thinking about cannabis beyond THC-heavy strains high in myrcene uncovers more of the plant’s subtle beneficial properties.

“Beyond the common form of cannabis that pervades the markets with its high THC and high myrcene, productive of a soporific ‘couch-lock’ experience, other terpenoids, when present in appropriate concentrations, may alter the experience positively to increase the therapeutic index of cannabis by reducing its side effect profile,” Russo says. “Thus, pinene can reduce or eliminate short-term memory impairment engendered by THC, limonene can elevate mood with an antidepressant effect, linalool will allay anxiety, and caryophyllene boosts analgesic and anti-inflammatory benefits while simultaneously reducing craving that is associated with withdrawal symptoms from opioids and other drugs producing dependency.”

Common Terpenes 

Myrcene
Also found in mangoes, hops and lemongrass, myrcene contributes musky, clove-like earthy notes. This terpene works in synergy with THC in amplifying its psychoactive effects. Myrcene is a powerful anti-inflammatory and has shown the ability to improve conditions such as osteoarthritis. 

Limonene
Also within citrus rinds and juniper, limonene contributes sweet fruit scents. Studies show that limonene has antimicrobial and antifungal effects. It is being studied for its ability to inhibit tumor growth and may play a role in treating cancer. 

Caryophyllene
An element of black pepper, caryophyllene has a spicy scent and activates cannabinoid receptors within peripheral tissues, the parts of the body that act as a response to a change in the environment such as skin. It shows promise in treating inflammation, pain, the buildup of cholesterol on artery walls (atherosclerosis), osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

Pinene
The most common terpene in nature, pinene, is associated with the scent of pine trees and is also found in tea trees and rosemary. It has shown to be useful for retaining and restoring memory. Researchers are looking at pinene in regards to treating conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Linalool
Also found in lavender, linalool can produce sedative calming effects and reduce agitation. That means this terpene could have applications in treating conditions such as PTSD. It is also showing promise for its ability to counteract epileptic seizures.

Humulene
In hops, basil, coriander, cloves, ginseng and ginger, humulene has woodsy, earthy flavors and possesses formidable anti-inflammatory properties. It’s best known as the quintessential hoppy flavor in beer.  

Terpinolene
Terpinolene is a terpene in apples and lilacs. Its smells pull from all over the spectrum with a bit of woodsy earth combined with citrusy pine notes. Interest in treatments with this cannabinoid includes coronary heart disease as well as its antifungal properties.

Ocimene
Ocimine is in plants and fruits that have woodsy, sweet undertones. In cannabis ocimene-dominant cultivars are rare. This terpene has flavors of guavas, mangoes, papayas and pine. It’s also in herbs like mint, parsley and basil.

The post Terpenes are Aroma Therapy appeared first on High Times.

Do terpenes in edibles have any effect? How these 6 terps metabolize

Ah, the great entourage theory, or is it more of an ensemble effect? Regardless, terpenes, lightly aromatic and oftentimes smelly oils, can alter the effects of cannabis. And each strain’s ensemble of ingredients produces its own unique experience. Little discussed, however, is the fact that some terpenes are only active through olfactory neurons. This means […]

The post Do terpenes in edibles have any effect? How these 6 terps metabolize appeared first on Latest Cannabis News Today – Headlines, Videos & Stocks.

If You Want to Smoke (Christmas) Trees, Ask Santa for These Strains

The holidays feel like a time of year tailor made for creating wonderful sensory memories. Be it the comforting aroma of freshly baked gingerbread men wafting over the kitchen or the taste of a stiff eggnog, our various end-of-year celebrations and traditions are often packed with plenty of signature flavors and smells.

Though cannabis may not be on that list for everyone, it is a plant that relies on the very same aromatic compounds at the heart of everything from mistletoe to hot chocolate: terpenes. Today, terpenes are rapidly becoming an everyday part of the modern cannabis consumer vernacular.

Found in the essential oils of a wide variety of different plants, terpenes give cannabis strains their distinctive tastes and smells but also help in the wild by attracting pollinators and repelling invasive species. Secreted by the cannabis plant’s trichome glands, terpenes also offer any number of potential health benefits, including promising anti-inflammatory properties as well as relief from pain and anxiety.

Of course, that all depends on the terpene. Given there are over 150 of them found in cannabis alone, pinpointing precisely which terpenes can do what remains, with respect to the progress that has been made, an ongoing effort.

Fortunately, when it comes to the specific smells and tastes one can expect, we’ve gotten things down to a science. For instance, we now know that those who think of the holidays and immediately get a whiff of a pine tree echoing through their nostrils owe a debt of gratitude to pinene.

Regarded as the most common terpene in the natural world, pinene is a popular tool in aromatherapy and the pivotal player behind what we commonly refer to as “Christmas tree smell.” In fact, that particular scent has become so beloved that we now buy it by the bottleful to spray in our homes. If you are one of the many who wistfully smiles whenever a pinene-powered burst of pine hits your nose, you may be pleased to learn that this terpene also features prominently in many cannabis strains.

A terpene shared with the likes of orange peels, rosemary, parsley, turpentine, basil, pine needles, dill, and conifer trees, pinene can be found in notable amounts in such cannabis strains as Jack Herer, SFV OG, Sugar Pine and OG Ringo. Each of these four selections is renowned for their hearty notes of pine, which it should be noted will not necessarily be the case simply because a strain is packed with pinene. Instead, it is the presence of all the terpenes in a strain which work together to create a strain’s signature sensory characteristics.

In celebration of the holidays and the surplus of pine trees currently pleasing our sniffers, let’s take a closer look at four strains ready to deliver the evergreen all year round. As a bonus, we’ve paired each strain with a suggested holiday gift for any last-minute shopping on your list!

JACK HERER

Undisputed as a legend of the game, Jack Herer is a sativa-dominant strain named for the activist and author of the seminal “The Emperor Wears No Clothes.” Featuring a hybrid of Haze, Northern Lights #5, and Shiva Skunk, this strain is known for having a pine-forward, spicy quality that consumers love almost as much as its corresponding effects, which tend to induce a focused, uplifting high. Grab a jar of Jack Herer and pair it with a copy of “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” for an inspiring combo gift!

SFV OG

Southern California’s San Fernando Valley is the birthplace of SFV OG, a hybrid descendant of OG Kush that delivers big on pain relief but isn’t known for being overly potent. The terpene expression in this strain is rich with notes of pine and lemon, leading some to refer to its resulting taste as being akin to Lemon Pledge (but in a good way). Popular with those seeking relief from physical symptoms, SFV OG should be a mainstay in any showcase devoted to strains that bring the Christmas tree heat. Try pairing a gift of this flower with another SoCal-specific item (you can’t go wrong with merch from Pink’s Hot Dogs) for a geographically themed twofer.

SUGAR PINE

With a name that sounds like a ski resort nestled in the Sierras, Sugar Pine is the result of decades of crosses and tinkering. The worthwhile payoff is a hybrid strain featuring genetics from Skunk, Sugar Bush, Afghani, and Sweetie. That’s quite the eclectic crew, which makes its ensuing flavor profile — a fragrant bouquet of sweet pine, vanilla, and hops — such a unique delight. With a name like Sugar Pine, it seems only fitting that any gift of this soothing, yet enlivening, strain should come with a home baked confection. Pair Sugar Pine with a tray of cookies straight from your oven and you’ve got the perfect present for anyone who loves both cannabis and sweets.

OG RINGO

Another relative of the OG Kush clan, OG Ringo is named not for the Beatle but rather Lawrence Ringo: a famed CBD breeder and activist. Regardless, the headline here is OG Ringo’s potent, high-THC payoff in the form of its long-lasting euphoric effects as well as its earthy, musky aroma, highlighted once more by notes of sweet pine. This holiday season, it’s actually possible to give a loved one the gift of multiple Ringos when you combine a jar of Ringo OG with a subscription to Disney+, which is currently streaming a critically acclaimed new, three-part documentary on the Beatles!

The post If You Want to Smoke (Christmas) Trees, Ask Santa for These Strains appeared first on Cannabis Now.

How to Combat Cold Symptoms With Cannabis

When the weather begins to change, it’s common for cold symptoms to start to pop up. It usually starts with a bit of congestion and little sneezing before blossoming into a full-blown mess of running or stuffy noses, high fevers, headaches and a sore throat. It can be difficult to avoid catching a cold, especially once it starts going around. It can easily spread through saliva (by sharing a drink or kissing), skin-to-skin contact (handshakes or hugs) and even through the air if someone with the virus coughs or sneezes without properly covering their mouth.

Thankfully, most people can recover from a cold in just a couple weeks with their own at-home or over-the-counter treatments. In the meantime, you can also include cannabis to help with managing symptoms. If you’re heavily congested, dealing with a sore throat or trying to avoid coughing, smoking is probably not the best option for improving your symptoms. In fact, it could exacerbate them and make you feel worse. For people who feel like they need to smoke out of preference or habit, vaping is the way to go. It will be easier on your lungs and will most likely not make you cough if you’re intentional about taking gentle, slows pulls.

You can experiment with different terpenes like pinene which can act as a powerful expectorant and antimicrobial that can improve airflow functioning in the lungs. Just look for strains that have a high pinene content to help ease respiratory issues. Just remember that during this time it is not a good idea to share any paraphernalia with another person, so you’ll need a pipe or vape that is exclusively for your own personal use during this time until your symptoms completely subside.

If necessary, you can skip smoking and vaping altogether and go for pre-packaged edibles or cannabis-infused foods and drinks made at home. Soups and hot drinks are helpful as the weather cools down and there are lots of great recipes like vegetable soup with medicated garlic croutonskief-infused chicken soup and cannabis-infused bone broth. You can also try making your own cannabis tea made with roots and stems or make canna-honey to add to herbal tea. Tinctures are an easy way to medicate as well by taking a dose underneath your tongue or adding it to tea, soup or something else. Don’t forget that edibles will take longer to feel the effects than smoking or vaping so be patient and don’t over do it in hopes of feeling better faster.

Some people find it unpleasant to feel high when they’re under the weather, so microdosing or CBD strains and products would be a good idea. For aches and pains, a topical or infused bath salts can help you feel better. Detox baths with Epsom salt and essential oils like peppermint and eucalyptus can help speed up your recovery and the added benefits of cannabis can reduce discomfort in your body so that you can rest and relax. You can also try rubbing an infused topical into any tense areas for some relief. Some studies have shown that cannabis can help reduce inflammation, which can be helpful if you’re experiencing uncomfortable nasal pressure or throat pain, so with topicals you can still experience some of the benefits without getting any kind of buzz at all.

Keep in mind that cannabis won’t help to make your cold go away but can help you feel a little better while you recover. Whether you decide to treat your cold naturally or with over-the-counter treatments from your local drugstore, remember to pay attention to how you feel, observe your symptoms and visit a doctor if needed.

TELL US, have you ever used cannabis to support you while kicking a cold?

The post How to Combat Cold Symptoms With Cannabis appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Alpha-Pinene Terps Shine in this Sparkling Cannabis Cocktail Recipe

Holiday drinks enjoyed while celebrating friends, family and finding the light through dark winter nights is a tradition long held around the world. With pine trees inextricably part of those same warm gatherings, few things so strongly mark the arrival of the winter holidays quite like the unmistakable smell of fresh pine.

Did you know the fragrant terpene alpha-pinene is directly responsible for that unique scent we all hold near and dear during the holiday season? Found abundantly in edible plants all over the world (i.e., rosemary, juniper berries, eucalyptus, holy basil and the like), alpha-pinene’s charm also shines through in specific cannabis strains like Jack Herer, Cherry Pie and Purple Kush.

These holiday drinks in particular were inspired by pine needle syrup, a traditional Scandinavian remedy for sore throats made from pine needles foraged when the trees are just budding (the young shoots have the best flavor). Since it stunts the trees’ growth to remove the fresh buds and since not every pine tree is safe to eat, I recommend foraging with an expert or sourcing the pine needles from a reputable local or online shop. Longleaf, Shortleaf, Virginia, Spruce and Loblolly are some of the preferred trees for making pine infusions, but as with all plant consumption, take care with identification and defer to experienced knowledge before eating any plants.

There are two versions of this wintery, celebratory pine and cannabis drink: one made with sparkling wine and no added sugar, and the other infuses a simple syrup to be mixed with sparkling water–dealer’s choice.

Happy holidays, cheers!

Ingredients

1 1/2 – 2 cups cold filtered water

3.5 g dried and cured cannabis flower or trim

1/4 tsp liquid sunflower lecithin (found in health food stores or online)

1/2 cup organic cane sugar (if making simple syrup, omit if making mixer for champagne cocktails)

1-2 cinnamon sticks

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary (plus one sprig each per serving)

Sparkling white wine or sparkling mineral water (for the mixer)

Decarboxylate Cannabis

Preheat oven to 245ºF. Keep an eye on the heat using an oven thermometer.

Coarsely chop/breakup cannabis flower.

Spread cannabis evenly over a parchment lined baking pan, then cover tightly with two layers of foil.

Bake for 25 minutes, keeping an eye on the heat with an oven thermometer.

After baking, let cool fully before removing foil.

Spritz cannabis lightly with Everclear/high-proof alcohol (to help break down plant matter and cannabinoids, a genius method developed by Tamar Wise).

For Mocktail with Pine Needle Simple Syrup (no alcohol)

Boil 1 1/2 cups water, then add 1 cup pine needles.

Turn down heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Continue to simmer for 30 mins.

Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain needles out through a fine mesh strainer, returning the liquid to the pot.

While the liquid is still warm, whisk in 1/4 tsp liquid sunflower lecithin.

Stir in 1/2 cup sugar until it’s completely dissolved.

Pour liquid into a heat-proof glass jar (with a tight-fitting lid).

Add the decarboxylated cannabis, 2 sprigs of rosemary, and 1-2 cinnamon sticks to the liquid.

Let cool to room temperature, then put in the fridge for 12 hrs/overnight, shaking the mixture periodically.

Strain the solids out of the liquid through a cheesecloth and fine mesh strainer (more than once if necessary to get all the bits out of the liquid).

Label clearly as containing cannabis and at what dosage.

Add desired amount of the now cannabis-and-pine-needle-infused simple syrup to sparkling water over ice. Stir, garnish with a sprig of rosemary, and serve.

For a Sparkling Cocktail (mix with your favorite sparkling wine)

Boil 2 cups of water, then add 1 cup of pine needles.

Turn down heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Continue to simmer for 30 mins.

Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain needles out through a fine mesh strainer, returning the liquid to the pot.

While the liquid is still warm, whisk in 1/4 tsp liquid sunflower lecithin.

Pour liquid into a heat-proof glass jar (with a tight-fitting lid).

Add the decarboxylated cannabis, 2 sprigs of rosemary, and 1-2 cinnamon sticks to the pine-needle infusion.

Let cool to room temperature, then put in the fridge for 12 hrs/overnight, shaking the mixture periodically.

Strain the solids out of the liquid through a cheesecloth and fine mesh strainer (more than once if necessary to get all the bits out of the liquid).

Label clearly as containing cannabis and at what dosage.

Add the desired amount of the now cannabis-and-pine-needle-infused liquid and a sprig of fresh rosemary to your favorite sparkling Brut. Cheers!

Dosage: Both recipes make about 1 2/3 cups liquid. I use tablespoons as my measurement for dosage, with 1 tablespoon per drink. There are 16 tablespoons in a liquid cup, so 1 2/3 cups is very loosely 26 tbsps, or 13 servings. If I start with a cannabis flower that tests at around 20% THC, using 3.5g would make the total amount of THC in the syrup all in about 700mg THC. Dividing that total by 26 tbsp. servings, each tbsp. would contain approximately 27mg THC per serving.

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Zkittlez: The Unique Cannabis Strain That Lets You Taste the Rainbow

Gobs of aroma and flavor await openers of bags of Zkittlez — one of America’s most trending, flavorful, fragrant and award-winning cannabis strains.

Zkittlez surfaced slowly over the last five years, originating from a single garden in the West Coast’s most dominant farm — 3rd Gen Fam, winners of 38 awards, including Grand Prize of Chalice California for their Zkittlez rosin processed by Moonshine Melts.

The lovely, pungent, balanced indica hybrid strain began when the 3rd Gen Fam gifted “Brandon” a cut of Zkittlez, which he took and ran with.

It was a cross of a primal grape-flavored strain and another local grapefruit-tasting strain, as well as likely something with fuel in it. Zkittlez lacked bag appeal, but more than made up for it with gobs of tropical candy terps and wholesome, positive effects.

“When we first introduced it to people, we could only do it in joints and pass it around to our friends,” Brandon said. “If they were to see the jar, they would be dogging us right away. It was a blessing and a curse. When we passed it to [rapper, businessman] Berner, we couldn’t show him — it was just too ugly.” 

Zkittlez demonstrates how a high-THC count alone cannot match copious terpenes— which contribute to an ‘entourage effect’ far bigger than higher-THC-testing flowers. If THC is the engine, terpenes are the wheels.

Zkittlez leaves a strong impact on people who try it. Exhibit A: seven awards won in four weeks, including the title belt in the World Secret Cup with an old school Zkittlez bubble hash. 

“[Zkittles] handles like a beauty —it’s enjoyable no matter what… but I’m really proud of that one,” Brandon said. “That made me feel really good. The solventless revolution is here.” 

Zkittlez genetics are now available through the Fam’s “Dying Breed Seeds” label. And look out for a new line of exotics with Berner, under the “Connoisseur Union” brand — including Rose, Dragonfruit and The Lemonge.

Look

Zkittlez looks like an indica hybrid — with its dense, moderate-to-small size and rounded density. It features copious pistils, which are reddish brown, gold and blond over a medium-green to lime-green color.

Smell

Cannabis aficionados love this strain for its huge nose, which isn’t loud like gasoline, but more thick and syrupy sweet. It’s the precise ratio of linalool (floral), humulene (hops), limonene (lemons), myrcene (perfume), pinene (pine), nerolidol (orange) and terpinolene (fuel) that creates the inviting aroma and strong yet balanced effects.

Feel

Zkittlez feels moderately dense and powdery with THC resin as opposed to sticky. Its fused leaves break apart nice and chewy rather than locking the grinder. Great for Js, bowls, vapes — you name it.

Taste

That huge terpene load translates into huge tastes as well — a rainbow gobstopper of sugary orange and pine, with a floral-fuel bite, then orange again.

Effect

Fast onset, physical relaxation and mental stress relief with neither couch-lock nor raciness.

Condition

Indica hybrids are often used by patients managing anxiety and chronic stress, as well as depression. Many report it can also relieve pain and nausea. Outdoor versions of Zkittlez are the perfect accompaniment to inner-tubing a lazy river. It’s too enjoyable to ruin on hard work. It’s brunch weed, or back-from-the-club weed. Not go-to-the-club weed. You’re going to be content, so don’t put too much on the agenda. Go see a chill movie, or just Netflix and chill.

Zkittlez fast facts:

  • Breeder: 3rd Gen Fam/Terp Hogz
  • Grown by: various
  • Type: Indica hybrid
  • Genetics: Original Dallas Grape Ape X Humboldt Grapefruit X [undisclosed]
  • Flowering: 56 -63 days
  • Yield: High

Originally published in issue 22 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

TELL US, have you tried Zkittles?

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How mango, black pepper, and tea can alter your cannabis experience

There are certain foods that alter the effects of cannabis, ultimately changing the sensation of the drug. Depending on what you’re feeling and your desired outcome, this could be either good or bad. With the right tools, you can control the effect that cannabis can have on your system and ultimately steer the course of […]

The post How mango, black pepper, and tea can alter your cannabis experience appeared first on Latest Cannabis News Today – Headlines, Videos & Stocks.

Weed Wordsearch – Cannabis Terpenes

Today’s Weed Wordsearch is all about cannabis terpenes! Terpenes are organic hydrocarbons found in the essential oils of plants. Within the cannabis plant, there are many different terpenes. Each strain contains a unique blend, producing a unique aroma. Studies to discover the benefits and therapeutic value have only just begun but one thing is certain, […]

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The Cannabis Now Guide to Pairing Herbs with Your Herb

Stop for a second and think about your last smoke session. Imagine the smell after grinding up the bud, the flavor after that first full exhale and the pleasant effects that follow: a boost of energy, a wave of relaxation or a sense of peace. The unsung hero of your perfect post-high moment? Terpenes. These aromatic compounds, also found in other plants, herbs, flowers and even fruits, are key players in the taste and scent of your cannabis and the distinct buzz that follows.

Because terpenes also interact with cannabinoids to create all of the components that make up your favorite strain, adding herbs to your cannabis can enhance the consumption experience.

Depending on which herbs you use, you can boost flavor profiles, increase energy and focus, ease pain or reduce stress. There are lots of different ways to pair herbal blends with cannabis and knowing what to consider before making your own combination is crucial for coming up with the perfect mix.

Monica Fine, a California-based master herbalist, has some simple tips when it comes to matching herbs with cannabis strains. She says it’s best to use what you like in small amounts, change herbs regularly and try to use what is actually in season around you. Fine explains that any herb used in excess can be dangerous — even ones you think are the safest.

She also suggests staying away from herbs like datura, morning glory and nightshades, which are poisonous.

Unfortunately, she cautions that both burning and vaping dried herbs don’t allow you to enjoy the highest terpene content possible, because of the process of combustion and oxidation burns off terpenes. So, Fine says, tinctures are the better option when it comes to cannabis and herbal blends. Still, there are some benefits if you are interested in consuming cannabis and herbs by vaping or smoking, especially since Fine notes that smoking hits the central nervous system much faster than other delivery methods, which makes it useful for immediate relief.

Personally, Fine favors herbs like damiana, life everlasting flower and any of the artemisia family added to joints and spliffs. She is working to launch a brand that will feature sublingual extracts that utilize the powerful combination of herbs and cannabis, using formulas designed to preserve the integrity of the plants.

When it comes to picking your own herbs to pair, she refers to her mentor Jeanne Rose, a world-renowned author, herbalist and aromatherapist who suggests using herbs like rosemary and sage to dry mucus and excess secretions from the lungs and recommends trying marjoram, chamomile and gentian to help kick a tobacco habit. And of course, there are also other herbs and flowers, from peppermint and mullein to rose and jasmine blossom, that you can choose from to complement your strain of choice.

How to Combine Herbal Terpenes With Cannabis

Linalool is an anti-inflammatory, antiepileptic and analgesic terpene found in herbs like lavender and is good for pain management and reducing anxiety and stress. Pairs well with the strains Romulan, Sour Kush and Purple Urkle.

Pinene is a bronchodilator, expectorant and antimicrobial terpene found in herbs like rosemary and sage and helps with boosting focus, increasing alertness and improving airflow to the lungs. Pairs well with strains like Purple Kush, AK-47, Dutch Treat and Bay Dream.

Myrcene is an antibiotic, antimutagenic and a muscle-relaxing terpene found in herbs like eucalyptus and hops and is known for its calming properties. Pairs well with strains like Mango Kush, Granddaddy Purple, Trainwreck and Grape Ape.

Geraniol is a natural antioxidant terpene that’s antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. It’s found in roses and is good for adding floral flavor profile. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties that can help reduce infections. Pairs well with strains like Afghan, Headband, Amnesia Haze and Great White Shark.

TELL US, do you go for certain taste profiles when it comes to choosing cannabis?

Originally published in Issue 39 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

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