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A Beginners Course on How to Incorporate Terpenes Into Concentrates

Usually, when we talk about terpenes, it is about the entourage effect. But today I’m going to elevate the conversation and talk about how you can incorporate extra terpenes into concentrates. Before you wonder -Yes, there is a way you can do that.  

You can ask any of our medical marijuana doctors oceanside, there were no terpenes to talk about. They existed; we just did not understand how they affected us.  

Research has indicated that terpenes work with cannabinoids and have the ability to change how they affect us. Ever since this information has come to the limelight there is an increase in the market for isolated terpenes. People can now buy terpenes and mix them with the concentrates of their choice to achieve the desired effects. 

How Does One Profile Terpenes?

Most people just use their noses. Strains are classified on the basis of what they smell like. Commonly found smells include earthy, floral, grassy, citrusy, and many more. Terpenes decide how your strain is going taste and smell.  Right now, there are over two hundred different kinds of known terpenes that exist in cannabis. 

However, not all cannabis terpenes are unique to cannabis as a plant. This is why the isolates you find on the market won’t necessarily come from cannabis.   

Every strain has its own unique terpene profile. Certain forms of cannabis like distillates and THCA crystalline have next to no flavor of their own. So, isolates can enhance that experience by adding some kind of taste. 

Food Grade Terpenes is a Thing

Terpenes are a naturally occurring substance in plants and considering the number of years we have been inhaling cannabis, it is pretty safe to assume that we can inhale the terpenes found in cannabis without any problems. But there is a catch here as well.  

Food grade terpenes actually come from plants other than cannabis. Now just because you can eat it does not mean it is safe to vape. (It’s slightly complicated. I know.) There is also no research that showcases how safe it is to vape food-grade terpenes. 

Now another point to note is that the number of terpenes in the natural cannabis plant is ab 4%. Isolates are of course taking this percentage a lot higher. So, consuming isolates mixed with cannabis has no scientific precedent, just anecdotal references.  

Mixing isolates with cannabis is a very tricky thing and could either make or break the experience. 

Distillation

 There are various ways in which one can extract terpenes from cannabis. There is also a difference between isolated terpenes and high terpene extracts. Isolates are just terpenes whereas high terpene extracts consist of a lot more than just those.  

Isolated cannabis-derived terpenes have absolutely no cannabinoid content and are produced with the help of steam distillation or in some cases hydrodistillation. 

Steam distilling is done by hanging a basket of plant material over boiling water, on the other hand, hydrodistillation is done by placing the plant matter directly inside boiling water. 

Both of these methods have one big issue, i.e. the amount of heat that is required to carry out the extraction. Heat changes the natural essential oils found in a plant. The end product is hydrosol and not any of the actual oils you expect at the end of distillation.  

Mechanical Separation

There are of course other ways to extract terpenes, the kind that does not require hydrocarbon solvents or steam. These are all because of the introduction of concentrates like rosin. 

Rosin is made with the help of mechanical presses. These can separate high terpene liquid from the solid THCA crystals that do not have the aroma of the strain. Terpenes that have been mechanically separated, are not completely isolated so there is still some amount of cannabinoid content present in them. 

Even though I have tried to incorporate as much as possible about terpenes and concentrates in this blog as I can, there is still a striking lack of research regarding the endeavor. It isn’t discouraged but knows that you are going in blind. So, talk to a doctor before you give it a try. 

Most concentrates are highly potent so always ensure that you renew MMJ card before making your way to a dispensary.