What are Terpenes and what is their effect in making Cannabis Tinctures?
The Terpenes are multi-carbon chained molecules ubiquitous in the plant kingdom. They give the plant it’s “character”, similar to the wine industry. In addition, the Terpenes are responsible for communication in nature, plant to plant and plant to animal.
There is one Terpene which I recently read about, that is released when it’s leaves are crushed by a herbivore. These terpens attract carnivores who are then more likely to eat the herbivore before the plant is all eaten. Terpenes are “balancers and communicators”.
Clearly we have receptors for Terpenes and some Terpenes interact with the CB 1 receptor. Terpenes are probably the most improtant variable other than the THC and CBD. There is much to learn, but it is clear that including the Terpenes in the extraction and re-infusing them into the tincture is a good if not at least, interesting concept.
So, our team has been looking into adding Terpenes back into various tinctures. It is more a messy than difficult process, assuming you are using C02 extraction. I don’t know how else to do it.
Anyway, the Terpenes are large, but volutile molecules and upon any processessing tend to just float away.
As far as I know, there are two methods used to capture the Terpenes in water. Once this is done, you just cook it all up. So, in the first, one just allows the Terpenes to circulate and re-circulate with the CO2 itself. A water bath near the end collects the Terpenes and this “Terpene” extract is tested. I just consulted on my first Terpene extraction and much was learned.
The other method, which I have read about but not tried – YET! Here you give up on any attempts to re-circulate the C02, and each “run”/”batch” you need to replenish the C02. This is only a cost issue. So, the C02 is not kept under pressure and is just released into the atmosphere. Again, sterile water is used to flush the Terpenes and all efforts are made to keep the Terpenes in solution in a closed system.
Either way, the Terpene flush is mixed with the cannabinoids and presto!
With regard to effects, for SURE, it helps with achieving many altered states.
Allan I Frankel, MD