The Next Evolution in Cannabis Solutions via Terpene Integration

For many, the intricate aroma of cannabis is just as pleasurable as its psychoactive and medicinal effects. The sense of smell is, in many ways, our most delicate and powerful sensory system. There are few elements beyond fragrance capable of altering our emotional and physical reactions. Powered by the olfactory bulb, the human sense of smell is capable of detecting and over 1 trillion odorous compounds. In fact, the study published in the March 2014 issue of Science, suggests this is a lower-limit to our scent powers (1).

While astonishing, what does this have to do with cannabis extracts and the future of this flowering industry? Surprisingly, a lot. To understand the influence of terpenes in cannabis extracts, let’s first delve into the intricacies of this unique compound.


The Chariot to 21st Century Cannabis Production – Understanding Terpenes

Terpenes are, essentially, pungent oils produced by the same glands as more familiar cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD. They are responsible for giving such distinct aromas to our most beloved strains. Created by the plant as a defense system to ward off and deter animals. Simultaneously, terpenes play a integral role in attracting pollinators.

Current research has identified roughly 200 terpenes; however, only 11 terpenoids are considered “primary” due to their high levels in the majority of cannabis strains (6). The compounds found in high quantities appear to have a similar molecular structure, isoprene (2). Along with providing cannabis a unique array of scents, data published in the British Journal of Pharmacology outlines the potential therapeutic value of terpenes. In short, research confirms phytocannabinoid-terpenoid synergy offer a host of medicinal benefits as they closely interact with neuronal and muscle ion pathways and are capable of communicating with cellular membranes (3).

Of particular interest is the terpenoid beta-caryophyllene, as it’s the only terpene with an affinity for CB-2 receptors. Therapeutically, this results in a wide array of benefits, such as acting as an anti-inflammatory agent, antibacterial solution and gastric cytoprotective (3). There’s even evidence its interaction with the human endocannabinoid system can reduce alcohol cravings and mediate the severity of anxiety and depression (4)(5).

Within the realm of cannabis processing, some believe terpenoid concentrations may lower during decarboxylation and subsequent solution processing. Although the terpene profile experiences a reduction during the decarboxylation process, this loss does not continue during homogenizing. For example, post-decarboxylation levels won’t significantly vary post-homogenization for edibles, vape juice, etc.


Synergistic Solutions – Enhancing Flavor and Therapeutic Value

CAT Scientific specializes in offering the highest-quality processing equipment for both large and small manufacturers. Our dedication to the progress of the cannabis industry has broken barriers while simultaneously enhancing product viability and regulation. Although our understanding of terpenes and cannabis extracts has come a long way, there’s still so much more to discover.

While adding terpenes to cannabis extracts has the potential to alter flavor, aroma and therapeutic value, the actual process of mixing these ingredients must be handled with extreme care. Due to the sensitive nature of terpenoids, processing methodology must adjust to prevent product degradation.

Contact us today, and let’s see how our innovative solutions and your desire for product stability and potency can work together to cultivate greater cannabis products!



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Bob Wilcox

Bob Wilcox has represented CAT Scientific’s family of homogenizers, magnetic stirrers, liquid handling and related laboratory equipment since 2002 when Staufen, Germany-based CAT Ingenieurbüro M. Zipperer GMbH established operations in North America. Bob oversees CAT Scientific laboratory apparatus sales and service organization from the company’s headquarters in Paso Robles, CA. He also is in charge of the parent company’s line of JetCat jet turbines, turboprop, and helicopter power plants for hobbyists’ radio controlled fixed wing and helicopter model aircraft. -- Earlier in Bob’s career he was involved in visual and special effects as well as camera and electronics supervisory responsibilities for the motion picture and television industry.

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