I love learning about terpenes and their role in ecology.
Despite what some cannabis users might assume, terpenes are not unique to marijuana plants; they’re found in food and most notably, alcohol blends like beer and wine.
There are even some people suggesting that beer has its own “entourage effect” with its full spectrum terpenes profile compared to hard liquor. And many of these terpenes, like myrcene for example, are in both beer and cannabis. When you consume cannabis in its raw form, you’re getting the most terpene content that you could get unless you use live resin or live rosin. Other cannabis concentrates strip away some of the terpenes, leaving you with mostly THC and a small percentage of lesser cannabinoids like CBG and CBC. It’s cheaper to do solvent extractions and then add botanical terpenes afterward to “simulate” the effects of distinct cannabis strains. The same is done with botanical CBD blends which use terpenes derived from food instead of from cannabis. Not only are you missing the terpenes that are in tiny portions of the raw plant, but the taste is different as well. Anyone who tells you that there is no chemical difference between botanical terpenes and cannabis derived terpenes is missing the forest for the trees. Let’s break this down for a minute. If you take pure myrcene and extract it from both cannabis and mangos with literally no other molecule from either plant, you will see the exact same chemical structure. But that’s not the point—a mixture of cannabis derived terpenes sourced from a single strain will have at minimum dozens of different terpenes that work synergistically with one another. A botanical CBD or THC blend will just take the top three or four terpenes usually found in the strain they’re trying to “simulate” and then they stop there. This process yields a diminished version of that strain and it’s easy to taste the difference immediately. That’s why cannabis derived terpenes are always better for CBD and marijuana products.