The sense of smell is believed to be the most powerful of all human senses, impacting mood and behavior. That’s because the olfactory system is located in the same part of our brain that affects emotions, memory, and creativity. It’s no wonder then that the sense of smell is a major factor in the cultivation and enjoyment of cannabis, with increasing attention given to terpenes.
In fact, cannabis connoisseurs—also known as cannasseurs—know that the nose knows, as terpenes are responsible for the rich, aromatic scent and flavor qualities found across popular strains.
So, you may be asking, “what exactly are terpenes and what do they have to do with my grow?” Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about all things terpenes.
First things first: What are terpenes?
Terpenes are naturally occurring aromatic compounds found in many plants including fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices. They are responsible for the fragrance, taste, and pigment of plants and have been used in natural folk medicine across different cultures for centuries.
What is the role of terpenes in cannabis?
Terpenes help protect plants by repelling predators and infectious germs as well as attracting pollinators. Cannabis plants actually thrive because of terpenes. Over 100 different terpenes have been identified in the cannabis plant, and every strain tends toward a unique terpene type and composition.
When a cannabis smell is referred to as cheesy, skunky, peppery, floral, or even blueberry, it’s because of the terpene attributes and characteristics. Terpenes also have therapeutic power, with some aiding relaxation and stress relief, while others can promote focus and acuity.
What are the primary types of terpenes?
Just like many wine connoisseurs waft-and-sniff the “bouquet” before drinking to get a sense for how flavorful a wine is, “cannasseurs” are attuned to the smell of cannabis and can appreciate the complex terpene scents found across various strains. Which is why maximizing terpene production for your grow is so important.
This chart identifies the 4 primary terpenes, their characteristics, effects, and their associated strains.
What should growers know about maximizing terpene production?
Creating and maintaining ideal growing conditions is vital to promoting terpenes, with humidity being a key factor. One study has shown a causal relationship between terpene content and humidity, with the finding that maintaining a relative humidity of 62% can increase terpene content by 15%.
Keeping tight control over Vapor Pressure Deficit (VPD) allows you to achieve the right balance of humidity and temperature. Note that VPD targets will vary based on the stage of grow and the level of maturity of the plant’s root system. By managing VPD, you can directly influence your terpene production as well as the profitability of your operation. Learn more about VPD in this in-depth article.
What’s the best equipment to manage VPD?
Anden’s grow-optimized dehumidifiers, humidifiers, and precision control products are intuitively designed and built for grow, no matter what the size and stage of your operation. Check out these products that will allow you to create the ideal growing environment.