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Cannabis Terpenes Offer Therapeutic Efficacy

Of the many active ingredients in cannabis, cannabinoids — the miracle molecules that deliver most of the medical efficacy of marijuana — aren’t the whole picture. Some cannabis consumers may be aware of terpenes, the cannabinoid-like chemicals that give herb such a pungent smell. What most don’t know is that terpenes also deliver therapeutic relief, just like their cousins the cannabinoids.

Terpenes are produced in the trichomes of the plant, the nearly microscopic resinous stalks that cover the flowers and sometimes leaves. This is also where all cannabinoids, like THC and CBD, are produced. Surprisingly, between 10 and 29 percent of the resin produced by smoked cannabis is the result of terpenes. More than 200 terpenes have been identified in cannabis.

Macro shot of cannabis. The resinous stalks that appear to shimmer are trichomes.

In 1997, the Swiss Federal Research Station...

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