Have you ever wondered how weed gets its distinctive and pungent aroma? A new study published in PLOS One, aimed to find out the answer. Researchers already knew that terpenes produced the aroma that many can smell even from a considerable distance. Every strain of weed comes packed with its unique aroma profile that can range from smelling like skunk spray or a sweet fruit.
Like many of the herbs that you use to flavor your food, weed features a variety of distinguishing smells that can produce different therapeutic effects. A study performed at the University of British Columbia found at least 30 terpene synthase genes that dictate how each strain of weed smells. Essentially, these synthase genes produces compounds such as limonene, myrcene, and pinene in the weed plant.
An assortment of combinations of these 30 terpene synthase genes produce a seemingly endless variety of aromas, flavors, and tastes. Scientists found that just like a grapevine used in making wine, weed plants produce just as many flavor molecules. For this reason, many weed connoisseurs notice individual notes of smells just like a wine sommelier would with a bottle of wine.
The goal of the study was to discover how to reproduce specific strains found in weed. When the combination of compounds is found for a specific strain, it is then possible to reproduce the exact weed strain. For example, researchers found that the beta-caryophyllene gene produces specific types of terpenes. Defining these compounds can help growers produce exactly what the consumer wants.
Cannabis strain classification is far from complete. Currently, cannabis is classified as two types: sativa and indica (including a hybrid of both). While these classifications make buying cannabis a cinch, recent studies prove that cannabis classification has a long way to go.
Genes in each flavor profile interact with cannabinoids found in weed to produce specific effects in the user. Many scientists have referred to this synergy between weed compounds as “the entourage effect.” For this reason, many weed users find that consuming the entire plant has a far more beneficial effect than simply isolating THC, CBD, or any of the other weed compounds.
Weed production can benefit from these findings by giving growers more control over what type of strains they can produce. Genetic modifications also make it possible for growers to grow specific strains for specific diseases. For example, growers can focus on producing large amounts of the myrcene terpene, which contributes to the sedative effects, helpful in pain relief, nausea, appetite control, asthma, glaucoma, and more.
Besides having more control over weed’s therapeutic effects, growers can cater to those who view it as a luxury commodity, just like wine. Weed users are beginning to demand specific strains due to their particular preferences. Many find the art of weed growing quite impressive making this recent discovery quite exciting.