At Tilray, our goal is to provide the best information possible to allow both health care practitioners and patients to make informed decisions about their course of care. While most attention in the world of medical cannabis has been directed at cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, there are other compounds contained within the cannabis plant which may be of value, such as terpenes.
Terpenes are a group of essential oils found in Cannabis sativa and many other plants. They are generally responsible for providing many of the distinguishing characteristics of different cannabis strains. Almost every type of plant contains them in its different parts such as its leaves, flowers, and fruits.
There is a significant amount of preliminary scientific evidence demonstrating that many of the terpenes found in cannabis exert a biological effect. Several of these, such as β-caryophyllene, β-myrcene, and limonene have been shown to have antioxidant properties. Others, including α-pinene, β-myrcene, and β-caryophyllene, act on inflammation pathways.
There are thousands of terpenes found in nature, and over 100 that are found in Cannabis sativa. While their relative concentration varies depending on the strain of cannabis, the most abundant terpenes overall include limonene, β-myrcene, α-pinene, β-caryophyllene, linanool, humulene, nerolidol, terpinolene, and ocimene. In addition, trace amounts of dozens of other terpenes can also be found in most cannabis strains.
At Tilray, we’ve built an in-house analytical laboratory and staffed it with trained professionals, including PhD scientists. We have completed testing of our strains to determine the exact concentration of terpenes in each strain and where possible will be providing this data on our website along with new strains releases moving forward.
Additionally, we’ve created an easy-to-understand graphic that displays terpene levels relative to other strains.
As our scientific understanding about the interaction of terpenes increases, this additional information on the strains we offer will potentially allow for more educated and effective medical use of cannabis.