Pain management and anxiety relief aside, the aroma of marijuana can be grating to the discriminant user. However, research is currently underway, and progress has been made in altering the odour of marijuana to improve its palatability for those who appreciate the change.
Terpenes are compounds that occur naturally in marijuana, organic elements that influence the aroma and the taste of the plant. They can also influence the impact on the body when marijuana is used, according to researchers. Therefore, efforts to change the taste and smell starts with these elements of the plant.
The awareness of this element of the plant is increasing, and as it does users are more inclined to request details on the amount and type of terpenes in the marijuana prior to purchase. Producers recognize this change and are working to help inform the consumer so they can make better choices about the strain of marijuana they choose to use.
There are hundreds of possible terpenes that can be present in marijuana. Specific ones are seen more often, such as linalool, which calms the user, while limonene is citrusy and provides a boost of energy. Terpene levels tend to be below 2% in a cannabis flower and around 20% in cannabinoids.
Efforts have already been underway to adjust a plant’s terpene and THC levels, adjusting for competitions where quality is the focus or for those who are looking for a certain combination in the strain they use.
The studies are also focusing on how herbs can reproduce specific tastes, including such exclusive options as chicken and waffles or plum. In the future, marijuana may taste like chicken. However, it could also taste like a wide variety of foods, since efforts already include combining the terpenes of various botanicals to improve the flavour. So far, this method is mainly used for CBD oil to be used in vaping.
Some cancer patients feel that terpene levels and related THC concentration can lead to better quality or longer-lasting highs. However, scientists advise that seeking out these higher levels can expose the patient to unknown health risks. Until conclusive studies are completed, this method of marijuana use is generally against the advice of medical professionals.