How (and Why) Companies are Mixing Terpenes into Cannabis Distillates
As medical research continues to establish the benefits of natural medicine, terpenes have truly come into their own within the American mainstream. Multiple industry mainstays from aromatherapy studios to gourmet chefs now use terpenes as commonly as they do other plant extracts and byproducts.
Cannabis enthusiasts purchase terps and incorporate them into everything from homemade brownies to vape juice. But there’s one industry that’s had surprisingly less of a symbiotic relationship with terpenes than anyone might have expected; namely the cannabis industry.
This odd lack of synergy is set to change however, with the rising popularity of cannabis distillates. As distillates gain popularity within the cannabis industry as well as with consumers, the practice of adding terpenes to distillate is quickly becoming increasingly common among both product manufacturers and hobbyists.
What are Cannabis Distillates?
In a nutshell, distillates are cannabis extracts consisting of a single compound or cannabinoid, with all secondary plant matter and materials completely stripped out by one of a variety of systematic processes.
The two most prominently-produced distillates within the industry today are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) distillates, the former being the cannabis plant’s primary compound and the latter being its most abundant cannabinoid.
Distillates are significantly more potent than garden-variety cannabis oil and have mostly been used on their own as a base ingredient for things like edibles and vape cartridges. They’re also commonly used as a means of cannabis infusion into other goods or products.
However, the industry is now experimenting with incorporating specific terpenes back into distillates at lower percentages — or in precise terpene-to-distillate ratios — to create superior products with substantial increases in potency and health-positive benefits.
How DIYers Are Adding Terpenes to Distillates
While product manufacturers within the cannabis industry have much more sophisticated equipment at their disposal, it’s quite possible to incorporate terpenes into distillate with everyday items. All that’s needed is a dab tool (more commonly known as a “dabber”), a wide beaker and a magnetic hot plate equipped with a stirrer.
Natural as well as synthetic terpenes are available for sale both at brick-and-mortar dispensaries and online. After purchase of the desired terpene(s) and distillate, the process of making a passable infusion is fairly straightforward.
First, it’s worth noting that the terpenes to distillate ratio will significantly affect not only flavor and aroma, but viscosity as well. A lower percentage is usually recommended; typically between three to fifteen percent.
Once the desired amount of distillate is in the beaker, it is heated to approximately 110°F. The terpenes are then thoroughly mixed in with the dab tool for a period of two to three minutes. Once the mixture is sufficiently uniform, the magnetic stirrer is used to continue mixing for at least another three minutes — after which the final, infused distillate can be bottled or loaded in vape cartridges. The stirrer is usually allowed to continue during the bottling process, as it ensures even distribution of components and temperature throughout.
The Positive Effects of Adding Terpenes to Distillates
Unsurprisingly, there’s more to terpene infusion than simply getting distillates to taste fruity. After breaking down and isolating various compounds that make up cannabis oil, the isolated components can then be reformulated into fully customized blends available nowhere else on the market. The three most notable benefits to adding terpenes to distillates are, in no particular order:
Full Control Over Flavor & Aroma It’s worth noting that distillates retain no flavors or aromas whatsoever from the cannabis plant. By using terpenes such as Limonene (Citrus), Pinene (Pine) or Linalool (Floral), product manufacturers and hobbyists alike are able to fully tailor the scent and flavor profiles of their desired final distillate.
The Entourage Effect The Entourage Effect is a proposed mechanism by which cannabinoids and terpenoids work in tandem to essentially enhance each other’s effects via their modulatory interaction with the endocannabinoid system. By integrating terpenes in say, CBD distillates, product manufacturers and DIYers, can significantly increase their distillate’s medicinal and therapeutic potential.
Because of the added benefits and impressive versatility that comes with terpene infusion, it’s quite likely that terpene-infused distillates will become much more prevalent in the future, particularly in terms of consumer demand.
As distillates gain popularity within the cannabis industry as well as with consumers, the practice of adding terpenes to distillate is quickly becoming increasingly common among both product manufacturers and hobbyists.
How To Add Terpenes To Your Cannabis Products
Posted by Slippery Buddha Inc on August 5, 2019
DId you know terpenes can be added to all sorts of things (not just for cannabis) to enhance the profile, change it almost completely. We use it in:
- Bud (flower)
- Vape juice and more
Not all terpenes are created equal which is one of the reasons we have tight quality control and rigorous testing.
If you are new to terpenes, new to cannabis or just curious we want you to feel comfortable with what you are doing. It’s fairly simple once you understand whats up!
Terpenes are HIGHLY concentrated plant compounds (think essential oils, but way more potent!) so a little goes a LONG way. Let that last statement sink in. a LITTLE is all you need, add to much and it will ruin the whole experience (and your beverage or your bud)
Adding terpenes to your dried bud can be great for enhancing what it is already doing, or if it’s dried out cause it sat in the cupboard too long, or is too skunky and stale. Have a “strain” that lacks flavour or aroma, add some terps!
It’s a super simple process, add about .2mm to your pipe bowl (just lightly coat the bowl) or 1-2 drops per gram of cannabis. It may not seem like a lot but trust us, it is. You can also add a small amount to your grinder, grind the bud and them smoke/vape). You can also lightly oil your grinder then grind the flower.
Using concentrate? Just add 1-5% of the total weight (we suggest starting around 2% and see how you do) When using concentrates we grab one that is supposed to taste just like the strain or profile it was named after, unfortunately many are disappointed by the lack of aroma or taste, this is because during the refining process a lot of the terpes are stripped. This is where terpene isolates or profiles come in handy. You can match the terpene profile to the strain (like Jack Herer or Granddaddy Purple) you add back in what was stripped including the aroma and taste (oh and boost the medicinal benefits to!)
Adding to your oil? I like to stick to the 2% rule when adding to my oils. If oral you just calculate the amount by percentage (or .2 mm per gram of concentrate oil). For example if you have a 60 ml bottle of CBD or a 1:1 CBD: THC tincture (full spectrum for best effect always peeps) and you want to promote specific actions like sleep, you would add 2% (1.2 ml) – now that is going to be a lot (about 24 drops) so I tell people to start with 12 and increase if needed. 12 is for sure going to enhance what you want if you pick the right profile such as Granddaddy Purple for the sleep component. Start low out the gate, even if you are an avid and experienced cannabis user. this shit is potent AF. Be sure to use the dropper provided to get a accurate drop.
Adding terps to distillate is super important especially since terpenes are usually boiled off. Place distillate in a jar (use glass), add the terpene profile you prefer (1-2 drops per gram of distillate oil) and mix in thoroughly. Leave in the glass jar, sealed overnight so the terpenes infuse properly.
Adding terpenes to shatter is a little more complicated. You need to know the total weight of the shatter in order to add the properl 1-2 % terpenes. This is about .02 grams of terp per gram of shatter. If you are new to shatter this might be a little bit tricky because it needs to be done BEFORE the shatter full dries. You could also use the dropper to add a drop or slightly less to the piece of shatter before you vape but that is also going to be tricky to ensure you don’t add too much.
We have a breakdown of each terpene isolate within our profiles for those who are looking at specific effects this will help you (or ask us we are happy to help).
Want to vape terpenes solo? You can do that too! Just remember they are light and volatile so a low temperature is best. You want to add the terpenes to a base, ask us for ones we recommend that are free of PG, PEG, VG and even MCT. We do offer ones that are fruit derived and won’t harm you when vaped, they also won’t affect the taste or aroma of the profile you have chosen and NO high.
Myrcene: Has a sweet subtle aroma, This ones great to help THC cross the blood brain barrier (which you are not going to want for teens). It’s one of our top picks for pain management and stress.
Pinene: (alpha and beta) both give a pine, woodsy scent. It can be overpowering for some. This one is great for focus and mental clarity without risk of causing anxiety.
Limonene: Just like the name suggests, you are going to be hit with a citrusy smell. We like to add this one to help enhance other profiles, it does a lot but be careful if you have chronic anxiety, it can be a bit of a trigger for some. It wont have that effect if used orally (in a beverage) but when smoked it can due to mixing with THC.
Linalool: Think lavender and sleep. Want help sleeping this is the one, it’s great for stress and anxiety too.
Beta – Caryophyllene: This peppery terp goes both ways, it can be invigorating but also relaxing. Some like to add this one when they are looking to calm down the stronger effects of some cannabis strains. This terp is the exception to a few rules. It plays well with ALL other terpenes, and is the only terpene shown to directly activate CB2 receptors in the brain. It acts almost like cannabis in this regard, even though it isn’t.
OK so are terpenes cannabis or not? They aren’t, they are terpenes. They can be derived from plants, whether it is cannabis or other( ours are plant derived terpenes). What they can do is control the uptake of cannabinoids and increase the therapeutic actions.
DId you know terpenes can be added to all sorts of things (not just for cannabis) to enhance the profile, change it almost completely. We use it in: Bud (flower) Distillate Shatter Oils Drinks Vape juice and more Not all terpenes are created equal which is one of the reasons we have tight quality control and rigorous t