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Understanding Cannabis Testing: A Guide to Cannabinoids and Terpenes



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Understanding Cannabis Testing: A Guide to Cannabinoids and Terpenes





As the medical and recreational cannabis markets continue their steady climb toward legitimacy, the demand for lab-tested products
climbs alongside it. Cannabis testing is the scientific process of measuring different chemicals and compounds in the product. They can measure beneficial constituents like cannabinoids
and terpenes
, or not-so-desirable contaminants such as pesticides, mold, and residual solvents.

Research is now showing that strains exhibit different compound profiles, unique “fingerprints” built by a specific composition of cannabinoids and terpenes. Below, get to know some of the compounds measured in cannabis testing, and learn more about why testing is important in this guide
.

Cannabinoids

RELATED STORY
List of Major Cannabinoids in Cannabis and Their Effects

THC (∆9-Tetrahydrocannabinol)

  • Strongly psychoactive (induces a euphoric high)
  • Most cannabis strains are bred to contain a high THC content while other cannabinoids occur only in trace amounts
  • Demonstrates promise in treating pain
    , nausea
    , sleep
    and stress disorders
    , and appetite loss
  • Can cause anxiety and paranoia in some individuals
  • Boiling point: 315 °F (157 °C)

THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin)

  • Strongly psychoactive (induces a euphoric high)
  • More strongly psychoactive than THC, but duration of effects is about half as long
  • Typically occurs in only trace amounts in cannabis
  • Pronounced energetic
    effects
  • Found to effectively counter anxiety
    , stress
    , and panic disorders without suppressing emotion
  • Reduces tremors associated with Alzheimer’s
    , Parkinson’s
    , and other neurological disorders
  • Diminishes appetite
  • Stimulates bone growth

CBD (Cannabidiol)

CBDV (Cannabidivarin)

  • Non-psychoactive (does not induce a euphoric high)
  • Demonstrates promise in treating seizures

CBG (Cannabigerol)

  • Non-psychoactive (does not induce a euphoric high)
  • Typically occurs in only trace amounts in cannabis
  • Found to stimulate brain cell and bone growth
  • Demonstrates promise as an anti-bacterial and anti-insomnia
    medicine

CBC (Cannabichromene)

  • Non-psychoactive (does not induce a euphoric high)
  • Typically occurs in only trace amounts in cannabis
  • Found to be about 10 times more effective than CBD in treating anxiety
    and stress
  • Anti-inflammatory
    and anti-viral properties
  • Stimulates bone growth
  • Boiling point: 428 °F (220 °C)

CBN (Cannabinol)

  • Mildly to non-intoxicating (does not induce a euphoric high)
  • Typically occurs in only trace amounts in cannabis
  • Occurs as a result of THC degradation
  • Most sedating
    of all the cannabinoids
  • Demonstrates promise in treating insomnia
    , glaucoma
    , and pain
  • Boiling point: 365 °F (185 °C)

Terpenes

RELATED STORY
What Are Cannabis Terpenes and What Do They Do?

Linalool

Caryophyllene

  • Rich, spicy
    aroma
  • Also found in Thai basil, cloves, and black pepper
  • Anti-septic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory
    properties
  • Boiling point: 320 °F (160 °C)

Myrcene

  • Also found in mango
    , hops, bay leaves, lemongrass, and eucalyptus
  • Sedating
    , relaxing
    effects
  • Demonstrates promise in treating spasms
    , inflammation
    , pain
    , and insomnia
  • Reduces resistance across the blood-brain barrier which facilitates access of other chemicals
  • Enhances psychoactive effects of other compounds such as THC
  • Boiling point: 334 °F (168 °C)

Limonene

Pinene

Humulene

  • Aroma similar to hops
  • Also found in hops and coriander
  • Anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory
    properties
  • Diminishes appetite
  • Boiling point: 388 °F (198 °C)

Terpinolene

Phytol

  • Unlike most terpenes, Phytol’s aroma is very subtle
  • Also found in aged green tea
  • A result of chlorophyll breakdown
  • Sleep aid
  • Boiling point: 400 °F (204 °C)

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