Ever wonder what gives cannabis its distinctive scent and flavor.
Terpenoids and Flavonoids are two chemicals that act in tandem to deliver the aroma and taste of your favorite buds. Terpenes are like the distinctive fingerprint of cannabis that gives it its unique smell. Many cannabis labs analyze terpenes to identify the strain because of its unique terpene profile, which helps dispensaries separate “Trainwreck” from “OG Kush.” An interesting article by Martin A. Lee from High Times called “Talking Terpenes” posits that roughly 200 terpenes have been discovered in cannabis, but only a few appear to be noteworthy in terms of odor. This is probably why most strains exude a skunky, spicy, or piny smell. In contrast, only 23 flavonoids have been found in cannabis, which are chemicals that help give the flower its color and flavor. Certain flavonoids help mitigate the unwanted effects of THC and also help with inflammation, which has recently been discussed over the topic of cannabis relieving symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Terpenoids and flavonoids are oily and sticky, and depend on moisture to help carry its aroma. If the flower dries and experiences a total water loss, the aroma and taste will inevitably diminish. If you want to keep the terpenoids and flavonoids in tact, you will need to maintain the appropriate relative humidity so the flower can maintain its moisture and keep its taste. For proper cannabis storage, it is recommended that the environment stay between 50% and 65% RH to keep the terpenoids and flavonoids nice and sticky.
Written by Zane Witzel