With the recent ban of flavored vape cartridges in Washington State, Local’s would like to give you the facts on the differences between cannabis-derived terpenes and artificial terpenes.
Ever wondered how the flavor gets into your favorite vape cartridge? The answer is terpenes! Some cartridges contain cannabis-derived terpenes and others contain artificial terpenes. So what’s the difference?
Let’s start with the basics.
Terpenes are the oils that produce the individual smell, taste, and color of cannabis plants. Over 100 different terpenes have been identified in cannabis leading to the development of terpene profiles. These profiles interact with cannabinoids to play a role in determining the effects that you will experience when consuming certain strains of cannabis.
Growers and producer/processors (P/P) will use a combination of terpenes to help meet the final goal of the product. If a topical is being made, the P/P may focus on the effects and smell of the terpenes over the flavor. For vape cartridges, terpene combinations that produce a good flavor and effect are preferred.
When creating a distillate for vape cartridges, the cannabis is isolated to its purest form without any solvents, additives, or terpenes. Because of this, P/P’s have the choice to use natural, plant-derived terpenes or artificial terpenes.
Artificial terpenes are synthetic terpenes that are meant to simulate the same flavors and aromas as cannabis-derived terpenes. Think about eating an actual lemon versus lemon flavoring. They are produced in a lab by chemical manipulation and blending instead of extracted directly from a plant. There is still a lot of research needed on the effects of replicating terpenes in a lab, which leads some to believe that synthetic terpenes may not be safe. In addition, there are thoughts that the consumer won’t receive the full entourage effect that they would get from consuming natural terpenes with cannabinoids.
Natural terpenes, on the other hand, are extracted directly from a plant. In fact, since all plants have terpenes, they can be extracted from any plant. For example, Myrcene is the primary terpene found in cannabis plants and is also found in mangoes.
So why would anyone even use artificial terpenes?
With the rise in vape pens in both the tobacco and cannabis industry has also come the rise in fun flavored cartridges. Say you want a blueberry flavored vape cartridge. The processor could extract the flavor from blueberries, but it would take a lot of blueberries, the flavor wouldn’t be as intense, and it would be more expensive. Because of this, most producers just use synthetic terpenes.
At Local’s, we care about the health and wellness of all our customers. Currently, we are only selling vape cartridges with natural, cannabis-derived terpenes. However, in the event the ban on flavored cartridges is lifted, we want our customers to be able to make informed decisions on cannabis products, just like they do with food every day.
Written by: Paxton McKinney | Marketing Manager | Local’s Canna House
Lemon by Vladimir Belochkin from the Noun Project
Hops by Christoffer Skogsmo from the Noun Project
Lavender by Cono Studio Milano from the Noun Project
Pine by Georgiana Ionescu from the Noun Project