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The Terpenes

The other main compounds in cannabis are the terpenes. These are aromatic compounds which give cannabis varieties distinctive smells and tastes. Terpenes may have additive therapeutic action, meaning they may work together with cannabinoids to modify or enhance medicinal effects. To date more than 120 different terpenes have been identified in cannabis. Unlike cannabinoids, all major terpenes present in cannabis (e.g. myrcene, alpha—pinene, and beta-caryophyllene) can be found abundantly in nature. 

It is thought that the terpenes work together with cannabinoids to modify or enhance their effects. This is known as the ‘entourage effect’. 

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