Want To Experience The Best-Tasting Weed In The World?
Researchers have isolated the genes responsible for the various flavors of cannabis. The project has important implications for growers and breeders. In particular, it could allow them to grow the best-tasting weed of all time.
The Genetic Roots Of Weed’s Flavor
The research came from scientists at the University of British Columbia. By genome mapping cannabis plants, they discovered about 30 specific genes that produce certain flavors in mature cannabis plants. Those genes are located in a class of chemicals called terpenes.
Along with cannabinoids, terpenes are responsible for most of weed’s unique properties. Cannabinoids include things like THC, CBD, and more. In fact, cannabis plants produce more than 100 different cannabinoids.
And while cannabinoids are responsible for most of weed’s psychoactive and medical properties, the main job of terpenes is to produce the plant’s tastes and smells.
But they also play a part in getting you high. Terpenes help cannabinoids penetrate the blood-brain barrier. Now, thanks to this new research, scientists have a clearer picture of the genetic makeup of these terpenes.
What The Research Means
This research is great news for all weed enthusiasts. Most specifically, it will help breeders and growers.
Identifying the specific genes that give weed its flavor—whether it’s fruity and sweet or dry and skunky—will help breeders and growers produce the best-tasting weed with the precise flavor profiles they want to create. Simply put, it will help them produce the best-tasting weed ever.
“The goal is to develop well-defined and highly-reproducible cannabis varieties,” Bohlmann said. “This is similar to the wine industry, which depends on defined varieties such as chardonnay or merlot for high-value products.”
Figuring out which genes produce which flavors will let breeders and growers be incredibly precise. In particular, it enables them to highlight particular flavors and smells. In the future, this could allow them to create all sorts of new combos.
Simply put, the world of weed is about to get a whole lot tastier. Get ready for the best-tasting weed you’ve ever smoked.
The Most Common Terpenes
The ability to isolate specific genes is the real innovation of this project. But we’ve known about terpenes for a while.
In fact, weed isn’t the only plant that produces terpenes. A lot of other herbs also contain these chemicals.
If a plant or fruit has a strong odor or taste, it’s probably because of terpenes. Combining what we already know about terpenes with this newer research, here are some of the most important terpenes found in cannabis:
Myrcene produces an earthy scent with notes of citrus and tropical fruit. In addition, it also makes you feel relaxed and drowsy. Cannabis strains like Pure Kush, White Widow, and Skunk #1 have high levels of myrcene.
Linalool has a sweet floral smell. It acts as an antidepressant, a sedative, and a painkiller. This terpene is found in lavender. And because of its soft, sweet scent, it’s often used in cosmetics and floral fragrances. Linalool is a key ingredient in strains like G13 and LA Confidential.
Limonene is most commonly found in citrus plants. It can help treat certain types of cancer and promotes weight loss. Additionally, it’s often used in topical ointments. This is the terpene that gives strains like Tangerine Dream and Lemon OG they’re distinctive citrusy taste.
Caryophyllene is a spicy terpene. It’s found in peppers, cloves, basil, and other similar plants. Along with being spicy, it is known to increase heart rate. And that gives it some medical purposes. For example, this terpene can be used for pain relief. Similarly, it also has known anti-depressant and anti-anxiety properties. Strains like Hash Plant have high levels of caryophyllene.