Hello fellow Alaskans, it’s your local TerpNerd tuning in to this month’s edition of Alaska Cannabist magazine to talk about something that I feel is very relevant in the evolving process of our local industry. I feel we all must become more familiar and recognize the exact constituents of our beloved plants we are dealing with to be able to proceed with the growth of the 907 industry. There is one way to do this.

Come together and pool our wealth of knowledge.

Before we dive into this madness of confusion of whether it is a terpene or cannabinoid, let’s clarify one thing: the definition of what a cannabinoid actually is. What is a cannabinoid? This is the first question I personally like to ask all my clients before we continue on our path of better quality of living. The number one response to the question? “It’s something in cannabis.”

Well, they are not wrong. Most of the common knowledge accessed with such ease is congregated through an industry movement or cannabis enthusiast group that points to one thing: cannabinoids come from hemp or cannabis. With confidence I can tell you this. It’s not true. What if I were to tell you that the term “cannabinoid” has nothing to do with cannabis? In fact, the term is simply to imply any chemical compound that directly interacts with our CB1 and CB2 receptors (our endocannabinoid system, or ECS). There are multiple classes of cannabinoids, including endocannabinoids in mammals; phytocannabinoids in plants; and synthetic cannabinoids. Why do I bring this up? What other sources could there be?

Back to my point of this article, one very special source I feel needs to be addressed is a common botanical terpene we more than likely encounter on a daily basis. The terpene I feel is often overlooked, as it plays one of the biggest roles in pain relief to our anatomy that the terpene world has to offer. Beta-caryophyllene. Probably due to its intense black pepper/clove taste. Mmmmm, did someone say potato recipe? (I personally like to bond it in some avocado oil and use it when cooking roasted potatoes to give it the hint of that black pepper kick!)

Anyway, this particular botanical terpene is a very special one, simply because it is one of the first terpenes research has shown to directly activate CB1 and CB2 receptors that make up our endocannabinoid system, allowing the endogenous cannabinoids that we as mammals naturally produce to do their jobs more efficiently. In turn, that directly defines the first terpene to be declared as both an phytocannabinoid as well as a botanical terpene.

So that answers the question of whether it’s a terpene or a cannabinoid. It’s both. (My mind = blown*)

Make sure you check out next month’s issue of the Alaska Cannabist to find your local TerpNerd back at it.. We plan to cover some exact science on terp blending in the next issue. Remember, safety first. Always dilute when using terpenes. Until next month, best of vibes your way!

Anthony Dellapietro lives in Wasilla. He owns NuLyfe Labs LLC.

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