With cannabis content on the rise since its legalization in many states, you have probably come across “terpenes” along your internet travels. Terpenes are fragrant oils that provide cannabis its scent, and like all things cannabis, there is a wide variety of uses. Uses in cooking have become immensely popular for its wide variety of flavors and aromas, ranging from fruity to floral. Terpenes also play a significant role in medicinal cannabis’s therapeutic benefits. Does this imply that terpenes provide not only great taste, but also adds therapeutic perks in food? The answer is “yes” and “yes”.
Terpenes and Food
Terpenes have a variety of effects and tastes in food, depending on the type you choose. The fruiter flavors are known to improve energy while the earth flavors soothe and help you relax. The most critical factors in cooking with terpenes are dosage and portion control. It can be the difference between enjoying yourself and having a psychoactive experience. For example, if you are baking 200mg brownies and only want a 10mg experience, you only want to eat 1/20th of one brownie. If you are not sure what a 10mg experience is like, you may want to start with 5mg and work your way up.
Brownies are a classic food that you can use terpenes in, but how are terpenes being used in the broader scope of food? D-Limonene is one of the more common terpenes in cooking. It has a lemony tang and provides anti-depression and anti-anxiety benefits. D-Limonene is perfect for foods such as lemon pound cake and buttercream frosting.
Pinene is another fantastic option to include in your recipes for its distinctive piney aroma and flavor. It goes well with savory dishes like vegetable soup or anything with potatoes and is known to provide benefits to alertness and memory. The key to creating the perfect tasting dish with terpenes is to take a good whiff and consider the recipe you want to make. What you smell will give you a good idea of the taste you are going to get.
As with anything in life, there are some things you will want to take necessary precautions towards. For instance, when it comes to terpenes and food, you will want to avoid cooking your terpene dishes at too high of a temperature, which can destroy terpene content. It is best to cook at a slow roast to preserve flavor, aroma, and medicinal properties. Keep in mind that there are numerous terpene types, and each one has a different vaporization temperature, which should be considered before you begin whipping up your dish.
As you can see, terpenes are becoming more popular as a food ingredient to make both tasty and nutrients that have a therapeutic twist. Even though there is currently not enough research conducted to confirm the entourage effect (the proposition that terpenes and cannabinoids produce therapeutic traits), cannabis connoisseurship is starting to become more enlightening. As research continues to rise, it will be interesting to see how terpenes can influence health while offering prospective tastes and smells to our palates.