Cannabis companies hoping to capitalize on consumer interest in terpenes need to consider a host of factors – the product they want to offer, the type of terpenes they plan to use (cannabis versus botanical) and the effect the product will deliver to be consumers.
Consumers who want more flavor, aroma and plant-based effects are looking for vape cartridges and infused products with terpenes added back in.
Typical marijuana extraction processes are geared toward separating out common cannabinoids like THC and CBD from raw plant material.
But as the more discerning cannabis consumer knows, something is missing when you vape or eat marijuana that lacks terpenes. For craft beer geeks, it would be like quaffing an India Pale Ale without hops.
Vape or edibles companies aiming to capture that consumer looking for the whole-plant experience should seek out firms that extract cannabis terpenes. A more limited, but less expensive, option is a botanically derived version.
At True Terpenes in Portland, Oregon, co-founder Ben Cassiday said his business, which caters to marijuana companies, has started to take off as consumers become more aware of the plant-based chemicals.
“I used to have to convince people that terpenes existed,” he said. “Now I have to convince them we’re the best option.”
<strong>Botanical Versus Cannabis</strong>
True Terpenes offers both types of terpenes – botanical and cannabis-derived – for marijuana companies. The botanical terps are much cheaper to process and formulate, but they are limited in what they can achieve.
Cassiday’s company offers about 30-50 different botanically derived terpenes. By using scientific methods such as gas chromatography mass spectrometry, Cassiday and others can isolate the terpenes found in cannabis strains, then produce similar combinations from botanicals, including cloves, lavender and citrus fruits.