An oft-asked question: what is the terpene profile of variety x? This is shorthand for a larger question that science is currently trying to answer, which is: what compounds are responsible for detectable aroma in cannabis? First, our varieties using ERB as the pollen donor (our “classic” lines) are all myrcene dominant, but bring additional important compounds to the table (farnesene, limonene, beta-caryophyllene, humulene) as secondary and tertiary terpene contributors. This is made possible due to our hybridization program; we are combining plants containing myrcene (i.e. ERB) genes with plants containing a myriad of other terpene genes to create the possibility of variety-specific combinations. This has been tested and validated using whole genome sequence data on parental lines and their progeny. It is really important to note the findings of Booth et al. (2017): many terpene genes have the ability to produce multiple compounds, the admixture of which is influenced by major and micronutrient availability to the plant itself. In other words, we know there are specific gene combinations present in our varieties, but the environment provided by each farmer will shape the final flavor profile (terroir effect).
That’s just the tip of the iceberg though.
While terpenes are certainly important and becoming widely recognized by consumers, Rice and Koziel (2015) found that aldehydes play an equal or stronger role in the aromatic presentation of cannabis. They determined that the aldehydes listed below* can be present in concentrations large enough to rival or exceed the olfactory impact of terpenes.
Science is changing what we know about cannabis every day. Current cannabis laboratory testing is not able to measure key compounds if flavor profiling is your goal. Genetics are important, but environment shapes the final product in key ways. We have learned enough over the years to say that our general flavor descriptions in the catalog are the best approximation to technically detailing the aromas for each of our varieties that have the potential to emerge in your field.
Acetic acid, also known as ethanoic acid, is an organic chemical compound best recognized for giving vinegar its sour taste and pungent smell. Pure water-free acetic acid (glacial acetic acid) is a colorless hygroscopic liquid and freezes below 16.7°C (62°F) to a colourless crystalline solid.
Acetamide based derivatives are potential anti-microbial, antifungal agents, used as disinfectants. Cigarette smoking triggers acetamide release. It is a minor byproduct of paracetamol degradation. Acetamide is carcinogenic in rats. Taste very bitter; volatilises on exposure to air and sunlight.
Benzaldehyde (C6H5CHO) is an organic compound consisting of a benzene ring with a formyl substituent. It is the simplest aromatic aldehyde and one of the most industrially useful. It is a colorless liquid with a characteristic almond-like odor.
Heptanal or heptanaldehyde is an alkyl aldehyde. It is a colourless liquid with a strong fruity odor, which is used as precursor to components in perfumes and lubricants.
Pepper, mushroom, rubber.
It is encountered in natural plant fragrances, and the odor has been reported as “heavy, earthy, and slightly floral” for the R enantiomer and “a light, sweet floral fragrance” for the S enantiomer.
Decanal is a saturated fatty aldehyde formally arising from reduction of the carboxy group of capric acid (decanoic acid). It has a role as an antifungal agent, a fragrance and a plant metabolite. It is a saturated fatty aldehyde, a n-alkanal and a medium-chain fatty aldehyde. Waxy, fatty, citrus and orange peel with a slight green melon nuance.
Hexanal, also called hexanaldehyde or caproaldehyde, is an alkyl aldehyde used in the flavor industry to produce fruity flavors. Its scent resembles freshly cut grass, like cis-3-hexenal. It is potentially useful as a natural extract that prevents fruit spoilage.
Has a floral odor. Used as a riot control agent. The main uses for 2-chloroacetophenone are in tear gas and in chemical Mace. It is a potent eye, throat, and skin irritant.
Octanal is the organic compound, an aldehyde, with the chemical formula CH3(CH2)6CHO. A colorless fragrant liquid with a fruit-like odor, it occurs naturally in citrus oils. It is used commercially as a component in perfumes and in flavor production for the food industry.
Pentanal is the organic compound is an alkyl aldehyde, molecular formula C5H10O. It is used in flavorings, resin chemistry, and rubber accelerators. Its smell is described as fermented, bready, fruity, nutty, berry.
Methyl anthranilateMain ingredient for some bird repellants. Methyl anthranilate, also known as MA, methyl 2-aminobenzoate, or carbomethoxyaniline, is an ester of anthranilic acid. Its chemical formula is C8H9NO2. It has a fruity grape smell, and one of its key uses is as a flavoring agent.
Example of terpenes in mothers, but not accounting for other key olfactory components, genetic recombination, or the impact of environment.