Even if you haven’t dabbled with terpenes before, chances are you’ve encountered them one way or another. If you’ve walked a pathway littered with pine trees, you’ve had a close encounter with pinene.
Or, if you’ve made lemonade, you’ve inhaled limonene. That distinct smell of fresh mangoes is simply myrcene in action. And that’s just three of the many terpenes found in nature.
Because of their flavor and aroma, terpenes are often mixed with food and drinks to enhance their flavor, aroma, and health benefits. They’re also added to flower extracts and other psychoactive compounds to boost their therapeutic effects.
In this article, we will discuss how to use terpenes to enhance the flavors and effects of other compounds such as flower concentrates.
6 Tips for Using Terpenes to Boost Flavors and Effects
You can elevate your experience with the following tips and tricks on how to consume terpenes properly:
1. Properly dilute terpenes before using them
Proper terpene dilution spares you of potential health issues that might result from undiluted terpenes. These include skin allergies, shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches, heart palpitations, and seizures, among others.
The dilution process requires the use of terpene oil or carrier oil. For the former to effectively work, be sure to shop for terpenes that yield the type of effect you want. For instance, if you’re looking for something to help with relaxation, you can’t go wrong with myrcene or caryophyllene. Meanwhile, for an energy boost, limonene or linalool would be better options.
As for carrier oils, you want something that will dissolve your terpenes quickly and evenly. Top choices include coconut oil, hemp oil, and jojoba oil.
Remember that the dilution ratio spells the difference here. As much as possible, stick to less than 5% terpene concentration. That means 1.5 ml terpene oil for a 30 ml bottle.
2. Keep the temperature low when cooking with terpenes
When cooking with terpenes, it’s recommended to keep the temperature at low levels. The last thing you want to happen is to overheat your terpenes or destroy their flavor and aroma. Some of the go-to terpenes for culinary applications include pinene, limonene, terpinolene, and caryophyllene.
Remember that even when diluted, terpenes can still be potent. As such, a little goes a long way when it comes to using these compounds. You wouldn’t want to overpower the taste of everything else.
3. When using a vaporizer, start at the lowest temperature
Low-temperature heating activates the terpenes in the concentrate, so it’s recommended to start at the lowest temperature when using a vaporizer. Some units allow for temperature adjustments for better heat control.
A range between 360-380°F is commonly used. However, you should opt for a lower temperature to avoid being overwhelmed by the product’s potency, especially if you’re a beginner. Then, you can work your way up as you become familiar with your terpene tolerance levels.
Temperatures below 350°F are suitable for inexperienced users since they produce a mild and clear effect. Meanwhile, temperatures above 400°F deliver a heavier effect, which is ideal for long-time users.
4. Know the terpene’s evaporation point before using it
Terpenes vary in terms of evaporation point. For instance, pinene goes off at 311°F while myrcene evaporates at 330°F. Meanwhile, limonene and linalool vaporize at 348°F and 388°F, respectively.
Terpenes that evaporate at a lower heat tend to produce a clarifying “kick.” Those that vaporize within the 330°F – 370°F range render a giggly effect. Meanwhile, those that go off at 370°F to 430°F produce a euphoric effect.
5. When adding terpenes to your bud, a drop or two is all you need
If you’re considering adding terpenes to your flower, the general rule is to start small. A drop or two is all you need. Since terpenes are highly potent, even a small amount can already enhance the bud’s therapeutic effects.
6. When combining terpenes with shatter, do so before the shatter fully dries
When infusing terpenes with shatter, it’s ideal to do so before the shatter solidifies. Just be sure to weigh the shatter beforehand to properly dose the terpenes.
You can either drop some terpene directly into the shatter or dip your dab into the terpene. Stick to the “drop or two per gram of product” ratio. After adding terpene to the shatter, mix it up before using a stirring tool to evenly distribute the terpene oil.
Using Terpenes Safely
Terpenes are safe if used the right way. Whether you prefer to add these compounds to your recipes and drinks or mix them with concentrates, it’s important to know how to do so properly to ensure your safety.