Vaping Terpenes: Future of Pot or Silly Gimmick?

We've seen vaporizers rise in popularity over the past few years as an option for cannabis consumption, including devices that can vape marijuana flower and hash oil with relative ease. Now you can add another compound of the marijuana plant to the list, and you've probably been smoking it without even realizing.

Terpenes — organic compounds found in the marijuana plant that give strains their distinct aromatic and flavor profiles — are now being isolated and concentrated into oils for individual vaping by new-age pot users. And those in the know are saying that it provides much more than a smell-and-taste experience. 

Although the evidence is still mostly anecdotal, some in the cannabis and science communities believe that terpenes affect the way your brain receives cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. For example, vaping the terpene pinene — found in earthy strains like OG Kush as well as in pine needles and conifer trees — is thought to bring focus. And vaping linalool — found in floral strains like Lavender Kush and mints, cinnamon and rosewood — will bring relaxation.

Dave Georgies, COO of terpene vaping company LucidMood, compares the experience to personalizing your car's entertainment system.

"You've got your radio station and your volume control. Now you can change your radio station," he says. "Terpenes carry a synergetic relationship with cannabinoids. It's all about finding the right blend."

And how do you that? According to Georgies and LucidMood, you start by vaping a mild blend of THC and CBD oil, waiting a few minutes, and then vaping an isolated terpene to jump-start your desired mood. Looking for a body buzz before you go for a run? Go with myrcene. Need some extra motivation to finish a stack of homework? Try limonene for added ambition.

LucidMood recently held a terpene tasting party to showcase its new mode of cannabis consumption, requiring attendees to vape three to six milligrams of THC and then their choice of terpene. No alcohol was allowed on the premise, but an hour or so into the party, the mood was much more that of a wine mixer than a stoner sesh. There were no subdued, individual conversations or quiet closed-mouths watching the TV, but rathr lively, group-filled discussions marked by laughter and little inhibition.

"To date, we've had no incidents of anxiety, social withdrawal or anything like that," Georgies says.

Although the studies on how terpenes affect the brain are still very early and leave more to be desired, LucidMood is already a believer, expecting to roll out to recreational dispensaries by the spring. While it might be too early to proclaim terpene vaping as the dawn of the new age of cannabis consumption, it's certainly something to monitor as legalization continues to advance the ways that we ingest cannabinoids.

Keep reading for more marijuana events:

Mile High Lifestyle, a cannabis marketing firm with a sweet headquarters, is hosting its bi-weekly industry night on Monday, February 15, from 8 to 11 p.m. Held in a deluxe downtown home at 1520 Wazee Street, the pot-friendly mixer is free to attend for anyone with a valid marijuana industry badge. 21+  

iBake Denver, one the metro area's toughest and longest-standing marijuana consumption clubs, is celebrating its third anniversary in typical hotbox fashion, with dabs, flower, edibles and music. The iBake Denver Three-Year Birthday Party will be held on Monday, February 15, at 4:20 p.m. and is for iBake members only — but anyone over the age of 21 is eligible to sign up.

Clover Leaf University is offering its Responsible Vendor Certification course on Tuesday, February 16, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the CLU Campus. The $199 class teaches current and prospective cannabis vendors practical knowledge about the Marijuana Enforcement Division's rules and regulations and the reasoning behind them. The class will be divided into four separate modules: Legislative History, Colorado Medical Marijuana Code, Colorado Retail Marijuana Code and Review Discussion Exam.

CLU is also teaching its Cannabis Cultivation 101 course on Tuesday, February 16, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the CLU Campus. For $199, students will learn essential entry-level information to begin a path toward cannabis cultivation expertise. The course covers pest control, growing mediums, watering, lighting, ventilation, plant cycles and equipment for both indoor and outdoor growing, and soil and hydroponic growing.

On Wednesday, February 17, Green Labs will host Bend and Blaze – a free, 21+ vinyasa yoga class with optional cannabis consumption – from 6 to 7:15 p.m. Participants must register on the Bend and Blaze eventbrite page.

Join Frank Conrad, lab director of Colorado Green Lab marijuana testing facility, for a free talk about cannabis-related science on Thursday, February 18, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Fort Greene. Topics include the ramifications and effects of off-label pesticide use in cannabis, plus the variability and problems related to lab testing. There will be $2 beers and $6 cocktails until 6:30 p.m., and $2 PBRs until 8 p.m.

Christian/marijuana support group Stoners 4 Jesus — a church group whose members embrace the spiritual connection that cannabis brings them — holds weekly Bible-study meetings from 6 to 8 p.m. every Thursday at Quince Essential Coffee House.

Smoking pot while watching standup is disallowed in virtually every comedy club in Denver, but Green Labs and its Laughs-n-Loud cannabis comedy shows are bucking the trend every Thursday night at 7 p.m. A seven-week series that features four new comedians every week and several pot companies on display, Laughs-n-Loud is for adults 21-and-older and allows cannabis consumption (bring your own). Tickets are $22.09.

Rolling Papers — a documentary about Colorado's legal marijuana scene through the eyes of Denver Post marijuana editor Ricardo Baca — will debut on Friday, February 19, at the Boulder Theater at 7:30 p.m. Baca will be on hand to answer questions after the movie. Tickets are $10.

Veterans support group Grow for Vets is holding a cannabis giveaway for veterans on Saturday, February 20, at 10:30 a.m. at the Clover Leaf University Campus. The giveaway is free to attend for Grow for Vets members, who typically receive a few grams of flower, edibles and smoking accessories. For Grow for Vets members who are agoraphobic (fear of outside places, crowds, situations) or who need other special considerations, please e-mail [email protected] Member enrollment at the event will be available.

Know of an event that should be in the Cannabis Calendar? Send it to [email protected]
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Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He's currently the cannabis editor for
Contact: Thomas Mitchell