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Formulas with a magic ingredient: terpenes

Updated: May 29

Cannabis extracts are notoriously difficult to manufacture, due to the volatility of cannabinoids and terpenes, which are easy to lose during isolation.

In order to retain the benefits of the whole plant in easy-to-access formats like edibles and tinctures, manufacturers turn to full- and broad- spectrum extraction methods which preserve phytochemicals by limiting the heat used in processing.

Sounds simple, right?

Not so much.

Heat is required for decarboxylation, which is the chemical reaction that separates the beneficial ingestible compounds from unusable plant matter in cannabis processing. Regular users can observe this reaction themselves if they smoke cannabis.

As the plant burns, sticky orange residue will collect under the flame and slowly feed it, until there’s nothing left but ash. In a lab setting, researchers would use various methods to preserve this residue as a crude oil, ready for infusion into other products.

Depending on how this oil is extracted, it will retain a varied terpene content, since these molecules burn off before cannabinoids. Unfortunately, full-spectrum extraction methods that preserve a rich terpene profile tend to be costly and inefficient.

Looking elsewhere for terpenes

The same terpenes found in cannabis can be sourced from a wide variety of plants. As the most common plant compound in nature, they’re commonly extracted for use in food, beverages, cosmetics and cleaning products.

Studies suggest that terpenes act on their own in the body to provide effects in traditional plant research. They may also interact with cannabinoids to supplement their effects.

Terpenes sourced from herbs, fruits and other aromatic plants can successfully be used to formulate cannabis products and reproduce their effects as they might be seen in a freshly farmed cultivar. By infusing formulas with terpenes, manufacturers can make products feel fresher and more potent.

Kinloch Wellness formulates its products with the highest quality terpene ingredients in proprietary blends, which undergo rigorous third-party and in-house testing to ensure their quality.

Just like craft breweries might fine-tune their hops, or chefs experimenting in molecular gastronomy might infuse flavour extracts in their dishes, Kinloch’s scientists use terpenes to create a full-bodied cannabis experience.


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