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How to Add Terpenes to Cannabis Products (Tools & Definitions)

Part 1

How to Add Terpenes to Your Cannabis Products

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With terpenes naturally occurring in the cannabis plant, you might be wondering: “what roles do terpenes really play?” Adding specific terpenes to your cannabis products is a great way to target specific characteristics felt in your “high.” Lock in; here’s our guide on how to add powerful, cannabis-extracted terpenes to your daily rotation.

But first, the basics.

What are terpenes?

Terpenes are naturally occurring aromatic compounds found in many plants, but they’re especially common in the cannabis plant. The compounds are responsible for many of the characteristics that make certain strains desirable, and they overall provide a significant boost to the flavor and benefits of cannabis consumption.

When sold by themselves, terpenes are like extremely concentrated essential oils. They’re extracted from plants much like essential oils, but they’re produced at much more concentrated levels. Learn more information about terpenes.

Which cannabis products can terpenes be added to?

Terpenes can be added to virtually any cannabis product. Try adding them to:

  • Dry Bud (Flower): Terpenes can enhance what the flower already does, or they can improve a subpar flower (e.g. a lackluster strain, an old, stale or dry bud).
  • Distillate: Terpenes concentrations can reinfuse many of the plant’s terpenes that get boiled off during the distillate process.
  • Shatter: Terpenes can enhance shatter if added properly (see below)
  • Oils: Terpenes may enhance the natural benefits of oils, and they can be especially effective at promoting sleep.
  • Drinks: Terpenes is easy to drinks and vape juice, as they dissipate throughout the liquid.
  • Concentrates: Terpenes can improve the flavor of concentrates that aren’t accurate to their supposed strain, especially if the terpenes are accurately matched to the strain.

There are still more cannabis products that terpenes help. In short, they can improve cannabis no matter how you prefer to consume it.

How to add terpenes to cannabis products?

Because terpenes are so concentrated, even a minuscule amount can have an oversized impact. It’s easy to add too much and ruin a product, but a judicial amount will have great benefits. In other words, error on the side of less rather than more whenever you add these.

As a general guideline, aim to add 2 percent of the cannabis’ weight in terpenes. If you have 1 gram of cannabis, 0.02 grams should be good. Some people prefer less (1 percent) and some like more (up to 5 percent), but 2 percent is a good place to start.

More specifically, here’s how to add terpenes to cannabis products:

  • Pipe Bowls: Lightly coat the bowl with 0.2 milliliters, and then add 1-2 drops per cannabis gram.
  • Grinder: Add 1-2 drops per cannabis gram, and grind with the flower for smoking or vaping.
  • Concentrate/Distillate: Add, and leave overnight so that the terpenes dissipates.
  • Shatter: Follow the 2 percent guideline, but base this off of the shatter’s pre-dried weight.

Add Terpenes to Your Cannabis

To begin adding terpenes to your cannabis products, find the ones that best suit your preferences. We have a selection of terpenes to choose from.

Part 2

Basic Tools & Definitions

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Cartridges


Cartridges are used to house terpene oils and other extracts for vaporization with a heating coil. Two primary types of cartridges exist: non-wicked and wicked. Non-wicked cartridges most often offer a ceramic coil, which means a coil is integrated into a ceramic piece inside the cartridge that generates heat. Wicked cartridges have a wick made of either synthetic or cotton materials; the wick absorbs the oil and carries it to the heating coil.

Keep in mind, the two different cartridge types can be more suitable for different types of oils. For example, thinner terpene formulations or extracts tend to work better with wicked cartridges. Back to menu.

Cartridge Filling Machine

Filling cartridges with terpene solutions by hand can be especially time-consuming. A cartridge-filling machine is a piece of equipment that automatically dispenses a pre-measured amount of fluid or oil into the cartridges you are filling.

You can find fully automatic cartridge-filling machines that only require you to place the cartridges and can sometimes fill 100 or more cartridges in a single cycle. However, some cartridge-fillers are semi-automated, which means you will have to manually insert each cartridge for filling. As an adage, some of these machines have extra features, such as warmers, to keep extracts warmer and more fluid in consistency. Back to menu.

Digital Scale

Digital scales have a platform for weighing items and offer weight measurement information on a digital display. Digital scales are available in a litany of sizes and from inexpensive to costly price ranges. If you are working with terpene extracts, you may have a need to measure minuscule amounts. Therefore, a digital scale that can offer as little as 1/100th of a gram is a must. Back to menu.

Hot Plate

A hot plate is a common instrument used in laboratory or manufacturing settings that can be adjusted to varying temperature settings to warm a vessel or hold the fluid in a vessel at a certain temperature. Hot plates can be especially useful when working with terpenes that are temperature-sensitive and tend to mix better when held at certain temperatures.

Hot plates are available in a number of sizes and can boast a number of different features, such as more expansive temperature range settings or an integrated magnetic mixer. Back to menu.

Pipette

A pipette is a small, tubular-shaped laboratory instrument that can be used to move, draw off, or measure a precise volume of fluid. Pipettes are sometimes also referred to as media dispensers, as the tubular instrument uses suction to draw material into the tube and a squeezable bulb to dispense the fluid inside.

These instruments come in a range of sizes and styles, including micro-pipettes that move fluids through air displacement via a piston inside. Disposable pipettes may be made of low-grade plastic, but you can find high-grade, reusable pipettes made of glass with a silicone suction bulb on one end. In addition, electronic pipettes are an option, which sometimes offer multiple channels that are useful for more repetitive media dispensation. For use with terpenes, higher-quality pipettes with larger openings are most feasible, as the openings can clog easily. Back to menu.

Magnetic Mixer

Magnetic mixers are available as standalone equipment but are most often a feature integrated into other devices, such as a hot plate. As the name implies, the magnetic mixer uses magnets that automatically spin and can cause a storing bar to turn along with the magnetic pull. This automated stirring action allows you to place a terpene solution in a beaker and have it continually stirred hands-free. Back to menu.

Mixing Containers

Combining terpenes to create your own unique formulations is fascinating, but you will need terpene-safe mixing containers for the process. Mixing containers made of glass are the most preferable, so you may choose laboratory beakers, glass jars, or even glass tubs generally used for cosmetics. Depending on how much terpene solution you intend to mix, you may need a mixing container from just a few grams to several hundred grams. Back to menu.

Mixing Tool

Mixing tools are terpene-safe instruments or stirrers used for combing terpenes with other carrier oils and extracts and stirring the ingredients together. Keep in mind not all material types are safe to use with terpenes as they can affect the quality of the terpene. We recommend stainless steel or glass mixing tools for this reason. Back to menu.

Rotor-Stator Homogenizer

A rotor-stator homogenizer is a type of immersion mixer. The mixer uses a powerful motor and sometimes shearing to achieve precise fluid homogenization. These mixers are commonly used in the manufacturing of large volumes of commercial products, as they can have substantial volume capacities. However, smaller rotor-stator homogenizer setups can have minimum volume capacities. Be sure to purchase the mixer that coincides with the specific needs of your operation. Back to menu.

Syringe

Syringes are tubular, pump-operated instruments that allow you either pull in or expel liquids. Syringes are commonly used to fill cartridges with terpene extracts manually if you do not have an automated cartridge filling machine.

Syringes can be made of either plastic or glass; plastic versions are usually disposable while glass syringes are much more reusable. When working with terpenes that can be more viscous at cooler temperatures, you will need a syringe with the proper gauge. For example, a 14 or 16 gauge will not clog easily if you are working with terpenes that thicken as they cool.

Since terpenes can be reactive when exposed to certain types of plastic, glass syringes tend to be the best selection if using a syringe to fill cartridges. Likewise, viscous oil that has been heated can retain its heat better in glass and can be heated through the glass to keep the extract thin and workable. Back to menu.

Terpene Dilution FAQs

What does it mean to dilute terpenes?

Diluting terpenes means you are decreasing the potency of the terpene by mixing it with another substance. Terpene isolates and blends are extremely concentrated and pose serious risk in their purest form. In order to lower the strength and decrease the dangers, terpenes can be diluted. Carrier oils, concentrates, and some alcoholic drinks are used to dilute terpenes.

What concentration of terpenes should I use?

When working with terpenes, experts suggest starting with less than a 1% concentration, then increasing the potency until you have your ideal product. No matter what product you’re producing, it’s never advised to use more than a 10% concentration.

What are carriers and diluents?

A diluent is something that’s added to a substance to reduce its concentration. Diluents are considered the smaller portion of a solution.

Alternatively, a carrier is known as the larger portion of a solution. A strong, concentrated substance can be mixed with a carrier to lower its potency. While carrier oils and diluents have different purposes, both of them work to dilute a substance.

Which carrier or diluent should I choose?

Choosing the right diluent or carrier depends on what product you’re creating. All diluents and carriers have different characteristics, so you’ll need to find options that work for your specific needs.

When adding terpenes into a carrier oil, the carrier should equate to 90% to 99% of the total mixture volume. When using a diluent, this should equal around 1-3% of the entire mixture.

Are terpenes a diluent?

Terpenes are a diluent when mixed with an extract or oil. To find your desired product, the diluent shouldn’t be over 10% of the solution. While terpene diluents help to lower potency, they also offer a pleasing aroma and flavor.

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