Terpenes could be the next big marijuana industry

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The “essential oils of cannabis” are driving the natural health and wellness business

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) turned the key and cannabidiol (CBD) opened the door. Now, terpenes may step in as one of the largest segments of the marijuana industry.

Terpenes are known as the “essential oils of cannabis.” They are compounds found in a variety of plants, but the concentration in cannabis is extremely high. So far, over 100 different terpenes have been identified in cannabis. As marijuana awareness increases, terpenes are becoming a major component of the natural health and wellness market, allowing consumers to have a natural alternative to laboratory chemicals to take care of their bodies.

There are now greenhouses being cultivated that are specifically designed to enhance the terpene levels in cannabis. The goal is to create specific flavors and aromas that will be more appealing to consumers. In a number of areas across North America, terpenes that are not derived from cannabis are already available and are found in flavors such as cucumber, grape, mimosa and biscotti.

This increased attention to terpenes is also resulting in the creation of another new market – the pairing of cannabis with food and wine. There are already a couple of meal delivery services that include marijuana on their menus, so it isn’t a stretch to see additional cannabis products added to the list.

The world is still only barely tapping into what is possible with cannabis. The sky’s the limit and virtually anything is possible. The global marijuana market could reach as much as $55 billion in the U.S. in the next couple of years and adding a new terpene market could greatly increase the revenue potential.