A new study has found that terpenes, the compounds long thought to be responsible for the unique aromas of different cannabis strains, may not be as important as previously thought. Instead, the study found that a new class of compounds called volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) may play a more significant role in determining a strain’s aroma.
The study, published in the journal ACS Omega, analyzed the volatile chemical profiles of 31 ice hash rosin extracts and found that “a myriad of non-terpenoid compounds that strongly influence the unique aromatic properties of cannabis” were present. In particular, the researchers identified a new class of VSCs called tropicannasulfurs that are major contributors to certain varieties with a strong citrus or tropical fruit aroma. They also found that skatole, a highly pungent compound, is a key aroma compound in savory/chemical varieties.
The findings of this study could have important implications for the cannabis industry, as terpenes have become an increasingly common way to differentiate between cannabis strains. The study’s authors suggest that the discovery of new categories of aroma-influencing compounds provides a new opportunity to classify varietals using key desirable aroma attributes. This could help breeders, growers, and processors to create more consistent and desirable products.
The study’s findings may also have implications for therapeutic marijuana, as cannabis is used medically for many health ailments. The authors suggest that by understanding how different compounds contribute to cannabis’s aroma, researchers may be able to create new varieties with specific chemistries that enhance the plant’s therapeutic potential.
Overall, this study is a significant step forward in our understanding of the chemistry of cannabis aroma. It challenges the conventional wisdom that terpenes are the sole determinants of a strain’s aroma and suggests that other compounds, such as VSCs, may play a more important role. The findings of this study could have a major impact on the cannabis industry and help to create better products for consumers and patients alike.