Cannabis enthusiasts are known for a surprising level of innovation. There’s always a new way to consume marijuana, and many are aimed at increasing the intensity of the effects you get. As concentrates are becoming more and more popular among cannabis connoisseurs, we now have more types of extract than ever before.
One of the hottest new extraction waves is based around terpenes: compounds in cannabis that are easily vaporized and highly aromatic. If you haven’t heard of concentrated terpenes, the products “terp jelly” and “terp sauce” probably sound a little weird to you. But mention these to a dedicated dabber, and their ears will surely perk up. What’s the deal with these concentrated terpene products, and are they worth the hype? Let’s take a closer look.
Why Focus on Terpenes?
Terpenes are compounds found in oily plant resins. It’s not just weed, either; terps pop up in surprising places, like limonene in lemon rinds. Different terpenoid profiles are what give different cannabis strains their unique aromas and flavors, and they enhance the effects of THC as well. Terpenes work together with multiple cannabinoids to help produce desired results.
Terpene-rich products are more flavorful and provide a more rounded experience as they interact with the cannabinoids in any given product. The problem is, terps begin to degrade the second that flower is harvested, and they continue to dwindle through the curing process. Terp jelly and sauce are extracts that preserve significantly more potency.
Live Resin & High Terpene Extracts
Terp sauce is a term often misapplied to any extract that has fairly concentrated terpenes.
Most of the concentrated terpene products labeled “terp sauce” and “terp jelly” is something else entirely: a derivative of live resin. Live resin is nearly identical to BHO in its extraction method, but the difference is the use of fresh, flash-frozen flower rather than dried and cured bud. This stuff usually resembles crystalline clusters cloaked in a syrupy substance. While it generally does contain a higher proportion of concentrated terpenes, some manufacturers may falsely call their products a full spectrum extract. They are definitely not the same! Any “sauce” made with fresh frozen flower is a High Terpene Extract (HTE). Live resin sauce and other HTEs usually have a high concentration of one terpene, rather than a full array of terpenoids.
Full Spectrum Extracts
The term “full spectrum extract” was coined by Dr. Daniel Hayden, who created the process. This is the most authentic version of terp sauce, made using the traditional dried and cured buds. The goal of full spectrum extraction is to get a fully representative slice of everything available in a trichome, including concentrated terpenes.
These concentrated terpene extracts come in two varieties: one that has a high cannabinoid content, and another that focuses on high terpene content. Luckily, there’s a 50/50 option available for those who want the best of both worlds.
The Future of Concentrated Terpenes
While the origins of terp sauce lie with Dr. Hayden’s company, Extractioneering, it seems the future is much more ambiguous. With so many producers calling their products terp sauce, it seems the definition may become more broad. Expect to see much more of this trend in the near future!