How terpenes can help marijuana companies expand product lines, revenue opportunities

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Image of extracted terpenes

(This is an abridged version of a story that appears in the August issue of Marijuana Business Magazine.)

Cannabis companies that want to go beyond THC and CBD content can focus on a part of the plant that consumers are increasingly spending money on – terpenes.

These plant-based chemicals are the molecules in marijuana that give marijuana  its smell, taste and, some argue, added effects beyond just getting users high.

For example, if you’ve ever smelled or tasted pine, lemon or pepper in your cannabis, you’ve experienced some of the many different terpenes known to exist in marijuana.

Cannabis companies are becoming more aware of the revenue potential offered by terpenes.

Vape cartridge companies, in particular, are incorporating the cannabis compound into their products to add flavor and natural aromas. Makers of concentrates and edibles are adding terpenes, too.

Consumers also are becoming more savvy about the effects terpenes can deliver, ranging from a heady, inspirational pick-me-up to a calm, focused, relaxed state.

In fact, a growing number of cannabis connoisseurs are asking about terpenes at retail stores, causing concentrate manufacturers to offer products that include a full range of terpenes similar to those you would get from raw plant material or flower.

“There’s always going to be a consumer coming in looking for the highest potency, and we’ll have a product for them,” said Chris McElvany, co-founder of Denver-based Organa Brands, an extraction and manufacturing company that produces vaporizers.

“But I want to have a product that appeals to the headier, discerning consumer.”

Concentrates customers, for example, are increasingly asking for strain-specific terp sauce to add to their dab rigs. And at $40-$50 per gram, the potential income for producers and retailers is substantial, given that consumers will pay more to get the added effects of terpenes.

In short, there’s a lot more going on in that terp sauce than the cannabinoids can provide on their own, and knowledgeable customers are seeking it out.

With that in mind, Marijuana Business Magazine reached out to experts for tips and advice on how to employ and develop terpenes – and potentially help cannabis business owners bolster their bottom lines.

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