Got Terpenes? From Marijuana To Memory


Sharon Letts
Anyone who has ever used a vaporizer has tasted the sweet green of good bud

Cannabis, Terpenes, and the Limbic System
By Sharon Letts
The first green I smoked was probably rag weed – 70s shake rolled into a pinner, and handed to me in the bathroom of a 76 gas station in Redondo Beach. It was probably around 7:30 in the morning and I was 16 and on my way to high school.
I don’t make this stuff up.
More than 30 years have passed, but if someone hands me some cheap weed, with one whiff I can see my three friends jammed into that small space. I can smell the motor oil, see the smudges on the walls, and nearly hear the traffic outside.
I can also remember how uplifted I felt, opening that bathroom door and feeling the crisp, cool air on my face. The world was crisp and new through canna-eyes and it felt right. I didn’t know it at the time, but cannabis would become my medicine for life, hands down.

The limbic system within the brain

Misty Water Colored Memories

The memories of that small space and that early morning walk come rushing in courtesy of the Limbic System – the sentimental side of human physiology, connecting scent to memories.
The Limbic system is a complex structure within the brain supporting all the fun stuff, like emotion, behavior, motivation, and long-term memory. Our emotional life depends on this system, and when triggered by scent, can bring back a gamut of emotions and feelings.
Got Terpenes?

The main scent trigger for memory and emotions are Terpenes, a large and varied type of hydrocarbons – made up of hydrogen and carbon – found in fragrant plants – especially so in cannabis. 
Who isn’t drawn to that first whiff of good bud? Whether you cut, grind or break it up with your thumbnails, it begs a deep, meditative inhale of pure goodness.
Terpenes are the main component of plant resins or essential oils, and why we are compelled to bring fingers to nose – for the fragrant plants draw us to them, begging us to partake.

Sharon Letts

It’s a seduction to be sure, and one that humans have been graciously accepting since Eve handed Adam that apple.
Deck the Halls… with Kush

The holidays bring more smells to nose than a dog sniffing out a hydrant.
Who doesn’t swoon at the first scent of the evergreen tree – closing eyes and inhaling in the season is a given, while ghosts of holidays past dance in your head.
For the past five years I’ve lived in with an unscented man — unscented soaps, lotions, dryer sheets, you name it. Nothing breached the doorway with the slightest scent of nature — unless, of course, it was rolled and smoked.
The first time we attempted intimacy I was banished to the shower, rinsing off the lovely perfume applied to seduce, now only irritating my amour. 
The man is history now, so you can imagine how happy I was to open the latest product sent to me for review – a lovely bottle of Kush Perfume.
That’s right, Kush in a bottle. The name alone is apropos, as the alleged original strain hailed from a 500 mile long mountain range stretching between central Afghanistan and northern Pakistan, and Kush bud is a special time, to be sure.

Sharon Letts

The perfume was developed with the help of a world renowned perfumier, inspired by the complex aroma of the strain. It has been described by some to mimic the scent of the Pacific Northwest forest. 
To test this theory, I closed my eyes and inhaled. Sure enough, I could smell the sweetness of Humboldt’s own – sweet and woodsy with just a hint of, well, fragrant bud. 
A true perfume, it’s made with essential oils – and loaded with Terpenes.
Smoking = Sex
I grew up in a time when it was cool to smoke cigarettes – and legal to advertise. 


Smoking on camera was the given too. Role models in old movies were sexy – Lauren Bacall comes to mind with her sultry voice, seducing through a cloud of smoke.
That said, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that smoke is dirty. All one needs to do is look at the bong after a few hits. That resin is in your lungs.  I’ve coughed up brown chunkage for sure, so why do I still smoke? 
Answer: Lauren Bacall, for one. When I hold a joint and smoke, it’s that same image in my subconscious. I am cool, I am sexy. It’s pretty lame.
Got Vape?

Anyone who has ever used a vaporizer has tasted the sweet green of good bud. It’s the best way to taste the Terpenes, for sure.

Sharon Letts

Originally created by So Cal surfer dudes to get more bang for their buck, the Vapor Brothers vaporizer is also a clean green smoking machine – meaning it’s as healthy as it is economical.
Recently I had knee surgery and treated myself post-op with the green – salve, tincture, and, of course, I was smoking a great deal for many reasons.
 When I began to hack, I reached for the vaporizer and gave myself a break.
Tasty Terpenes

The flavor of the bud is an amazing thing, as it adds to our experience of good medicine. Whether medicating or relaxing recreationally, we live in a time when growers have it down to a science, coaxing the best possible bud and flavors for our smoking pleasure.
So, remember to inhale this holiday season, and often. Who knows, maybe Santa will drop off some Kush Perfume, or a Vapor Brothers vaporizer in your stocking. Sure beats coal.

Sharon Letts
Editor’s note: Sharon Letts began her love of gardening in Southern California by her mother’s side, watching as she buried fish heads at the base of roses.

At 24, Sharon hung her shingle, “Secret Garden,” planting flower beds for dainty ladies. Gardening led to producing and writing for television with “Secret Garden Productions.”

Today Sharon makes her home in Humboldt County, cannabis capitol of the world, where she continues to write about gardening and all that implies, advocating for the bud, and writing for many magazines, including Toke of the Town.

Her series, “Humboldt Stories,” is a fictional account, based on fact, of the Humboldt grow scene. Tag line: “It’s not Weeds, it’s real.”

She also pens “Road Trip: In Search of Good Medicine,” touring the Golden State, following the Green Rush.