Have you ever noticed how different the flavor often is with Delta-8 vape juice compared to traditional nicotine e-liquids? Although nicotine vape juice is available in cigarette-like tobacco and menthol flavors, people mostly buy nicotine e-liquid in sweeter flavors like fruit, candy and dessert. Although Delta-8 flavors are sometimes similar, there’s also an entirely different category of Delta-8 vaping products with flavors that taste much more like real cannabis.
Those very weed-like flavors come from terpenes, which have created a real revolution in the world of Delta-8 vaping products. If you haven’t experienced the latest generation of Delta-8 e-liquid yet, you certainly will soon because terpenes are becoming more and more popular as flavoring agents. Here’s what they’re all about.
What Are Terpenes?
Terpenes contain the elements carbon and hydrogen, making them hydrocarbons. They’re usually plant based and are particularly abundant in conifers such as pine trees. In fact, the name “terpene” itself is derived from turpentine, a terpene-derived solvent distilled from pine.
Terpenes are responsible for some of the world’s most distinctive scents and flavors, and scientists have identified tens of thousands of individual terpenes so far. When you taste the one-of-a-kind flavor of a citrus fruit or a ripe berry – or you catch someone’s perfume wafting across the room – what you’re experiencing is largely attributable to terpenes.
Why Are Terpenes Added to Delta-8 Vape Juice?
Delta-8 distillate is the main active ingredient in any Delta-8 vape juice, but you’re not likely to have a good vaping experience if you just vape hemp distillate on its own. Plain distillate doesn’t taste very good, and it’s also too thick to work reliably in most small vape cartridges and tanks. So, to create a Delta-8 e-liquid that tastes good and works well with a wide variety of hardware, it’s necessary to dilute the distillate.
To dilute hemp distillate for vape juice, you need a solvent that actually works for e-liquid. Vegetable glycerin – one of the most common e-liquid ingredients – doesn’t work because hemp distillate doesn’t dissolve into it. Propylene glycol works, though, and there are many Delta-8 e-liquids using PG as a base.
PG-based Delta-8 e-liquids, however, have two problems. The first problem is that they’re very thin, so they don’t work well with the ceramic vape coils commonly used for cannabis-based vaping products. The second issue with PG is that it dilutes the strength of the distillate, making it necessary to use more e-liquid to achieve the desired effect.
Terpenes, on the other hand, are perfect for loosening a hemp distillate just a little. Adding terpenes to hemp distillate makes it possible to create a Delta-8 vape juice that works well with almost all vaping equipment and is still quite potent. Terpenes also enhance the scent and flavor of Delta-8 vape juice, eliminating the need to further dilute the product with added flavors.
An additional benefit of adding terpenes to Delta-8 vape juice is that terpenes are also responsible for the characteristic scent and flavor of cannabis itself. Terpenes can make a Delta-8 e-liquid taste almost like real weed. For that matter, it’s possible to create a Delta-8 vape juice that tastes like a specific cannabis strain by adding the terpenes responsible for giving that strain its distinctive flavor profile – and that’s exactly what Delta-8 e-liquid makers are doing.
What Are Some Common Delta-8 Terpenes, and What Do They Taste Like?
So, what are some of the terpenes that you’re most likely to find in Delta-8 vape juice? We’ll list some of the most common Delta-8 terpenes and explain how they’ll affect the flavor of an e-liquid.
- Myrcene: This is one of the most abundant terpenes in most cannabis strains, and it tastes like a combination of fruit and spice. Its flavor notes resemble grape, musk and pepper. Mango contains a good amount of myrcene.
- Limonene: Limonene is the essence of citrus, and you smell it every time you peel an orange or lemon.
- Linalool: Linalool has a very floral scent and flavor. It’s abundant in lavender.
- Caryophyllene: A very peppery terpene, caryophyllene is found in oregano, rosemary and cloves. As you might expect, it’s particularly abundant in black pepper.
What Types of Delta-8 Vaping Products Use Terpenes?
Disposable vapes and pre-filled cartridges are the Delta-8 vaping products that most commonly use terpenes. Because vape juice consisting of just hemp distillate and terpenes is very thick, it’s difficult to get it into a small tank or cartridge. Companies use automatic filling machines to inject the e-liquid. The machines also seal the cartridges to make tampering impossible. The manufacturers of pre-filled Delta-8 cartridges and disposable vapes give those products ceramic coils, so they work perfectly with thick oils.
Bottled Delta-8 vape juice, on the other hand, is usually diluted with propylene glycol. That’s because people buying bottled e-liquid usually want a product that’s easy to use. A Delta-8 vape juice with terpenes is usually very thick, making it necessary to use a syringe for filling a cartridge.
Delta-8 e-liquid with PG, on the other hand, can be used straight from the bottle. Also, bottled Delta-8 vape juice with PG works well with a wide variety of tanks – even those that use cotton rather than ceramic wicks.
Do Terpenes Have Any Benefits?
The question of whether terpenes have any specific benefits hasn’t yet been definitively answered by researchers. There is some research, for instance, suggesting that certain terpenes may have relaxing and sedating effects. Linalool is one of those terpenes. It’s abundant in lavender, and the fact that many people find it relaxing is why it’s one of the most popular ingredients in aromatherapy.
It’s also why many people mist their linens with lavender or drink lavender tea in the evening. Some people report feeling energized when smelling certain terpenes, and other terpenes are being studied for potential anti-inflammatory effects.
Terpenes may also be beneficial because they enhance the entourage effect of cannabis-based products. Some people believe that cannabis is most beneficial when it’s consumed in its whole plant form, and they find that a more complete cannabis product has greater benefits than individual cannabinoids used in isolation.
Adding terpenes to Delta-8 vape juice means that the resulting product is less like an individual cannabinoid and more like the whole plant.