The cannabis plant consists of a wide variety of chemicals and compounds. About 140 of these belong to a large class of aromatic organic hydrocarbons known as terpenes.

Terpenes are synthesized in cannabis in secretory cells inside glandular trichomes, and production is increased with light exposure. These terpenes are mostly found in high concentrations in unfertilized female cannabis flowers prior to senescence (the condition or process of deterioration with age). The essential oil is extracted from the plant material by steam distillation or vaporization.

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