Cannabis has a rich, distinctive odor that’s hard to forget. While plenty of cannabis consumers, especially recreational users, enjoy the skunk-like odor, many users do not. It can be extremely pungent, sticks to clothing and can be hard to get rid of. This makes it difficult to consume either recreational or medical cannabis flower in densely populated communities such as high-rise apartments without affecting others. Now, a new study carried out by a team of California scientists has uncovered the chemical compounds responsible for marijuana’s characteristic aroma.
Previous studies on marijuana’s odor looked mostly at terpenes, which are aromatic compounds produced by most plants that yield a wide range of aromas. Cannabis produces more than 150 terpenes, so it’s only natural that these aromatic compounds create their unique, unforgettable odor. However, scientists from Abstrax Tech, a California-based cannabis research company, have found that in marijuana’s case, terpenes are not responsible for its aroma. Rather, the distinctive smell is caused by a newly discovered family of compounds called prenylated volatile sulfur compounds (“VSCs”).
Coincidentally, skunks also rely on several VSCs to create their acrid spray. This led the scientists to question whether these particles played a role in marijuana’s aroma. To test their hypothesis, they used a custom 2D gas chromatography system equipped with three types of smell detectors to analyze flower from three different cannabis varieties. After the analysis, a four-people panel categorized how pungent each marijuana variety was on a scale of 0 to 10. They found that the Bacio Gelato strain boasted the highest VSCs concentration and had seven different types of prenylated VSCs.
Some of the VSCs found in Bacio Gelato were also present in other cannabis strains. Generally, the team concluded that five types of VSCs were associated with sulfuric or skunk-like aromas. The most common VSC in the most pungent cannabis strains was 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol (“VSC3”). This is the compound associated with the smell and flavor of beer that goes bad after being exposed to UV lights, also referred to as “skunked” beer. VSC3 is also present in the cannabis concentrates that are used with vaping products.
Prenylated volatile sulfur compounds are at their strongest and most concentrated toward the end of the flowering stage. Prenylated VSCs achieve peak potency during the curing process when cultivators put marijuana buds in airtight containers to conserve flavor and aroma. According to the researchers, VSCs can provide cardioprotective and anti-cancer benefits.
Now you know that the skunky aroma is one way to ascertain the quality of cannabis flower, whether you are buying from established entities such as Red White & Bloom Brands Inc. (CSE: RWB) (OTCQX: RWBYF) or from any other supplier in your area.
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CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
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