terp sauce
Cannabis 101

What Is Terp Sauce and How Is It Made?

When it comes to cannabis extracts, the game is constantly changing with new innovations being developed at a rapid pace. There’s been so much interest in cannabis that the title of hottest consumable changes all the time. You probably already know all about cannabis oils, distillates, waxes, shatters, and so forth, but have you ever heard of the extract called ‘terp sauce’? It’s an amazing consumable and one that has the potential to leave most others in the dust, so in case you haven’t heard about it, we’re going to provide you with all the information you need to get up-to-date and be in the know.

What is terp sauce?

Terp sauce, which is short for the scientific term High Terpene Full Spectrum Extract (HTFSE), is a cannabis extract that’s potent and bursting with aromatic terpenes. While there are many types of terp sauce extracts, the genuine article is ‘full spectrum’ meaning it contains the complete cannabinoid and terpene profile of the cannabis strain it was made from. Compared to other concentrates like shatter or wax, terp sauce often contains over 60% more tasty (and smelly) terpene molecules, as well as a THC percentage of around 40%.

As stated earlier, a properly made terp sauce is full spectrum and resembles household apple sauce with sugar granules floating in it. The sugar-like crystals are THCA and the syrupy sauce is full of terpenes. For proper results, terp sauce isn’t really for the DIY enthusiast, as it requires specialist equipment, a lab, and the know-how to properly process and purge the sauce for a pure and potent product.

A well-made terp sauce will have all the unwanted plant material, lipids and waxes filtered out, leaving a clean product that contains at least 13% terpenes and around 40% THC.

What’s so special about it?

To fully understand the benefits of terp sauce you’ll need a bit of back story, so here goes…

Terpenes are plant-based compounds found throughout the plant kingdom which play a large role in the aromatic properties of different species. For example, the terpene pinene is what gives a pine tree it’s amazingly fresh ‘pine’ scent. Another example is lemons, whose lemony scent is created by the terpene limonene.

In cannabis, individual strains offer varying smells, tastes and all-around different effects (or highs) when compared with one another. These distinct differences occur thanks to the unique terpene profiles contained within each strain, making terpenes part and parcel of what makes cannabis such a great plant. Strain breeders often focus quite heavily on creating terpene-rich strains that deliver certain terpenes (aroma, flavour, effect) in abundance.

On a side note, even within a single strain, phenotypes of the same cannabis plant can have their own unique terpene profile thus offering slightly different smells, tastes, and effects. This also means that each batch of the same strain might feature a slightly varied terpene profile depending on outside factors like how it was grown.

Terpene sauce is special because it focuses on the terpene profile of a strain, instead of just a THC percentage and gives enthusiasts the ability to augment, supplement, or boost the terpene concentration of any cannabis they consume.

Cannabis & the ‘Entourage Effect’ of terpenes

It’s been mentioned that the terpene profile of a strain augments the high you feel when you consume that strain. This augmentation is known as the ‘entourage effect’ and is best described as a synergy which occurs between the various chemicals contained within the cannabis plant. The entourage effect describes how terpenes work to link the chemicals of cannabis, sort of dictating the effects you’ll get from a strain. This includes not only the aroma and taste but also the potential medicinal benefits and psychoactive high you get from consuming a certain strain.

How is terp sauce made?

Terp sauce is made through a similar extraction process to the way other concentrates are made. Producers will typically use BHO, ethanol, CO2 and a handful of other solvents to ‘blast’ some high-quality cannabis flower to filter and extract the terpenes and cannabinoids from the plant material. This results in gold, watery liquid that is full of valuable terpenes and cannabinoids with most unwanted plant material filtered out.

This golden liquid then needs to be set aside in a cold, dark place for two to three weeks as producers wait for a separation phase to take place. During this phase, which is often referred to as ‘diamond mining’, cannabinoids contained in the liquid will begin to separate and form crystals (diamonds) at the bottom of the container while the terpenes form a semi-viscous layer on top.

Once the separation phase is complete, the terp sauce can be carefully poured off and purged. It is necessary to purge the sauce and cannabinoid crystals separately because the process takes different amounts of time.

After both are completely purged, the two substances can be recombined for a THCA rich terp sauce or kept separate to each become their own product.

Note:  Even though the terpene liquid is separated from the cannabinoids, the separation is not total, meaning that the terpene rich fluid portion will still have roughly a 30% – 50% cannabinoid content.

Will terp sauce get you high?

While terp sauce is created for the terpenes, it still usually contains THC in large quantitates. It all depends on how it was made, but the high from a terp sauce can feel even more powerful than that of other extracts. Some terpene sauces are heavy-hitters, especially when combined with dry flower cannabis or another extract (something cannabis enthusiasts regularly do).

Comparing terpene sauce to other forms of extract

As far as extracts go, not many offer the unique qualities of terp sauce. This is mainly because most other extracts, like wax or shatter, for example, are all about getting the most THC possible into a small amount of product.  Terp sauce, on the other hand, doesn’t rely on its THC percentage to make you say ‘wow, because its biggest draw is the high concentration of terpenes.

Instead of pure potency, terp sauce is about the full spectrum and full flavour. It’s also a product that plays well with others, like adding a few drops to a joint, a bowl or a dab of shatter for a special treat. Terp sauce can also be found in both THC and CBD varieties, which isn’t the case with many other forms of concentrates.

How to consume terp sauce

Like most other extracts, terp sauce can be consumed in a number of different ways. The most popular method is to dab it, but putting it in a vaporizer or adding some to a dry flower joint, bong or pipe is also possible.

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