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Analysis of Aromas

Scents of Serenity

In the present era, our lifestyles face many serious problems, which relate to study, work, finances, family, and so on. As a result, many people tend to seek something that helps them to obtain better physical and mental health. Nowadays, aroma products have become increasingly popular items that help to alleviate those problems, such as perfumes, aftershaves, colognes, shampoos, conditioners, soaps, body lotions, and deodorants. Aroma is produced from substances that are called “volatile compounds” such as terpene, aldehydes, ketones, esters, lactones, coumarins, ethers, and oxides, which those compounds lead to individual odor features.  Aromas can elicit quick emotional changes in humans. The volatile molecules bind to the olfactory receptors in the cilia cells, transmitting electrochemical messages through the olfactory tract. And olfactory bulbs send the signal to the brain’s olfactory regions, which stimulates autonomic function and a strong emotional response regarding the received aroma stimuli. Therefore, the study of the influence of aroma on human emotions is still a fascinating challenge.

Natural aroma compounds were extracted from plants that are believed to possess mood-enhancing properties since various aromas can influence a person's overall mood. Among aroma compounds, terpenes are one of the most significant natural aroma substances, consisting of hydrocarbons with small isoprene units that link to one another to form chains. Four types of terpenes are commonly found, including monoterpenes (10C) of two isoprene units. The second one is sesquiterpene (15C), which is composed of three isoprenes. Next, diterpenes (20C) are compounds that consist of four isoprenes, while triterpenes (30C) are composed of six isoprene units.

Recently, cannabis or marijuana is one of the plants popularly used as ingredients in several foods, beverages, fibers, and pharmaceutics. More than 100 terpenes can be identified, which mostly accumulate in the glandular trichomes abundant on the surface of the female inflorescences. Depending on the variable compositions of the terpenes, different cannabis attributes distinctive aromas, leading to different human emotion responses when they inhale the aroma from different cannabis samples. Hence, the characterization of marker aroma compounds in each cannabis sample should be our primary focus.

Nowadays, we are studying natural terpenes as well as other volatile compounds extracted from various cannabis samples, which leads to the creation of a comprehensive database. This database will be used to further study the influence of cannabis aromas on human emotions such as relaxation, stress relief, energy boosts, and so on. Ultimately, our goals are to develop commercial cannabis products that can respond to consumer preferences and medical fields with legality and safety. We aspire to offer alternative natural products that provide valuable benefits for people.

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