New Cannabis Compound: Unveiling the Hidden Aromas

30 Nov 2023
New Cannabis Compound
The distinctive smell of cannabis is unmistakable. For years, it was believed that terpenes, naturally occurring chemical compounds in the plant, were solely responsible for the aroma. However, recent research has shed light on a new class of compounds that challenge this conventional wisdom. These “previously undiscovered cannabis compounds” play a significant role in giving each cannabis variety its unique olfactory profile.

Unraveling the Myth of Terpenes


Terpenes, which make up a small percentage of the total mass of cured cannabis flower, do contribute to the smell; however, their importance appears to have been overstated. While they provide minimal information regarding the unique aromatic attributes of many cannabis varieties, other compounds called flavorants are the real driving force behind the distinct aromas.

The Role of Flavorants

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Flavorants, a class of volatile compounds that includes esters, alcohols, and other chemicals. These have been identified as major contributors to the diverse aromas found in cannabis. Unlike terpenes, flavorants can create similar aromas between marijuana varieties that have different dominant terpenes. This discovery challenges the long-held belief that terpenes are the primary determinants of aroma.

Exploring the New Cannabis Compounds

A team of scientists from leading marijuana extraction and testing companies conducted an in-depth analysis to identify these previously unknown compounds. By studying 31 cannabis extracts using advanced techniques such as gas chromatography, mass spectrometry. As well as, flame ionization detection, they uncovered a myriad of nonterpenoid compounds that significantly influence the unique aromatic properties of cannabis.

Tropical Volatile Sulfur Compounds (VSCs)

Among the newly discovered compounds, a class of tropical volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) stood out. These compounds contribute to the strong citrus or tropical fruit aromas found in certain cannabis varieties. One particular compound, 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol (321MBT), was identified as a key aroma compound in strains with a citrus or tropical fruit aroma.


Skatole: The Key Aroma Compound

Another compound that plays a crucial role in determining the aroma of certain cannabis varieties is skatole, also known as 3-methylindole. Skatole is responsible for the savory or chemical aroma found in some strains. Interestingly, skatole is not unique to cannabis; it can also be found in human feces and other sources.

Implications and Opportunities

The discovery of these new compounds has opened up exciting opportunities in the cannabis industry. By understanding the chemical composition beyond terpenes, breeders can selectively cultivate cannabis strains with specific desirable aromas. This knowledge may pave the way for strains with less of the traditional skunky smell, appealing to a broader consumer base.

Classifying Varieties Based on Aroma Attributes

The identification of these compounds provides a new opportunity to classify cannabis varieties based on their key desirable aroma attributes. However, this classification system goes beyond the traditional indica/sativa binary and offers a more accurate and comprehensive understanding of cannabis varieties. Researchers, brands, cultivators, labs, regulators, and consumers can benefit from this catalog of compounds and their contributions to the scent of cannabis.

Innovation in Therapeutic Marijuana and Beyond

Furthermore, these findings hold promise for enhancing the therapeutic potential of cannabis. Thus, growers and breeders may harness the unique chemistries of different varieties to create new strains with specific therapeutic properties. This research opens new avenues of exploration for scientists, helping them better understand this remarkable plant and its potential in the medical field.

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Unleashing the Potential of Cannabis

The discovery of these previously unknown compounds has ignited a renewed passion and curiosity for what lies ahead in the world of cannabis. With each revelation, we move closer to fully unlocking the vast potential and mysteries of this remarkable plant. Finally, as research progresses and more discoveries come, our understanding of cannabis will continue to deepen. Thus, benefiting patients, consumers, researchers, and the industry as a whole.

Note: The information provided is based on recent research conducted by leading scientists in the field. While further studies are needed to fully explore the implications of these findings. They offer exciting insights into the complex world of cannabis aromas.

Additional Information:

  • The research was conducted by a team of scientists from terpene distributor Abstrax Tech. An extraction company 710 Labs, analytical companies SepSolve Analytical and Markes International.

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