“Hashinene”, the terpene that makes hashish unique
In 2014, a study entitled “Multidimensional analysis of the volatile constituents of cannabis”Demonstrated that Cannabis sativa L resin contains a rare and unusual monoterpene called Hashinene. While this study unfortunately has nothing to do with travel to other dimensions, it does present some very interesting results for anyone who makes hashish by dry sieving, see other forms. of hashish varieties, and maybe even concentrated.
What sets hashish apart from weed isn't just the way it crumbles in the hand or the feel it makes. There is actually a specific chemical compound that is much more common in hashish than in cannabis flower and researchers believe it is formed by the unique process of hashish making.
Identification of 5,5-dimethyl-1-vinylbicyclo hexane as a volatile marker for hashish
In the study, the researchers analyzed numerous samples of hashish, in total 15 grams which they obtained from the French police (probably of Moroccan origin). Analysis was performed using various solid phase microextraction (HS-SPME) and gas chromatography (GC-MS, GC × GC-MS) techniques. Samples of cannabis herb and hash have shown marked differences in their volatile chemical profiles, resulting primarily from photo-oxidation processes occurring during the transformation of fresh cannabis herb into hashish. More unexpectedly, this study demonstrated that hashish samples contain remarkable amounts of a rare and unusual monoterpene called: 5,5-dimethyl-1-vinyl bicyclo hexane. The researchers were rather surprised to find it in such great abundance among the constituents since the natural presence of this compound has only been reported once in the past as a minor constituent of Mentha cardiaca essential oil or oil. of Scottish spearmint. Due to its great abundance in hashish and its relative scarcity elsewhere, the researchers proposed to rename it Haschischene.
You might be wondering now how exactly this new terpene is formed?
Before we go any further, let's talk about how researchers define hashish. For this study, hash was a concentrated form of medium-hard, greenish brown paste that softens in heat. This means that these researchers looked at hashes that were not decarboxylated by something other than body heat, unlike rosin. Nor were they interested in chemically extracted hash products, such as CO2 oils, BHO or the iso hash.
The formation of this compound occurs from the light-induced rearrangement of β-myrcene.
Hashishene is a somewhat degraded form of myrcene
In other words, hashischene is a somewhat degraded form of myrcene; that is why it has the same molecular weight and the same formula as myrcene, although its chemical structure is radically different. Researchers suspect that because “hashish is made through a long process involving repetitive sieving and drying steps of the resin-rich female buds of cannabis plants,” there are many possibilities for exposure to sunlight during these drying steps which could therefore be reasonably considered to be responsible for the photolytic formation of hashischene from myrcene.
But for whom, and who is it for
The use of hashishen as a means of detecting hashish samples has obvious value to law enforcement and other government and research groups. As a result, researchers have already submitted the use of 5,5-dimethyl-1-vinylbicyclo [2.1.1] hexane as a volatile marker for hashish to the European Union for the patent protection. But since hashishen has already been found in at least one other plant, Scottish Spearmint, it is possible that using this method could result in false positives. Since hashishene is a mutated form of myrcene, and myrcene exists widely in nature, in fruits like mangoes and herbs like hops, then theoretically hashishene should exist in other concentrated forms of plants, like strongly hopped beer or potentially in essential oils used in aromatherapy. The study of other concentrates, such as beers strongly hopped, could give rise to interesting additional research. Little is known about hashishen, especially its medical properties, which will also require further study to find out more.
Transformations during the production of hashish
Most of the major terpenes found in fresh cannabis herb undergo various transformations during hash manufacturing, including isomerization, dehydration, cyclization, and more specifically photo-oxidation.
In other words, the hours and days after the end of drying in the sun and in the open air, on the roofs and in the backyards of the Rif mountains in Morocco, the Bekaa valley in Lebanon and beyond, play a role in the alteration of the composition of certain molecules of hashish.
Terpenes are the molecules that give cannabis strains their distinct smell and flavor, as well as many of their effects. And while most consumers just look at the cannabinoid profile, specifically the percentage or the ratio of THC and / or CBD, terpenes can play a major role in the taste, smell and feel of a specific strain.
Take for example limonene, which, as the name suggests, is known for its citrus aroma, as well as its energizing, antidepressant and anxiolytic effects, among others. Or pinene, which has a woody pine aroma, and can be energizing and anti-inflammatory.
Terpenes can also act synergistically with cannabinoids, influencing and enhancing their effects, which is part of what is called "theentourage effect".