What Is Terp Sauce And How To Make It At Home

Author
Author Sam North
04 April 2023
Are you a cannabis flavor fanatic? Then you need to get a taste of terp sauce. Find out how to make your own at home!
04 April 2023
37 min read
What Is Terp Sauce And How To Make It At Home

Contents:
Read more
  • 1. What are terpenes?
  • 2. The entourage effect explained
  • 3. The most commonly found terpenes in cannabis
  • 4. What is terp sauce?
  • 5. Does terp sauce get you high?
  • 6. How is terp sauce made?
  • 6. a. How to make your own terp sauce at home
  • 7. The best ways to consume terp sauce
  • 8. Terp sauce faqs
  • 9. Conclusion

In this brave new world of cannabis legality, new options for consumption are hitting the shelves at a rate of knots. Exponential growth in the field, coupled with the opportunity for researchers to finally dig into the plant, has led to a plethora of new products, many of which are surprisingly delicious - and topping the list of scrumptious offerings is terp sauce! The cannabis extract market has long been focused on producing the most cannabinoid-heavy substances, but with the introduction of terp sauce, we have seen a shift away from strict potency and instead towards flavor and aroma.

 

So-

  • What is terp sauce?
  • How is it produced?
  • What are the best ways to consume terp sauce?
  • Should it be mixed with other extracts?
  • And can you make it (safely) at home?

 

Let's dive right into it, get a little saucy, and find out the answers to those burning questions! But, before we get ahead of ourselves...

1. What Are Terpenes?

Let's quickly get back to the basics before we head off into the more complicated stuff. Now, there's a high likelihood that the majority of you, dear readers, are already up to speed on terpenes. But, for the uninitiated, let's break it down real quick. As we all know, cannabis flowers (buds) contain a huge range of different compounds. Research into the specific chemical makeup of these compounds is still ongoing, but at the time of writing this blog post, there have been over 100 different cannabinoids that have been isolated (including THC, CBD, CBN, and CBG) alongside 300 non-cannabinoid chemicals. Included in the non-cannabinoid category are our friends, the terpenes.

So, what are terpenes exactly?

Well, for starters, they are the aromatic compounds that provide cannabis (and all other plants) with its signature smell and flavor. Cannabis plants have been shown to contain a wide range of terpenes, with over 150 different terpenes having been identified throughout the weed world so far. Just like cannabinoids, they are mostly contained in the trichomes - those crystals that cover the buds and sugar leaves - although they do pop up in much smaller quantities on the outer layers of the stems and fan leaves.

 

What is terp sauce?

Terp sauce, just like any other extraction, is made from the chemical compounds found inside the trichomes.
 

Terpenes play a crucial role not only in the fragrance of the plant but also in its survival. Terps, through their distinct and often pungent aromas, modulate how attractive or unappealing the plant is to pests and predators, thus affecting how likely it is to survive in the wild. Certain terpenes, like linalool, help bring pollinating insects such as bees and butterflies to the flowers; as these insects collect nectar from one plant, they will unknowingly spread pollen from another. 

Other terps, including citronella and geraniol, have a strong repellant effect on pests and thus help to protect the plant from having to suffer through an infestation. But that's not all…

The number of terpenes present in a strain, and their ratio to one another, can affect not only the aroma and flavor of a certain strain but also the strain's effects on the user. Scientific research is currently backing up anecdotal evidence that suggests terpenes play a big role in determining the general effects of a certain strain, and they are being used more and more to categorize different cultivars and the effects they provide.

2. The Entourage Effect Explained

This synergistic dance that cannabinoids and terpenes share with one another is known as the entourage effect. Think of it like an orchestra. An orchestra is made up of many separate instruments, all played by fantastic musicians. Separately they can play parts of the piece of music, and do so magnificently. But when combined, the harmonies and overall sound become something much bigger and more powerful.

The same goes for cannabis - the combination of different compounds can be more impactful than an individual compound on its own. For example, studies have shown that while THC is a key factor in providing pain relief in patients, it actually works better when combined with other compounds like CBD and certain terpenes. The most recent research is backing this up, showing that the presence of certain terpenes can modulate the effects of THC (as well as CBD) in various ways, not just relieving pain. The actual psychoactive 'high' that we get when specific cannabinoids are consumed can depend on the terpene profile of the strain, with some terpenes being able to enhance the effects and others reducing them.

So, while CBD and THC may be the main stars when it comes to cannabis, terpenes should not be overlooked. The entourage effect has become a massive talking point in the cannabis community in the past 5 years, and for good reason. And as the research continues, and becomes more refined, our understanding of how each separate terpene affects us becomes clearer. The entourage effect is a complex affair, and no two people are affected the same - but one thing is certain: terpenes are here to stay, and they have a lot more to offer than just aroma.

3. The Most Commonly Found Terpenes in Cannabis

While there is a huge range of terps produced by cannabis, there are a few main suspects that dominate most varieties.

 

TERPENE AROMA ALSO FOUND IN STRAINS CONTAINING HIGH LEVELS OF THE TERPENE BENEFITS ASSOCIATED
Myrcene Pungent, earthy, musky, peppery Hops, mango, lemongrass, thyme, bay leaves Blue Dream, OG Kush, Cherry Pie Analgesic; antibiotic; anti-inflammatory
Limonene Citrus, fruity, fresh spice All citrus fruit, lavender, rose, basil Jack Herer, Sour Diesel, Super Lemon Haze Acid reflux treatment; improves mood; antioxidant
Linalool Flowers, lavender, fresh spice, citrus Juniper, cinnamon, mint, lavender Do-Si-Dos, Kosher Kush, Zkittlez Analgesic; sedative; anti-cancer; antibacterial and antifungal; anti-seizure
Caryophyllene Earthy, citrus, spicy, peppery, skunky, musky basil, oregano, rosemary, lavender, cinnamon Gelato, Skydawg, Skywalker, Chemdawg Pain management; anti-inflammatory 
Pinene Pine, herbal, earthy, and spicy Pine trees, cedar trees, dill, basil, and mint Pineapple Express, Blue Dream, Cannatonic Anti-inflammatory; antibacterial; improves memory; promotes focus 
Eucalyptol Eucalyptus, mint, and has a cooling effect Eucalyptus, tea trees, sweet basil, cardamon Girl Scout Cookies, Super Silver Haze Anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, pain relief
Humulene Herbal, earthy, spicy, woody Hops, sage, cloves, pepper White Widow Auto, GSC, Sour Diesel Anti-inflammatory; reduces appetite, pain relief, anti-bacterial
Terpinolene Lime, floral, herbal, woody Lilac, conifers, nutmeg, cumin Jack Herer, Pineapple Haze, Gorilla Cookies Sedative, anti-cancer, antioxidant, antibiotic

 

So, now that you have a better understanding of what terpenes are, and how they affect not only the plant itself but also us, let's get into the real question - What the hell is terp sauce, and why is it setting the cannabis extract world on fire?

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4. What is Terp Sauce?

As the name suggests, terp sauce is a syrup-like cannabis extract. A high terpene full spectrum extract (HTFS) to be exact. Cannabis extraction falls into two main categories -

 

  • Solventless extracts - These products are created without the use of any solvents (such as alcohol, butane, or CO2) such as hash or rosin.
  • Solvent extracts - Solvent extracts are cannabis concentrates that use a solvent to strip the trichomes from the plant matter. The most common solvents used for this purpose are butane and CO2, although ethanol and isopropyl alcohol are also commonly used, and the result is a range of cannabis concentrates - shatter, wax, crumble, budder, and so on.

 

Terp sauce is a new breed of solvent extract. Made from our old friend BHO (Butane Hash Oil), terp sauce is created by purging the extract at a much lower temperature than usual, and for a longer period of time. It can also be made a home by simply leaving the BHO concentration in a cool, dark area for a few weeks - at which point the BHO itself splits into terp sauce and THCA 'diamonds'.

The result is a highly concentrated product, high in terpenes (obviously), and with an extremely unique texture - syrupy and delicious in equal parts. This saucy concentrate is becoming increasingly popular among extractors and consumers alike.

 

What is terp sauce?

Terp sauce is made of THC diamonds and mixed with terpenes.
 

Terpenes are pretty volatile little molecules and have a relatively low boiling point. This means that some forms of cannabis extraction cause the terps to essentially boil off, leaving just the cannabinoids behind with a very low percentage of the aroma and flavor compounds. Terp sauce, however, is designed to be full of terps. It has an incredibly high terpene content -Up to 60 times more than even the most terpene-filled buds. Most flower options contain less than 3% total terpenes (usually closer to the 1% mark).

5. Does Terp Sauce Get You High?

Yes, and no… It really just depends on what you class as terp sauce. As we mentioned earlier, when making terp sauce, the BHO splits into two parts - the terp sauce itself,  and THCA diamonds. The terp sauce itself contains only a small amount of THC, usually less than 10%. So in this sense, it won't get you super high like other concentrates might.

However, if you manage to capture the THCA diamonds alongside the terp sauce, this will contain a much higher THC content and will definitely produce an extremely potent high. The terp sauce itself, however, is more about the flavor and aroma experience, so don't expect too much in terms of psychoactive effects.

When consumed for recreational purposes, terp sauce is usually mixed with either THCA diamonds or another form of concentrate. This way, you can get the full flavor and aroma experience of the terp sauce, as well as a much more powerful high. Medicinal users will often vape the terp sauce by itself so that they can take advantage of the medicinal benefits the terpenes provide.

6. How is Terp Sauce Made?

First up, let's look at how commercial extract producers make terp sauce, and then we will discuss how it can also be made at home. 

Commercial Terp Sauce Production

Similar to live resin (and often confused with it, although they are two totally separate products), terp sauce is made by first snap-freezing the cannabis material prior to extraction. This process locks in all of the essential oils that are made of terpenes, which allows the process to continue without jeopardizing the terpene profile.

 

What is terp sauce?

Other types of extractions produces with similar methods as terp sauce.
 

The extraction process is then carried out as normal, with butane or propane (or sometimes a mix of the two) being used to strip the plant of all of the trichomes. This is usually done in a closed-loop system, and once the initial extraction has taken place the product is then sent through a light, no-vac purge at relatively low temperatures. This allows for the residual butane to slowly dissipate, leaving a thicker, more caramel-like concentrate behind. This is then transferred to air-tight jars, and allowed to sit and cure in a cool, dark area for around 3 weeks.  During this time, the concentrate will thicken further and separate into two distinct parts - terp sauce and THCA diamonds.

At this point, the terp sauce is ready for use. The THCA diamonds can be used as is or combined with the terp sauce for a much more flavorful high.

 

We will go into full detail on how to make your own terp sauce further down, so stick around. 

How to Make Your Own Terp Sauce at Home

Making terp sauce at home is possible, but it does require a little bit of patience and the right equipment. Firstly, you will need some high-quality bud that has strong concentrations of both terpenes and THC. No point going to all the effort of making terp sauce if you don't start with a good quality strain! 

You'll want a strain that's not only packed to the brim with terpenes but also absolutely covered with trichomes. Some of the best strains available right now for making terp sauce, otherwise known as 'diamond mining' are:

 

  • Banana Purple Punch Auto - A deliciously fruity offering that comes with a fur coat covering of resin, making it a perfect option for terp sauce. This strain took out top honors at the 2022 American Autoflower Cup. 
  • Gorilla Cookies Auto - Coming in with a whopping 28.5% THC, huge pest and mold resistance, massive potential yields, and dripping in trichomes, Gorilla Cookies Auto is a concentrate maker's dream. This strain won both the Best Autoflower of 2022 at the Cosecha Cup, and the Best Indica 2022 at the Autoflower World Cup.
  • Tropicana Cookies Auto - One of the newest offerings on our menu, and possibly our best strain to date! Massive yields, super heavy trichome production, plus 25% THC, and a terpene profile to drool over. This strain won the Best Indica 2023 at the Autoflower World Cup. 

 

Ok, so once you have your strain all ready to go, you will need to grab:

 

  • An extraction tube. This tube needs to have a fine micron mesh at one end, and a butane port at the other.
  • 2 pyrex dishes of different sizes, with the smaller being able to fit in the larger.
  • A can of butane lighter fluid.
  • Protective clothing - Gloves, long sleeve shirt, eye protection.

Then all you have to do is:

 

1. Fill the extraction tube with your frozen cannabis. You can use the buds and the trim, but make sure everything is well-frozen as soon as you cut the plant down. No need to dry or cure your weed first.

 

2. Pack the weed in as tightly as possible. The goal is to remove any air pockets.

 

3. Place the fine mesh over the opening and secure it in place.

 

4. Slowly and carefully fill the tube with butane, giving it time to soak through the cannabis, while holding the tube over the smaller pyrex dish with the micron mesh end pointing down.

 

5. You should see a golden amber-colored liquid forming in the tube, and slowly dripping through the mesh into the pyrex dish. his process can take some time to totally purge the weed of its trichomes, so take your time and be patient.

 

6.  Once the purging is complete, add some water to the bigger dish and place the smaller dish into this bath.

 

7. Now place the whole thing into full sunshine. This will allow the butane to evaporate, leaving you with a sticky, shiny concentrate.

 

8. Transfer the concentrate to air-tight jars and allow to cure in a cool, dark place for around 3 weeks.  During this time, the concentrate will thicken further and separate into two distinct parts - terp sauce and THCA diamonds.

 

9. For the best results, it's recommended that you very gently heat the concentrate after the curing process is finished. This will remove any remaining butane remanents and create a smoother, much more potent high, and cleaner final product. This can be done over the lowest possible setting on your stove, but heat mats are a better option as they use an even lower temperature.

 

10. Then transfer the final terp sauce to UV-proof containers. This will help preserve the terpenes and give you a top-shelf end product that's full of flavor for the longest possible time.

 

And there you have it, the full process of making terp sauce and THC diamonds at home! Just remember to be very careful when handling butane, and always have the proper safety equipment. Keep your extraction tube clean and store it away from heat sources, as the slightest spark can cause huge issues with explosive results. Literally. 

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7. The Best Ways to Consume Terp Sauce

So now you know what terp sauce (and terpenes) is and how it is produced both commercially and at home. But, how should you go about enjoying the liquid gold itself? Should you just smoke it through a bong? Add a layer to the outside of a joint or blunt? Dab it? mix it into your next batch of edibles?

 

What is terp sauce?

The recommended method to consume terp sauce and THC diamonds is with a dab rig.
 

The choice truly is yours, but for the most part, you probably don't want to go adding it to edibles, especially those that are going to be baked or heated in any serious way. Remember, terps have a low boiling point so your delicious terp sauce will turn into nothing but weird-tasting steam after a few minutes in the oven. If you want to get the most out of it, the best way is to vaporize it. You can either do this using a tabletop vape like the ever-popular range from Volcano Vapes, through a refillable pen vape, or through a good old dab rig.

What is a Dab Rig?

A dab rig is one of the most popular ways to consume terp sauce and other extracts. The main reason for this is a combination of the fact that it closely resembles a standard bong, but it also gives you the ability to heat up and vaporize your terp sauce much more quickly and efficiently than any other method.

Actually, any standard bong can be pretty easily turned into a dab rig by switching out the bowl for a nail (also known as a banger). There are a variety of different types of nails available, from titanium, ceramic, and quartz - all of which have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Once the nail has been heated up (usually with a hand-held butane torch, although there are electronic options available that allow you to fine-tune the temps, you simply add your terp sauce to the nail and inhale. This will give you huge clouds filled with flavourful, terpy vapor! Keep in mind that if you are wanting the full spectrum experience, then you should vape both the terp sauce and some of the THCA diamonds all at the same time.

8. Terp Sauce FAQs

IS TERP SAUCE LEGAL?

That really depends on where you live. In most countries, terpenes are classified as “natural flavoring agents” and are therefore legal to purchase, possess and consume. However, some countries have laws that differ when it comes to terpenes derived from cannabis (or hemp). So, it’s always a good idea to check your local laws and regulations before making any purchases or consuming terp sauce.

 

WHAT TEMPERATURE SHOULD I VAPE TERP SAUCE AT?

That is a tricky question to answer in a concise way, as all terpenes have different boiling points. A-Pinene, for example, has a boiling (or vaporizing) point of 311 F or 151 C. Linalool and Humulene, in contrast, vaporize at 388 F or 198 C. So, unless you know the exact makeup of your terp sauce, you should run it through a range of temps if at all possible, starting at the lower end of around 300 F, and then slowly raising it up to around 400 F. This should provide you with the maximum flavor, aroma, and effectiveness.

 

IS TERP SAUCE SAFE?

Yes, terp sauce is safe to consume. As long as you are buying it from a reputable source and storing it correctly, there should be no issue with consuming terp sauce. It is always best to speak with a qualified medical professional if you have any questions or concerns about consuming terpenes or terp sauce.

 

HOW MUCH DOES TERP SAUCE COST?

Again, that is totally dependent on where you are purchasing it from, and the quality of the extract that you are buying. Some lower-grade extracts can cost as little as a few dollars per gram, while high-end extracts can cost upwards of $100 or more. It all really depends on the quality and where it’s coming from, so you should do your research before investing in any terp sauce. Alternatively, grow your own ganga and make it yourself. This allows for full control over how the terpenes are extracted, and will also save you a lot of money in the long run.

 

WHICH TERPENE IS BEST FOR CONTROLLING ANXIETY?

There are a few terpenes that are known to help reduce anxiety, especially when combined with low to mid doses of THC. They include -

 

  • Caryophyllene
  • Limonene
  • Linalool

 

All three of these terpene profiles have been known to help reduce anxiety, although caryophyllene is considered the most effective. If you are looking for a terp sauce that will help control your anxiety, look for one that is high in caryophyllene and mixed the other two mentioned above.

9. CONCLUSION

Terp sauce is one of the most interesting, innovative, and delicious forms of cannabis concentrates available. It provides users with massive clouds filled with flavorful, aromatic vapor that will leave their taste buds wanting more and their lungs feeling light and airy. When used correctly, terp sauce can provide an intense experience full of aroma, flavor, and therapeutic benefits, but if you are looking for a full-spectrum experience, then you should try vaping both some terp sauce and THCA diamonds all at once.

Have you tried terp sauce, or made it at home yourself? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or head over to our subreddit at FastBuds_Family and join the movement - we would love to have you!

 

 

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

This content is for educational purposes only. The information provided is derived from research gathered from external sources.

 

EXTERNAL LINKS

  1. "Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects" Ethan B Russo, 2011 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/
  2. "Cannabis, from plant to pill" Christopher P. L. Grof, 2018 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6177712/