Esters are aromatic compounds derived from acids and occur naturally in cannabis.

What are esters? 


Esters are compounds that result from the reaction of an alcohol with an acid. They are commonly used in producing perfumes, flavourings, and pharmaceuticals due to their distinct scents and therapeutic properties.

Most plants, including cannabis, contain naturally occurring esters that contribute to their unique aromas and may play a role in medicinal effects.


What is the difference between an ester and a terpene?


Terpenes have garnered a lot of attention recently, but they are not the same as esters. Terpenes are hydrocarbons, while esters are formed from an alcohol reacting with an acid. Both contribute to a plant's aroma, and both may offer medicinal benefits, but they have different chemical structures and properties.


Can medical cannabis products contain esters?


Yes, full-spectrum and broad-spectrum medical cannabis products are typically formulated with a combination of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other plant compounds – including esters. Esters contribute to a product's overall aroma and flavour profile, but they also may offer their own therapeutic benefits by modulating the functionality of cannabinoid receptors.

Cannabis-based medicines that are created using isolate extraction methods do not contain esters, as the process removes all other plant compounds apart from the isolated cannabinoid being targeted. 

Read more about esters here

If you would like to learn more about medical cannabis in the UK, Releaf is here to help.