When it comes to cannabis plants, it’s often the scent that we notice first. When you smell a plant, what’s giving off that scent is something known as a terpene. Terpenes have more to offer than just a distinct smell. Terpenes play an important role in the effects that a CBD product has on you. The different flavors and scents are not just a way to tell the plants apart but also determines what kind of medicinal role that each plant has to offer.
What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are natural essential oils found in all plants, flowers, vegetables, and herbs. The cannabis plant is no exception. CBD products made from full spectrum hemp extract have natural terpenes in them as well. There are around 140 terpenes in the cannabis plant. Every cannabis strain tends to provide a unique terpene type and composition. However, only a few terpenes occur in hemp in high enough concentrations to be significant enough to be important for our health.
The main reason why people have become so interested in terpenes is the extra health benefits they carry in them. For decades, research has shown terpenes’ have therapeutic potential. Thus, concluding they have much to offer in regards to our physiological and emotional well-being.
What do Terpenes do?
The effects of any given terpene may change in the presence of other compounds in a great phenomenon known as the entourage effect. Each terpene may respond differently with other terpenes and compounds of the hemp or cannabis plants. Their differences can be very subtle, but can also give great depth to the horticultural art of cannabis. Terpenes might also add significant therapeutic value to cannabis and hemp products, based on each one’s unique medicinal properties.
The entourage effect plays a unique role in CBD, between cannabis, terpenes, and flavonoids in CBD products. When CBD products are consumed in the form of dried flowers or as an oily extract, they enhance the efficacy of CBD and THC while reducing potentially unwanted reactions.
Some terpenes can help us relax, sleep, and have less anxious thoughts while others can help increase our energy levels, help with focus, and even aid in relieving aches and pains. Research has found that terpenes directly affect the brain’s neurotransmitters in several different ways. Thus, combining terpenes with cannabinoids can be an alleviating change to your daily life.
How are terpenes related to CBD?
Terpenes are directly related to CBD through a chain of reactions. Terpenes also have several complementary effects that go with CBD. If you are taking CBD for relaxation or anxious thoughts, It is a good idea to pair CBD with a terpene that also encourages relaxation. If you are looking for the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD, you should pair it with a terpene that also aids in reducing inflammation.
Research has shown that some terpenes in cannabis can reduce the high feeling of THC, and depending on the amount of the terpene can actually void the psychoactive effects from THC. This may also depend on how each different terpene reacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system.
Some strains of cannabis are bred to include certain terpenes. There is an unlimited combination of potential effects of terpenes. This is opening up scientific and medical research for cannabis and the use of terpenes for therapeutic values.
Does all CBD contain terpenes?
In a short answer, no, not all CBD products contain terpenes. However, there are many CBD products that are already prepared with terpenes and a few that have added terpenes. Hemp and cannabis naturally produce a number of terpenes. So if your CBD is derived from hemp or cannabis, then it may probably already contain terpenes. This depends upon whether your CBD oil has been isolated or if it is what we usually call broad or full-spectrum CBD oil.
Broad and Full spectrum CBD oils contain CBD that has been extracted from hemp, along with the terpenes. CBD isolate products, on the other hand, have been cleaned of everything that isn’t pure CBD. You will not get the entourage effects from a CBD isolate.
Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products are different in the type of carrier oils they use. Most full-spectrum CBD oil is full plant oil, CBD, plus hemp oil, and containing less than .3% THC, this includes all the terpenes to make the entourage effect.
Broad-spectrum CBD oil usually combines hemp oil with another carrier oil such as MCT oil, for a faster, more complete absorption rate. It also contains all the terpenes and less than .3% THC. These products also produce the entourage effect.
This does not mean that full or broad-spectrum CBD oil is better. Yet, some people report having better results from CBD that contains all the natural terpenes and extracts of the hemp plant.
What Terpenes are found in cannabis plants?
Myrcene- Myrcene is a common terpene found in cannabis, parsley, hops, and bay. It has a pleasant scent and is associated with anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and relaxing effects.
Ocimene- Ocimene has a sweet woodsy aroma that is found in cannabis, parsley, mango, mint, pepper, and basil. Ocimene is thought to contribute to the energizing feeling some CBD products carry. However, it is also associated with the coughing that comes along with smoking cannabis.
Limonene- Limonene has a distinctively strong citrus scent and taste. It is found in the peelings of many fruits and also in the uplifting strains of cannabis. Limonene demonstrates effects such as mood elevation, stress relief, antifungal actions, and relief from digestive discomforts. Limonene can also assist with the absorption of other terpenes and CBD.
Pinene- Pinene helps counteract the psychoactive effects of THC. It can be found in plants like dill, basil, parsley, and of course the cannabis plant. It is thought to attribute to focus and alertness, plus it has anti-inflammatory properties.
Humulene- Humulene is found in cannabis, hops, ginger, sage, and ginseng. It has an earthy scent with spicy undertones. It is known to suppress appetite and has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Caryophyllene- Caryophyllene is found in cannabis, hops, basil, clove, lavender, and rosemary. It carries anti-inflammatory properties and is known to reduce cravings.
These are just a few of the main terpenes found in the cannabis plant. They all have their own personalized effects on the endocannabinoid system. Some work with each other to make effects that are stronger and more effective towards a particular ailment.
How to purchase quality products and what to look for.
CBD is currently one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States, and consumer interest is increasing at a dizzying rate.
Many potential consumers view the CBD market with a mixture of interest and skepticism. As it turns out, the only thing expanding as fast as the CBD industry is consumer confusion and misinformation about CBD products. There are questions about quality, including how to ensure you get the best quality CBD products, how to avoid low-grade CBD and worse, substandard products that might contain potentially harmful additives and pesticides.
- Know what is in your CBD. CBD oils made from premium hemp contain less than .3% THC. This is not enough THC to give you the “high” effect. The 2018 Farm bill made CBD products derived from hemp and carrying less than .3% THC legal in all 50 states Low-quality products may not have a minimal amount of THC. This is usually the result of products that go thru a sub-standard extraction process.
- CBD products made from whole-plant extracts are also considered higher quality products. Whole-plant CBD contains other cannabinoids and terpenes that work with CBD to make it more effective, as was discussed above.
- Cannabis is a hyper-accumulator plant. This means the cannabis plant absorbs literally everything in the soil it grows in. Much of what it absorbs can be useful and even carry nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. However, depending on the soil and its contaminants, there can be harmful chemicals such as petroleum or lead. Premium CBD products will be sourced on a farm that is FDA regulated and soil testing is required.
- The CBD product itself should be verified by a Third-Party Independent Testing Facility. A CBD company you can trust will make the lab results public. This information might be found on the bottle or box it came in, on an insert, or published on the company’s website.
- You should also Always check the products certificate of analysis. This certificate will list all terpenes and other ingredients found in your CBD product. Plus the percentage or ratio of each ingredient in the product.
Research shows that the benefits of terpenes from the cannabis plant are substantial. Terpenes are more than just aromatic molecules. They have the potential to affect the therapeutic profile of your CBD oil. There’s still a lot to discover when it comes to the relationship between cannabinoids and terpenes. Yet these compounds are necessary if you want to experience the full benefits of cannabis.