Terpenes are naturally occurring aromatic compounds that can be obtained from different plants. They are most commonly linked to cannabis as cannabis plants contain a high concentration of terpenes. These compounds are responsible for providing a plant with a certain flavor and aroma. Terpenes provide protection to plants by keeping animals and other microorganisms away from them.
These natural compounds are used in making scents and flavors. Many essential oils also contain terpenes. Due to their aromatic properties, terpenes are widely used in aromatherapy. In addition to providing aroma and flavors, they have many health benefits.
Terpenes vs. Terpenoids
Apart from cannabinoids and tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabis plants contain terpenes and terpenoids. Both of these compounds are responsible for giving flavor, aroma, and color to the plants. Such as red color of tomatoes is due to these compounds.
During cannabis production, plants are dried and cured. This process converts the terpenes into terpenoids as terpenes are oxidized during the process.
The terms terpenes and terpenoids are used interchangeably, but there is a slight difference between them. Terpenes and terpenoids are both hydrocarbons. However, terpenoids can be considered modified terpenes since they contain additional atoms resulting from dried cannabis. Due to this slight difference in structure, they have different uses. While terpenoids are used in herbal remedies, terpenes are common in the food and cosmetics industries.
Why should I care about terpenes?
Terpenes are responsible for giving a plant its distinct smell. The fragrance of plants is due to a certain terpene or a combination of terpenes. For instance, the citrusy aroma that spreads around while peeling the citrus fruits is due to terpenes.
Before making cannabis products, special attention is paid to the terpene profile. Research on CBD, THC, and terpenes has proved that these compounds work together to produce a certain effect on our body that keeps us relaxed. For this reason, almost all CBD products carry terpenes.
The effect of terpenes will be more potent on the body if consumed in higher concentrations. Terpenes are a group of bioactive compounds, which means they affect our body in some way. However, its effects may vary based on how often it is consumed.
Terpenes in CBD oil
The distinctive scent and flavor of cannabis are due to naturally occurring terpenes. Apart from CBD isolate, almost all CBD products contain terpenes.
The presence of terpenes in CBD oil is beneficial for the body in many ways. The most important benefit is the effective and easy absorption of CBD and other cannabinoids by our body. This doesn’t mean CBD alone is not able to bring beneficial effects. The presence of terpenes makes the effect long-lasting and more potent.
However, not all people benefit from terpenes. For some, CBD isolate is better suited to their body. Which product is right for you can be understood well by trying different products.
Different Types of Terpenes
Hundreds of terpenes are found in the cannabis plant. However, only a few of them have been thoroughly studied. Following are some commonly known terpenes:
It is a very common terpene found in cannabis plants. Mango, hops, and thyme abundantly contains this terpene. It gives the plant sort of earthy and musky smell. In many cannabis strains, myrcene is present in the highest amount. This terpene is used for sleeping aids.
Limonene is another common type of terpene that can be recognized with its citrusy notes. Though it is present in a high amount of cannabis, it is not necessarily present in all cannabis strains. Limonene is a completely safe terpene that can be taken as a supplement as well.
This terpene has a pepper, spicy, and woody aroma. We commonly know it from black pepper, cinnamon, and cloves. Just like other terpenes, caryophyllene helps in improving the general wellbeing of humans. It is also a constituent of many essential oils.
Terpinolene gives off a floral and herbal scent and is present in cumin, apples, nutmeg, and conifers. So many cannabis strains carry this terpene, but it occurs in a very low quantity. Terpinolene is vital in giving the smell and taste of many cannabis strains. It also influences the therapeutic qualities of cannabis.
As the name suggests, it has a pine aroma that is found in basil, rosemary, parsley, and dill. These compounds smell exactly like pine trees. Pinene is important in protecting plants from predators. Also, they have many health benefits for humans.
The unique scent of cannabis is due to the same woody and earthy terpene that is also found in basil, hops, and coriander. Its history is quite old. Humulene has been used in medicinal practices for a very long. It is one of the important components of cannabis and is closely related to pinene and myrcene.
The sweet and woody aroma of a plant is due to ocimene. Uplifting effects are its major property. Though ocimene is not involved in making the terpene profile of a cannabis plant, it may be present in more than the average amount in most cannabis strains.
The delightful floral scent of lavender, which relaxes us every time, is due to linalool. Linalool is not present abundantly in cannabis, but some strains of cannabis contain linalool as the third most abundant compound. One can get a sense of wellness through this terpene.
Does all CBD Contain Terpenes?
The short answer is no. Not all CBD contains terpenes. It depends upon the cannabis strain from which it is obtained. Different cannabis strains smell a lot different from each other because they contain different terpenes in distinct amounts.
Hemp-derived CBD contains terpenes. It also comes down to the type of CBD product you use. CBD isolate does not contain any compound other than Cannabidiol. On the other hand, full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD contain terpenes.
So if you want the benefits of terpenes in addition to CBD and THC, go for either a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD.
The Effects of Terpenes
The aroma and flavor of terpenes are vital not only for plants but also for the health of human beings. Since terpenes have a strong scent, they attract pollinators. It is also beneficial in keeping the predators away.
Terpenes also constitute the immune system of plants and help them recover from any damage. Just like other cannabinoids, terpenes act on the endocannabinoid system. However, the absorption of terpenes by our bodies is quite different from the absorption of other cannabinoids.
Understanding Terpenes and the “Entourage Effect”
CBD and terpenes together provoke an effect commonly known as the 'entourage effect'. This indicates that the presence of terpenes makes CBD more potent and has a long-lasting effect of CBD on the body.
When a CBD product contains terpenes, it is likely to be absorbed readily by the body. It is known that terpenes turn the CBD receptors on as a result of which CBD works faster.
Terpenes and so many other compounds coexist with CBD in the cannabis plant. The working of terpenes as a support system for CBD is natural. Therefore, taking CBD in combination with other compounds is more effective than taking it alone.
The Benefits of Terpenes in High-Quality CBD Oil
Excluding CBD isolate, all other forms of CBD oil contain terpenes and other cannabinoids. Terpenes are very strong. Even a small amount of them is enough to activate the entourage effect. For this reason, they are added in a low quantity.
Terpenes give a rich flavor to CBD products depending upon the cannabis cultivar from which it was derived. Since terpenes are bioactive compounds, they affect our body in some way when we intake them. How intense the effect will depend upon the concentration of terpene ingested. They work in collaboration with CBD and trace amounts of THC.
As we have learned by now, terpenes are known to turn on the CBD receptors, which makes it easier for CBD to work in our bodies. As a result, the effect will last longer, and it will be more potent.
What to Look for Before You Buy?
If you want the benefits of terpenes along with CBD, these tips will help you buy the right product.
Buy Recently Manufactured Product: Terpenes concentration may decrease over time in the product. You can check for freshness with a sniff test. Fresh terpene smell makes it evident if it is present in enough quantity. Recently manufactured products will bring more potent effects.
Check the Label: It is uncommon to mention the terpene profiles on CBD products. If you want to have enough dose of terpenes, you should look for either full-spectrum CBD or broad-spectrum CBD. These CBD products fulfill your need for terpenes along with CBD and other important cannabinoids.