You may notice that some of the CBD products on our site contain terpenes. But what exactly is a terpene?
Terpenes are essential oils found in several plants (and some insects.) A terpene is made up of organic hydrocarbons, which affect the scent given off by a plant. These aromatic compounds were developed by plants both to attract helpful pollinators and as a defense mechanism to ward off animals who might eat them.
Plants in the cannabis family, of which hemp is a member, are known for their wide range of aromas—over 100 different terpenes have been identified in cannabis plants. Terpenes are what allow these plants to have such unique scents.
However, many of these terpenes are not unique to cannabis. You may be familiar with several terpenes without realizing it. One example is limonene. This terpene causes some cannabis plants to give off a citrus scent. And, it’s the same compound found in all citrus fruits that gives lemons and oranges their distinctive fruity smell. It’s even used to provide fragrance to other products, like cleaning supplies, cosmetics, and as a food flavoring.
Or, consider linalooll to give lavender its unique, floral smell. I have used a lavender scented balm as a sleep aid, and many people use lavender to soothe and reduce anxiety.
What do terpenes have in common? They not only generate various aromas but are also well-known for their wellness benefits. If you’re interested in aromatherapy, you may already have a knowledge-base for how helpful certain scents and compounds can be for supporting conditions like anxiety, depression, energy, poor memory, and as a stress reliever and mood booster.
Supporting the brain helps to relieve the above conditions and achieve overall wellness. Some terpenes can also provide benefits throughout the body. Terpinolene is found in a variety of plants, including lilacs, apples, and the tea tree. Tea tree oil is known for its antibacterial properties, which are supported by the terpinolene. Limonene can relieve nausea. And caryophyllene is used in the treatment of ulcers.
When considering a product on our site which contains terpenes, like Tasty Drops or Alternate Vape Oil, its important to know that those terpenes have not been added to the product. Rather, they are naturally occurring in the hemp plants we source our CBD from, and help to naturally flavor the product.
However, certain terpenes can also provide additional therapeutic effects. When combined with the CBD, nutrients, and other compounds present in a hemp extract, terpenes become part of a process known as the Entourage Effect. This means that while cannabinoids, terpenes, and other parts of the hemp plant can be beneficial on their own, when used together, the effect produced is magnified. Essentially, a whole plant extract is going to be greater than the sum of its parts.
You may also hear the term “terpenoids” used. Terpenes naturally occur in live plants and oils extracted from those plants. Terpenoids are terpenes which have been extracted after a plant has been cured and dried.