CBD terpenes are both effective on their own and as a supplement to enhance the therapeutic effects of CBD oil. They’re easy to get ahold of at any CBD shop, and even easier to enjoy. However, it’s possible you’ve never even heard of terpenes before despite experiencing them every single day. Let’s take a look at what terpenes are so that you can better understand the benefits of CBD terpenes and decide if they are the right method for you.
What Terpenes Are
Despite being an everyday phenomenon, you’ve probably never heard of the term “terpenes.” Simply put, they’re aromas. The smell of a bouquet of flowers, the tang of fresh citrus fruits, and the fragrance of your favorite shampoo—their scents are all thanks to the terpene compounds within them. The main purpose in nature for these compounds is to generate pungent smells to either repel pests and predators with unpleasant odors or attract pollinators with pleasing ones. Lucky for us, these terpenes also contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
So where does CBD come into play? It just so happens that one of the richest sources of terpenes is Cannabis Sativa. This includes both marijuana and its close relative hemp. They’re both variations of the same plant, but hemp has been made entirely legal to cultivate, harvest, and extract from thanks to the 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act.
Terpenes and CBD Oil
Now while we’ve covered terpenes, there are also terpenoids. The difference being that terpenes are the natural compounds found in the flower or bud of a cannabis plant like hemp, while terpenoids are terpenes that have been chemically altered. This alteration occurs during the process of drying and curing cannabis flowers—the terpenoids naturally form during that alteration.
Products like broad-spectrum CBD tinctures contain other components of the cannabis plant than just CBD, and will thus also contain terpenoids; but purer CBD products like CBD isolate, which is the purest CBD product, will lack terpenes because they’ve been processed out. In fact, terpenes are often added back into such pure CBD products in order to enhance the effects of CBD that we will cover next.
CBD Terpene Benefits
While unique in being aromatic, the health benefits of CBD terpenes are the same as other CBD products, and can even be used as an enhancement to those other CBD products for greater effect. CBD interacts with our body’s endocannabinoid system, which is in charge of regulating functions of our body like sleep, appetite, mood, pain sensation, stress management, and anxiety. By interacting with endocannabinoid receptors, CBD has been found to slow the production of cortisol, a hormone that causes stress, in addition to allowing users to relax by soothing such unpleasant conditions.
The anti-inflammatory properties make CBD even more useful as a way to soothe pain by directly addressing the problem. While other pain-relievers may mask the pain till your body naturally recovers, CBD helps aid in the process of eliminating inflammation for true relief.
Furthermore, CBD terpenes will not give you the intoxicating “high” that marijuana would. The compound responsible for creating that high in marijuana is THC, which is typically processed out of CBD products as much as possible. Maybe products will have trace amounts of THC, but never enough to affect you unless you specifically seek out a CBD product with enough THC purposefully left in to achieve that buzz.
Terpenes Found in CBD Oil
As we mentioned earlier, Cannabis Sativa is one of the richest sources for terpenes, so let’s review some of the terpenes you can expect to find.
- Myrcene – Named after the Brazilian shrub Myrcia Sphaerocarpa—a plant used in traditional remedies for diarrhea, high blood pressure, and diabetes—Myrcene has a sedative effect. This terpene is found in most cannabis chemovars, as well as in plants like hops, lemongrass, basil, and mangoes.
- Beta-caryophyllene – This terpene is responsible for the unique scent of black pepper and can also be found in most varieties of cannabis plants. This terpene has been found to interact with cannabinoid receptor 2 within the body, which suggests it is an effect terpene for pain and inflammation reduction.
- Alpha-humulene – Another common terpene found in cannabis chemovars, this one features an earthy and fruity smell and be found in hops, sage, and ginseng. This terpene is strongest at reducing inflammation, and research suggests it may even suppress appetite.
- Limonene – The most citrus of the terpenes, this terpene is used often to add a zesty lemon aroma to food, perfumes, and household cleaning products. This fresh and pungent terpene is a pleasing scent that has been found to relax and reduce anxiety.
- Pinene – Popular in traditional Chinese medicines, this terpene has, as the name suggests, a refreshing pine scent and is predictably found in pine needles and certain citrus fruits. Research has pointed to this terpene as a way to suppress cancer cells, but this is currently still a theory.
- Linalool – Responsible for the popularity of lavender and spices like cinnamon, Linalool has sedative and relaxing properties that many have come to expect of lavender-scented products such as candles.
The Entourage Effect
The way CBD terpenes are believed to supplement and enhance the effects of other CBD products is through something called the “Entourage Effect.” As the theory goes, the substances within cannabis, like CBD and THC, are capable of synergizing and making the effects and benefits of CBD more effective.
So, cannabinoids and terpenoids are capable of working together to make the effects of CBD greater. This includes greater pain relief, inflammation reduction, and the alleviation of anxiety and stress. This theory is still relatively young and requires far more research before the entourage effect and how it can be best used to our advantage is fully understood.
What To Look For
If you’re curious what terpenes are in a CBD oil tincture, look for products that have been tested by a third party and have received a valid certificate of analysis. This will help you determine if a product has terpenes in it, and if so, which terpenes are present if you’re looking to get ahold of a certain kind. As a bonus, the certificate will display the purity of the CBD if you’re searching for something with more or less THC. This can help you find products tailored to address your needs and help you target the symptoms ailing you.