What are Terpenes?
In your discussions with friends and colleagues, you might’ve heard the term terpenes or “terps” and how they are necessary in any CBD or marijuana product. Of course, you acted like you knew what everyone was talking about… but in the back of your head, you wondered:
“What the heck are terps?…is it a new brand of chips…?”
So, to avoid looking like a fool in your next chat about Cannabis, you did some Googling, and now you find yourself reading this article. If that sounds about right, this article is for you. In this article, we’ll help you not only learn what terpenes are but will also discuss how they work, and more importantly, how they can benefit you.
In simplest terms, terpenes are fragrant oils found in most fruits, herbs, and plants.
And yes, you guessed it—one of these plants is Cannabis.
In Cannabis, terps can be found in the plant’s sticky resin glands, where THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids are produced.
Now, have you ever grabbed a really nice flower and, after, smelled the sticky residue on your fingers? What you smelled were the plant’s terpenes.
That’s right—terps are what give the cannabis plant that wonderful smell. In fact, terps are the primary source of each strain’s distinct, natural aroma.
If you go crazy for the funky sour fragrance of Sour Diesel or smile when you smell the sweet berry scent of Jack Herer, you can thank terpenes!
The benefits of terpenes are not just limited to the wonderful aromatic experience they offer—terpenes also provide a wide range of health benefits.
What are the Benefits of Terpenes?
Most of us have probably heard of aromatherapy—the therapeutic use of aromatic compounds to improve physical and psychological well-being. Well, the aromas secreted from terpenes work the same way.
Let’s expand on that.
When we smell the fragrances secreted from terpenes, it activates receptors in our olfactory system—the membranes, neurons, and nerves that control our sense of smell. Our olfactory system then communicates with receptors in the limbic system of our brains, which includes the amygdala, hippocampus, thalamus, and hypothalamus. This system controls upper-level functions of our brain such as emotions, reactions, stress regulation, and memory recall. The activation of these receptors, which would have otherwise been dormant, opens the door to many health benefits.
Terpenes and CBD
So how does this all tie into CBD?
It’s simple. Just as we can extract CBD and THC from the cannabis plant, we can also extract the plant’s terpenes. These terpenes and the terpenes of other herbs and plants can then be combined with CBD oil to enhance its benefits and increase its range of benefits and create a better overall experience. There are even companies like 505Terpenes who specialize in extracting terpenes from various herbs, fruits, and plants and provide them to companies and consumers to combine with their CBD.
The Entourage Effect: The Power of Combining CBD with Cannabis Terpenes
Aside from providing cannabis strains with distinct natural aromas, terpenes also provide a wide range of therapeutic benefits. When cannabinoids like CBD and terpenes interact with the body, they work synergistically to deliver what is known as the “Entourage Effect.”
This phenomenon occurs when multiple cannabis compounds work together to deliver a stronger influence on the body than any individual compound could alone.
Because of the Entourage Effect, CBD products containing terpenes can deliver enhanced therapeutic benefits.
Now that you understand the value of terpenes, here are the properties of the 11 primary cannabis terpenes.
11 Cannabis Terpenes You Should Know
Pinene is a more common terpenes and can be identified with the traditional pine smell. While its pleasant pine aroma can stimulate a better mood, research has also found Pinene to be anti-inflammatory and a bronchodilator.
Linalool is floral-scented with a hint of spice that many know and love. Because of its unique aroma, Linalool acts as a sedative and can relieve stress and anxiety.
Myrcene is another very common terpene and can be found in most strains of Cannabis. While most strains do contain Myrcene, each varies in concentrations levels. Myrcene’s musky earth aroma in higher concentrations can provide soothing effects; lower concentrations can provide an almost energizing effect.
Limonene is commonly found in Sativa strains of Cannabis and in the skin of many citrus fruits. Limonene is easily distinguished by its wonderful citrus aroma that can provide an elevated mood, heightened senses and can help relieve stress and anxiety.
Ocimene is a sweet and earthy citrus-scented terpene that is found in various cannabis strains, as well as lavender, bergamot, and hops. Its unique compound structure allows Ocimene to contain anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties.
Terpinolene is a sweet, floral-scented terpene that has been commonly associated with the sweet aroma found in the Jack Herer strain. Research has shown that Terpinolene can provide anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, and sedative benefits when inhaled.
Terpineol is a pleasant floral and earth-scented terpene that is well known to provide mood enhancement and relieve stress.
Valencene is a strong citrus-scented terpene, also found in the Valencia orange. Its energetic fragrance provides elevated mood energy and can help relieve stress and anxiety.
Caryophyllene has a unique sweet, earthy and spicy aroma. It is the only terpene that interacts with the body’s Endocannabinoid System. When introduced into our bodies, it provides anti-inflammatory and analgesic benefits.
Geraniol secretes a pleasant rose floral aroma. As you may infer from its name, it can also be found in geraniums. Aside from being a wonderful fragrance, it has shown to be a positive mood enhancer and is a great insect repellant.
Humulene has a very earthy and woody fragrance that can be most commonly associated with the aroma of hops. Humulene has exhibited anti-bacterial properties and can be used as an appetite suppressant.
Question: Does Heat Affect Terpenes?
Answer: Yes the higher the tempature the more terps have the potential to produce harmful chemics due to combustion. It is advised to use the lowest tempature when you vape and dab at low temperatures.
Question: Will Terpenes Cause me to Fail a Drug Test?
Answer: Terpenes themselves won’t because they don’t have any cannabinoids in them.
Question: Will Terpenes get me High?
Answer: Terpenes themselves won’t cause you to feel intoxicated in the traditional sense, but some do affect the brain, and in that way, they are psychoactive.
So, in a nutshell, terps are awesome. So, next time you’re out shopping for a CBD product, be sure to check if it uses a terpene blend. There are many great options out there, such as Koi CBD or Medterra CBD.
Remember that terps may not always be preferred (in flavorless products, for example), and the lack of terpenes doesn’t necessarily discredit the product. If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to post in the comments section below.
Thank you for reading, and we hope this article was helpful! Next time you’re out with your buddies and the subject of terps comes up, you can unleash your newfound knowledge on them!
Stay happy and stay healthy!