Your Guide to Understanding TerpenesJune 23, 2021
When considering what kind of CBD to choose to relax, de-stress, or reduce any pain or tension you might experience, you may have run across discussions about the role of terpenes.
While THC and CBD tend to get the most airtime in the cannabis community, terpenes are also important naturally occurring compounds found in hemp plants. There are over 20,000 known terpenes in the plant kingdom. Currently, around 80 to 120 terpenes are found in different hemp varieties, with more being studied and discovered all the time.
Terpenes play an important role in wellness on their own, but in CBD, they can offer the additional benefit of something called the “entourage effect.” Terpenes may amplify the effects of CBD within the body’s own endocannabinoid system and help CBD get to work.
What Are Terpenes?
“What is a terpene?” “What are terpenes?” “What do terpenes do?” “Are terpenes weed?”
As a lesser-discussed botanical element, terpenes can generate a lot of confusion, especially when it comes to CBD. However, terpenes are found in and produced by almost all plants, not just in hemp.
Terpenes are the organic compounds that give plants their scent, smell, and many of their medicinal properties. You may be familiar with terpenes from using essential oils, scented candles, naturally flavored foods, or more. For instance, if you’ve ever smelled a jasmine flower, peeled orange, or a pine-scented car freshener, you’ve already made good use of terpenes.
Plants produce terpenes as a part of their immune systems. They protect plants against harsh weather and work to keep off invasive insects, bacteria, and fungi. Terpenes are widely praised for their antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and sometimes antiviral properties. Terpenes help plants, but they also have positive impacts on humans and animals.
While terpenes are not psychoactive in the way THC is, many of these compounds affect the body and mind and are considered bioactive. Some terpenes, such as curcumin, naturally occurring in turmeric, have long been used in traditional medicine as an anti-inflammatory. Like the phytoncides found in conifer trees, others have beneficial effects on the lungs and mind, as studies of Japanese forest bathing have shown.
Terpenes are not exclusive to specific plants. Different herbs, spices, and plants will often share strains of terpenes that give them similar scents or properties. For instance, linalool, a terpene that gives lavender its distinctive soothing fragrance, is also found in some varieties of cannabis, as well as sweet basil, sweet orange, and bay leaves. Linalool is even used as an additive in some cleaning and beauty products because of its de-stressing and lightly insecticidal qualities.
When you think of terpenes in weed or hemp, you might think of different strains of the cannabis plant. However, all hemp plants have terpenes. Terpene distribution does not necessarily depend on Sativa leaf or Indica varieties.
Terpenes are produced within the hemp plant using specialized hairs, called trichomes. Trichomes are located on both the stems and leaves of the plant and usually run along the surface. They are responsible for creating the plant’s resin and give cannabis its distinctive musky odor and flavor. Some of the factors that influence the development of different terpenes in cannabis are:
- Harvest time
- Age of the plant
Because there are around 120 currently known terpenes in hemp plants, with more still being discovered, creating a complete list of terpenes is a complex undertaking. However, using a terpene chart can help growers and buyers identify certain strains, and decide which will have the best effects for them. Additionally, finding CBD with a high terpenes-to-cannabis ratio may be more effective than selecting a CBD isolate.
You may be wondering why all the fuss about terpenes when what you’re searching for is the relief provided by CBD, the other compound in hemp. However, research shows that whole-plant therapy may be the most effective way to absorb CBD into the body. Terpenes play a valuable role in helping CBD communicate with the body’s endocannabinoid system to provide maximum saturation, and thus maximum relief. This idea is known as the “entourage effect.”
Research has encouraged the use of broad or full-spectrum CBD, meaning CBD that retains its natural terpenes, as a way to best absorb the benefits of CBD. Some full-spectrum CBD oils even retain trace amounts of THC, though not enough to produce any psychoactive effects. CBD use for mood disorders and epilepsy shows that using full-spectrum CBD may allow the total benefits of CBD to react within the body and brain. By contrast, CBD isolate, the most refined version of CBD, may not be as completely absorbed by the body and may not be as effective as taking a full-spectrum CBD.
Pure Relief CBD
If you’re looking to take advantage of the natural terpenes in CBD and want the benefits of a full-spectrum product, Pure Relief offers CBD smokeables, edibles, oils, and tinctures. All Pure Relief products are cultivated from U.S.-grown plants and are lab tested for quality and purity.
Pure Relief CBD oils are available in different strengths, sizes, and flavors, so you can select the experience that’s best for you. Even the lightest concentration oil, at 17 mg of CBD per dose, still offers the full benefits of cannabis terpenes within every drop. Pure Relief products make use of this natural synergy, delivering a CBD experience that provides the benefit of the entire plant.
Many terpenes support wellness, promote relaxation, and ease inflammation. Cannabis terpenes are known for the additional benefit of contributing to the entourage effect, allowing CBD to interact most effectively within the body’s endocannabinoid system. For full-spectrum CBD products that naturally deliver the complete benefits of the plant, Pure Relief offers a wide variety of oils, tinctures, smokeables, and edibles to help you get the relief you seek.