Terpenes 101

terpenes 101

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CBD 101: Terpenes Found in Hemp

Anyone that’s done a bit of research into CBD oil, the words “full-spectrum” and “terpenes” are sure to have popped up several times – we sure use them in the product descriptions for our EmperorOne  CBD full-spectrum CBD oils

Terpenes are an important part of what makes a full-spectrum CBD oil special and why many scientists, health care providers and CBD aficionados often consider it to have superior health benefits compared to products made from CBD isolates. 

But… what are terpenes? And why do they add additional health benefits to cannabinoid-based supplements?

What is Terpenes 101?

Terpenes 101, sometimes also called terpenoids (2), are what gives all plants their distinctive aromas, flavors and smells. 

In fact, terpenoids are what makes blueberries smell like blueberries, mint like mint, and mango like mango.

These resinous oils secreted by plants also play an important role in helping plants survive. 

The strong fragrance emitted by terpenes have several functions, but the following two are the most important ones:

  • Protect plants by serving as a warning, and/or repelling anything that wants to eat it
  •  Attract helpful insects like butterflies and bees that helps with pollination

It is also these two functions of terpenes that make them beneficial for humans. 

Terpenes originally evolved to target the olfactory system of animals and insects. 

This is why they are able to repel predators while also attracting pollinators. 

And scientists have found that terpenes are so potent, that they can act directly on the brain (1), changing, tempering and harmonizing brain activity.

terpenes 101

How Do Terpenes Work?

Because terpenes activate our olfactory systems, the membranes, neurons and nerves that control our sense of smell triggers communications with the receptors in our brains – specifically within the limbic system.

The limbic system is made up of the amygdala, hippocampus, thalamus, and hypothalamus.

These are also exactly the same brain structures that control high-level cognitive functioning. 

For instance, things like our emotional responses, our mood and our motivation. 

But also our response to stress as well as our ability to learn and remember. 

And it is when terpenes interact with and activate the receptors in the limbic system in our brains, that a wide variety of health benefits start opening up to us. 

Therefore smelling certain aromas can make us feel happy, or conjure up memories. 

Why spending time in a forest can help us destress, and why aromatherapy works. 

Why certain essential oils can help us relax and sleep better, while others make us feel energized and boost our mood.

The Terpenes Found in Hemp

Just like herbs and flowers have terpenes, hemp and cannabis also have a unique set of terpenes that give it its unique aroma. 

But, these terpenes also come with a powerful and impressive set of therapeutic benefits.

Scientists believe that the impressive health benefits of cannabis and hemp terpenes in particular are because hemp terpenes are produced in the same resinous trichomes as cannabinoids. 

Because of this, cannabis and hemp terpenes are enriched with additional properties, effects and benefits that reflect those of the cannabinoids that formed alongside them. 

So, in short, in addition to each terpene’s own properties, terpenes formed in cannabis and hemp trichomes, also have some of the same properties as cannabinoids. 

For example, certain terpenes like caryophyllene, in addition to having its own beneficial properties, can also interact with the endocannabinoid system , binding to the same cannabinoid receptors, and in similar ways, as plant cannabinoids like CBD do.

In addition, hemp and cannabis terpenes also work with synergistically with cannabinoids, in what scientists call the entourage effect. 

The entourage effect is the concept that different plant compounds – in this case terpenes and cannabinoids – work together synergistically.

In other words, the effects and benefits of cannabinoids are amplified in the presence of terpenes and the effects and benefits of terpenes are amplified in the presence of cannabinoids. 

For instance, researchers have found that certain terpenes can lower the blood-brain barrier that in turn, helping cannabinoids pass from the bloodstream and into the brain more easily, in turn increasing their efficacy. 

terpenes 101

The Properties of the Eight major Hemp in Terpenes 101

There are eight major terpenes found in hemp and cannabis, each with their own aromas and therapeutic benefits. 

Here we’ve put together an easy-reference guide explaining the properties and effects of each.

Terpene + Vaporization PointAromatic CharacteristicsAlso Found InProperties + Effects
Humulene
106ºC / 222°F
Herbal, woody aroma  Hops, sage, ginseng, coriander, cloves, basil and gingerAnti-cancer Anti-bacterial Anti-inflammatory Appetite suppressant
Limonene
176ºC / 349°F
Citrusy, lemony aroma  Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes, rosemary, juniper and peppermint  Pain relief Anti-cancer Elevates mood and relieves stress and anxiety Anti-depressant Anti-inflammatory
Pinene
155ºC / 311°F
Fresh, pine aroma  Pine, conifers, rosemary, basil, parsley and dill  Relieves asthma and other respiratory issues Pain relief Anti-cancer Anti-inflammatory  Elevates mood and relieves stress and anxiety Protects gastrointestinal tract
Myrcene
167ºC / 332°F
Peppery, spicy, herbal aroma  Mango, thyme, lemongrass, parsley, hops and bay leaf  Antiseptic Pain Relief Antimicrobial Antioxidant Anti-inflammatory
Muscle relaxant
Linalool
198°C / 388°F
Floral, spicy or woody aroma  Lavender, birch bark, some citrus, rosewood, laurels and coriander  Relieves anxiety Anti-depressant Aids sleep Relieves pain Anti-inflammatory Protects against cognitive deficits
Caryophyllene
130ºC / 266°F
Peppery, spicy, woody, clove aromaBlack pepper, cloves and cinnamon  Acts as a cannabinoid and activates the ECS Pain relief Relieves anxiety Anti-depressant Gastroprotectant
Terpinolene
186ºC / 367°F
Piney, floral, herbal aroma  Nutmeg, tea tree, conifers, apples, cumin, and lilacs  Anti-bacterial Antioxidant Anti-cancer
Ocimene
50ºC / 122°F
Sweet, herbal, woody aroma  Mint, parsley, pepper, basil, mangoes, orchids, and kumquats  Anti-viral Anti-fungal Antiseptic Anti-bacterial Anti-inflammatory  Anti-oxidant

Take Home

Cannabis and hemp terpenes not only interacts directly with our brain via the olfactory system but also with cannabinoids via the entourage effect, to produce their unique therapeutic properties and beneficial effects. 

That is why many scientists and professionals believe it is important to choose a full-spectrum, high-quality CBD product, rich in terpenes for you to experience full benefits.

terpenes 101

One thought on “Terpenes 101

  1. Pingback: The Entourage Effect | EmperorOne CBD

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