What are terpenes? Why are they beneficial in CBD products?
Does a Lemon Haze or Buddah Cheese cannabis strain really contain lemon or cheese? Obviously not, but then how to explain the sometimes very significant differences in taste between two varieties of hemp?
You will have understood by reading the title, all this is due to the terpenes present in the plants, but then, what are they, what are they for and how do they work? Many questions that Canna-House will answer in this article.
What are they ?
Terpenes are molecules with odoriferous properties, produced by many plants. More simply, they are what give plants their smells and flavors.
They are present in many natural substances like oils, hormones, vitamins and finally cannabinoids. In terms of daily use, you will find them in many products such as essential oils, food, cosmetics and household products, among others.
Terpenes are actually natural hydrocarbons, or essential oil extracts to make it simpler. They are produced naturally by plants, cannabis necessarily but also others such as the family of conifers (fir trees) but which can be found in other living species such as certain insects or even marine sponges.
What are they for ?
As with most other plants, this is a plant mechanism developed to allow the plant to defend itself by repelling harmful insects while attracting those that will benefit its pollination.
How do they work?
In addition to providing exceptional and very varied flavors, terpenes also serve to enhance the effects of other cannabinoids.
It is only very recently that the world of research has been interested in these hydrocarbons, mainly since their synergy with other components of cannabis has been highlighted, we will then speak of the entourage effect.
Today there are about a hundred different terpenes, among which we find myrcene, limonene or pinene, very well known in the world of aromatherapy and alternative medicine.
The most important terpenes of cannabis :Here is a summary of the main terpenes found in cannabis, their characteristics and their effects on the human body.
Myrcene is found in high concentrations in the cannabis plant. It gives off a musky and herbaceous aroma.
Effects: Accelerates the effects of cannabinoids, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, relaxant.
Other sources: wild thyme, hops, lemongrass, mango, cardamom.
As its name suggests, limonene is a terpene with a characteristic citrus aroma. It is often found in fruit peels and a wide range of citrus fruits.
Effects: stimulating, relaxing, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory.
Other sources: citrus fruits, rosemary, conifers.
Pinene is the most abundant terpene in nature. It has a characteristic pine aroma and can be found in a wide variety of plants.
Effects: anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anxiety
Other sources: pine, conifer resin, citrus fruits, basil, parsley.
Caryophyllene is the only terpene that acts as a cannabinoid. It binds to receptors in the brain and acts as an antioxidant. It has a spicy and peppery aroma.
Effects: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, relaxant, neuroprotective.
Other sources: black pepper, cloves, rosemary, hops
Terpinolene is widely used in perfumery due to its complex pine and herbal smell.
Effects: stimulant, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, antioxidant
Other sources: allspice, parsnip, apple, cumin, sage, rosemary.
The characteristic herbal smell of humulene is the source of the beer’s hoppy aroma.
Effects: anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, appetite suppressant
Other sources: hops, coriander, basil
Linalool is the main terpene in lavender and gives off a strong floral aroma.
Effects: relaxing, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial
Other sources: lavender, mint, cinnamon
So for an optimal effect, it is necessary to find a product that combines all the cannabinoids (excluding THC) as well as the terpenes of the plant.