Terepenes seem to be the bell of the ball as of late, but rest assured they are nothing new! In this blog post, we will address the following terpene related questions:
What are terpenes?
Why are terpenes important?
What are the common terpenes found in hemp?
Are terpenes found in hemp the same as terpenes from other botanical source?
So buckle your seatbelts and bite your CBD morsel, because we are going on a terpene getaway!
What are terpenes? According to MerriamWebster’s dictionary, terpenes are “any of various isomeric hydrocarbons C10H16 found present in essential oils (as from conifers) and used especially as solvents and in organic synthesis; broadly : any of numerous hydrocarbons (C5H8)n found especially in essential oils, resins, and balsams.” Wow, that’s a pretty technical answer, but does it need to be so complicated? Yes and no! More simply, terpenes are what give botanical source like hemp, flowers, and citrus fruit their unique fragrances.
These special compounds are a formidable force that plants develop to help them survive in their unique habitat. Terpenes are important because they produce fragrances that can protect plants (and their edibles) by warding off pests and attracting predators of herbivores, which may include a particular plant as part of their diet. This is especially interesting when you consider terpenes are very common in the fragrance industry where they are also used to attract!
In addition to terpenes offering fragrance, they also have been attributed to providing a wide range of therapeutic properties that range from stimulating to appetite suppressants to analgesic (pain relieving) properties. The therapeutic properties of terpenes and how they interact with cannabinoids like Cannabidiol (CBD), Cannabichromene (CBC), Cannabigerol (CBG), and Cannabidivarin (CBDV) are what excite us most. It’s the interaction between these cannabinods and terpenes that creates what’s known as the entourage effect, and is something that the CBD community seeks to better understand.
So now that you’ve gotten a little primer on what are terpenes and why terpenes are important, let’s take a closer look at some of the common terpenes found in hemp and believed to work synergistically with cannabinoids.
Limonene is an essential oil, or terpene, found in the rinds of citrus fruits like… lemons, grapefruits, and oranges. While lemons have been found to have the highest concentration of limonene, grapefruit is a close second. Not only does limonene add to these fruits tropical aroma, but it can also contribute to elevated mood and stress relief. Yes, please!
Linalool is a naturally occurring terpene found in both Lavender and Cannabis. It comes from the Old World and has been used for thousands of years as a relaxant. We love linalool for it’s floral scent reminiscent of spring flowers and the positive experiences it can bring. Linalool possesses sedative properties and is an effective anxiety and stress reliever. It has also been used an analgesic and anti-epileptic.Linalool has been used as a relaxant and as a treatment for anxiety for thousands of years.
Humulene, also known as alpha-caryophyllene, is one of the main terpenes (or essential oil) found in hops. This terpene has shown evidence as potentially having potent anti-inflammatory properties and appetite suppressing effects (can you say munchie buster :). Humulene works synergistically with beta-caryophyllene and, in addition to being found in hops, is also found in these hemp strains: Greenhouse Skunk, Jack Herer,the Church, and Super Lemon Haze, just to name a few. Other natural sources of the terpene Alpha Caryophyllene include hemp, hops, basil, cloves, and black caraway.
Alpha Pinene (α Pinene) is the terpene which gives cannabis it’s familiar fragrance and is the most common naturally occuring terpenoid. Research suggests it could have benefits as an anti-inflammatory as well as serving as a bronchodilator (helping to increase airflow to the lungs). Additionally, it has shown evidence that suggests α Pinene enhances alertness and has uplifting effects. This terpene is common in the cannabis strains OG Kush, Blue Dream, and Jack Herer, along with eucalyptus, rosemary, sage, and conifer trees
Myrcene is probably one of the most talked about terpenes found in cannabis. It’s believed that Myrcene content is what will determine a strains unique characteristics such as either being energizing or producing a more sedative type lift. Sativa strains typically have less than 0.5% Myrcene content, while Indicas commonly have over 0.5% Myrcene content. One of the main benefits of Myrcene is it’s ability to potentially help relax muscles and induce sleep. Myrcene is also found in mangoes, thyme, hops, and lemongrass, which are all hold their own as delicious botanical remedies.
Eucalyptol is easily one of our favorite terpenes. Found in highest concentrations in the eucalyptus tree, this essential oil fills the room with a refreshing aroma that brings on a sense of calm and peace. Eucalyptol has been used therapeutically for inflammation and as an analgesic (pain reliever), and it can be used orally or topically. Studies suggest that eucalyptol, also known as cineol, exhibits antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antioxidant properties which give it a wide range of therapeutic possibilities. In addition to having a wide range of therapeutic benefits, eucalyptus leaves can be long and narrow or round, depending on the species.
Beta Caryophyllene (β Caryophyllene) is the only terpene known to interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (CB2). Beta Caryophyllene produces anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. Beta-caryophyllene is especially important and unique because it is able to activate several receptors in the body, including CB2, which is usually activated most by CBD. Abundant natural sources of Beta Caryophyllene include hemp, hops, basil, cloves, and black caraway.
These aren’t the only terpenes found in hemp, or in superfood ingredients like turmeric, ginger, and coffee, but just some of the most interesting that we wanted to share with you on our original terpene post.
|Now a big question that people often ask is, are terpenes from hemp the same as non-hemp derived terpenes? More specifically, is Linalool from hemp the same as Linalool from lavender? Or is Humulene from hemp the same as Humulene from hops? The short answer is yes, they are the same terpenes. You see, a molecule is a molecule, and the terpenes will act identical on their own. However, whatever is with it will influence how the molecule acts. So, a terpene that’s derived from hemp is likely going to have a small amount of cannabinoids remaining present, which of course would influence the terpene and how it interacts with a person’s body. If you were only taking terpenes, but were wanting some sort of cannabinoid effect, then it would be vital to have terpenes derived from a source like hemp which has cannabinoids. However, if you add in cannabinoids separately, you will obviate the need for usinghemp derived terpenes since you can hit the ideal terpene to cannabinoid ratio you desire.|
So there you have it friends. A brief primer on the importance of terpenes, what are the effects of terpenes and cannabinoids, and some of the natural botanical sources of terpenes. This is Brian, signing out.