With its ever-growing popularity, CBD has become more and more intriguing. And understanding the natural compounds present in the hemp plant has also become essential. Full-spectrum hemp contains cannabinoids and terpenes, which both work together to produce something called the entourage effect. Here’s everything you need to know about CBD terpenes.
If you’ve never heard of terpenes before, you’ll be surprised to know that they’re everywhere around you in your daily life. Think of your body fragrance of choice, the smell of fresh fruits in your kitchen, or the enticing aroma of flowers from your garden. Terpenes, “terps” for short, are pungent compounds in which plants produce to attract pollinators and repel pests. They’re responsible for the stirring scent of citrus from fruits and the calming aroma of lavender.
Terpenes might have health benefits in themselves, such as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Have you ever had a massage with scented oils, walked through a garden filled with divinely scented flowers, or taken a bubble bath with some lavender scented soap? Those experiences are sure to have affected your mood or mental state by making you feel more relaxed, happy, or calm. If so, this is the beneficiary of something called “aromatherapy,” which is likely to have been brought to you by the powers of terpenes. Besides aromatherapy, many terpenes have been found to have direct health benefits when ingested or used topically. For instance, studies show that the terpene caryophyllene has anti-inflammatory properties, and the terpene linalool could, in fact, reverse some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
What is the relation between terpenes and CBD?
The second reason to have an interest in terpenes is the entourage effect. Mainly, the entourage effect is based on the idea that some compounds work better, or even differently, as a group than they do by themselves. There are two main ways the entourage effect works with terpenes and CBD: either the terpenes change the way CBD oil binds with your receptors, or the terpenes have an effect that in a way compliments the effect of the CBD. For instance, there are many ways terpenes and cannabinoids, like CBD, interact with each other. Some terpenes, specifically like caryophyllene mentioned above, essentially bind to cannabinoid receptors. This impacts the way CBD interacts with your cannabinoid system; hence, terpenes can, in fact, turn up or turn down the volume in a way on the CBD that you take.
In addition, terpenes can also have other complementary effects that go with CBD. If you are taking CBD for relaxation or anxiety, it can be a good idea to pair CBD with a terpene that also encourages relaxation on its own. Also, if you’re looking for the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD, you could pair it with a terpene that also fights inflammation. You can even go the distance and do some research to see if you can come up with combinations that might specifically work well for whatever it is that you need.
It is also important to know that not all CBD contains terpenes. Hemp and cannabis by nature produce a number of terpenes, which is why so many strains smell so different from each other. So, if your CBD is derived from hemp or cannabis, it may contain terpenes as well. Nonetheless, it all depends on whether or not your CBD oil has been isolated or if it is broad or full-spectrum oil. These types of oil contain CBD, which has been extracted from hemp along with everything else that’s in it, terpenes, THC, and everything else. On the other hand, CBD isolates have stripped away everything that isn’t the pure CBD molecule. So, you should pay attention to whether your CBD has been isolated or not.