What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are the aromatic compounds found in cannabis and hemp plants and are essential oils that give the plant their scent and flavor. Terpenes are also naturally occurring in other plants. Dr. Ethan Russo is a neurologist who found that terpenes have an enhancing effect on the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a biological system that occurs naturally within the body and refers to a collection of cell receptors and corresponding cells. Our bodies produce anandamide, which is like a human version of THC. The endocannabinoid systems regulate things like sleep, digestion, hunger, pain, immune function, and the pleasure system just to name a few! When the endocannabinoid system goes out of whack, these functions can suffer as a result.
What are the benefits of terpenes?
While there are approximately 200 variations of terpenes found in cannabis and hemp, there are several that are common and cultivated more frequently due to their benefits:
Limonene – this terpene is mainly found in citrus and conifers. It is known for its energizing effects and is known to alleviate depression symptoms.
Myrcene – this is the most common terpene which can also be found in chamomile and the candeia tree. This terpene boasts sedative-like effects which can help reduce stress and anxiety. It can also reduce resistance in the blood-brain barrier, which allows for easier passage of other beneficial chemicals.
Beta-Caryophyllene – this terpene has a woody, peppery distinction which can be found in black pepper, rosemary and cloves. It is known to protect the gastrointestinal system and has strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Alpha-Pinene – this terpene is most commonly found in many coniferous trees like pines, but can also be found in rosemary. Not only is this terpene energizing, but it can also combat cognition and memory issues by increasing focus.
Linalool – this terpene is floral and spicy, found in many flowers and spices like lavender, cinnamon, and ylang-ylang. This terpene is anti-microbial, reduces anxiety and depression and has anti-epileptic properties.
How do terpenes increase the benefits of CBD?
When you use a product that contains both CBD and terpenes, the result is known as the “entourage effect” and this was coined by Dr. Russo. This means cannabinoids and terpenes work together to enhance and modulate the effects of one another in the ECS. His research revealed that terpenes “could produce synergy with respect to the treatment of pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, fungal and bacterial infections.” Based on the specific issues you are looking to treat, you will notice variations of terpenes blends in the product. Terpenes can also be combined in blends to increase the effectiveness or treat multiple symptoms. For example, combining Myrcene, Pinene and Caryophyllene can all be combined to relieve anxiety! When combined with cannabinoid CBG and Linalool, Limonene is showing effectiveness for treating MRSA! Linalool, Limonene and CBD are being used in conjunction to treat acne. The terpenes are carefully selected in order to promote well-being and healing within your body.