When reading CBD and hemp flower product descriptions, you’ll frequently come across the term “terpenes.” If you are unfamiliar with them, they can be perplexing. However, you’re likely are already more acquainted with terpenes than you realize.
What Are Terpenes?
Terpenes are organic compounds found in plants that give them their distinct flavors and aromas. Terpenes can be found in a wide variety of plants. Pine trees, rosemary, sage, and cannabis all have a sharp and sweet scent from pinene. Limonene can be found in herbs such as lemon verbena and citrus fruits such as lemons and limes. Humulene imparts deep and earthy notes to hops, coriander, and resinous wood.
Terpenes, Scents & Tastes
You’ve probably noticed that different hemp buds have different scents and tastes. This is because each strain has a different array of terpenes. The terpene composition of each type determines what that strain will smell and taste like. Super Sour Space Candy, for instance, has high concentrations of caryophyllene, myrcene, and terpinolene, which give it an intense aroma. Tangerine hemp buds get a citrus boost from a combination of bisabolol, myrcene, limonene, and cedrene.
Research is also beginning to show that terpene content also plays a role in how a particular strain of cannabis or hemp will make you feel.
How Are CBD & Terpenes Different?
Both CBD and terpenes are chemical compounds, found in cannabis. However, CBD is a cannabinoid whereas terpenes aren’t. Many people are unaware that THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids have no taste or odor. Instead, the smell and taste of hemp come from the terpenes. Let’s dig a little deeper:
Digging into Cannabinoids
Cannabinoids are chemical substances that interact with our endocannabinoid systems. These compounds join with cannabinoid receptors and influence how we feel. The best-known cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol, otherwise known as THC. Cannabidiol, CBD, has also gotten a ton of attention for the benefits that many have seen through clinical research and anecdotal experience.
Digging into Terpenes
Terpenes are oily compounds that occur naturally in plants. Terpenes are present whenever you smell or taste herbs, flowers, fruit, and other plants. Terpenes, on the other hand, have effects that go beyond aromas. There is mounting evidence that each terpene can have a physiological effect on its own. When different terpenes and cannabinoids are combined, the effect is amplified.
How Terpenes Work in CBD
Terpenes are already present in whole CBD products such as hemp flower. This is also true for rosin, which is produced by sifting cannabis flowers and pressing the isolated trichomes. With CBD extracts and isolates, however, the terpenes are stripped out during processing.
CBD Terpenes – The Entourage Effect
While research is still in its early stages, scientists have discovered that certain compounds have a stronger effect when taken together rather than separately. The entourage effect occurs when combined dosing amplifies the effect of each component. Including them again when creating a product with isolated CBD reintroduces the benefits of having cannabinoids and terpenes together (terpenes are frequently added back into the formula of a broad-spectrum CBD product to restore the benefits of the terpenes that would otherwise be lost during processing).
With some extracts and concentrates, producers work to mimic a specific existing strain. Others work toward creating something that is balanced to provide a bounty of terpenes and capture a wide spectrum of benefits. Still, others use an array of terpenes targetted toward a particular effect, such as a CBD blend geared toward stimulating the appetite or helping someone get to sleep.
Buy CBD With High Terpene Levels
Next time you encounter a fragrant flower, bush, or herb, stop to consider the compounds that are creating its unique characteristics. Terpenes are found all around and are an integral part of some of the hemp products you like best, as well as the foods and scents you enjoy in day to day life.