Talk About It Tuesday Blog Series: CBD and Terpenes
What the heck is a terpene?! When I was new to the CBD industry that was my initial reaction. I’d never even heard of the word before. I take it many others are in the same boat since this is not a word most people hear or see with any regularity in their day to day lives. For that reason, today’s post is all about terpenes. What are they, where do they do and how do they work with CBD? Let’s dive in.
What Are Terpenes?
The most basic definition of terpenes is: organic aromatic compounds found in plants. Specifically, they are hydrocarbons, meaning the only elements present are hydrogen and carbon. While there are some terpenes in animals, the vast majority are found in plant life. Terpenes are responsible for giving plants their scent and color. When you smell the scent of a rose or an lemon, what you’re smelling are the plants terpenes. Because of their powerful fragrances, terpenes have been added to everything from deodorant, to cleaning solutions to perfumes and colognes.
Terpenes in Hemp
The terpenes found in the hemp plant give it a distinct environmental advantage over other plants. Different terpenes are necessary to for different functions like attracting insects for pollination, repelling pests and protecting against infections. As such, the terpenes present in the hemp plant make it one of the only plants that doesn’t need the assistance of chemicals to grow or remediation (remediation is the process by which soil is replenished by farmers with nutrients following a harvest before the next crop is planted). Industrial hemp is one of the most resilient plant species in existence with its ability to remove toxins and heavy metals from the soil, and it’s natural terpenes are a big reason why.
Some Common Terpenes and Benefits
*Myrcene: the most common terpene in the hemp plant, it is also found in hops, mangoes and bay leaves. Myrcene, when combined with CBD, helps reduce uptake time and increases transdermal absorption, that is skin absorption when using creams or salves. It can also be a sedative in large amounts.
*Humulene: Very closely related to Myrcene, Humulene has an earthy aroma and has been known to reduce the overall level of reported discomfort in users.
*Beta-Caryophyllene: Currently the only known terpene to have a response on the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) in our bodies. It has a direct effect on the CB2 receptor which are abundant in the immune system. Beta-Caryophyllene is also dominant in other natural anti-inflammatory plants like cinnamon and black pepper.
Limonene: Produces a sweet, citrus-y smell. Research indicates that it has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. It’s also thought to help with anxiety and depression.
*Terpenes used in Golden Legacy products.
How do Terpenes Work With CBD?
When terpenes are present and acting upon the ECS, they can slightly alter the effect of CBD. Their subtle activity across many different brain regions is responsible for their therapeutic effects on mood, emotion, and cognition. In addition, their activity in the immune and digestive systems contributes to the synergistic or entourage effect in which different parts of the plant work together with CBD to produce greater therapeutic effects than individual parts alone.
When combined with CBD, the healing properties of terpenes can also benefit users by binding to neurotransmitters and receptors in the brain. They can increase dopamine activity or enhance norepinephrine activity. They can help us relax or they may help boost our energy. Research has found that terpenes directly affect the brain’s neurotransmitters in many different ways, so learning more about what properties are provided by different terpenes can help you choose which CBD products are best for you.
As you can see terpenes are multi-faceted, multi-beneficial compounds which when combined with CBD have the potential to give users a much better CBD experience. As more research is done on terpenes and how they interact with CBD, you can expect CBD users to reap more benefits. If you’ve never experienced the benefits of CBD oil and terpenes, try our CBD oil tinctures and see firsthand how they can help you live your legacy on your health journey.