What Are Hemp Terpenes?
With hemp products, cannabinoids like CBD and THC tend to be the stars of the show. But they aren’t the only molecules in the hemp plant that are worthy of note. Terpenes may be supporting players, but they contribute a lot to the ensemble.
Terpenes, or terps, give each hemp strain its distinctive taste and aroma. In fact, these flavor and smell producers are in many plants and foods. Everything you eat and all the flora outside your door are full of these chemical wonders.
They also can boost the purported effects of cannabinoids. Working with other substances in hemp, they produce an entourage effect. That means the person using the hemp plant product gets the benefit of the combined organics.
Altogether, there are around 20,000 different terpenes. There are over 200 in the cannabis plant alone.
So, it makes sense that they play an important part in the enjoyment of consuming cannabis goods.
Let’s take a closer look.
What Do Terpenes Actually Do?
Yes, terpenes give hemp plants their characteristic tastes and odors. But they actually evolved to deter pests. That’s right, they and the cannabinoids in plants are natural bug repellants. Certain odors and targeted toxins developed that ward off parasites. Terpenes, then, are an important part of the defenses of cannabis plants.
Elsewise, these compounds enrich the enjoyment of foodstuffs and hemp alike. They do so by adding deliciousness and pleasing odors. When you enjoy a meal, it’s the terpenes in the tasty fare that enable you to do so. While you’re consuming hemp products, these natural enhancers can add to the experience.
Additionally, it is believed that terpenes boost overall benefits. It is not clearly understood just how they increase cannabinoid effectiveness. Do these molecules truly make potential physical and mental relief even stronger? Clearly, more research is needed.
So, somehow, flavor, aroma, and effects seem to be improved. Assuming that’s true, then what are some of the different types of terpenes? And what do they each supposedly do?
Let’s look at some of the top varieties.
What Are the Primary Terpenes?
There are many kinds of cannabinoids. Similarly, these enhancement molecules are also varied. We’re going to look at a few of those commonly found in cannabis plants.
So, what are they and what might they do for you?
This biological booster is one of the most abundant found in hemp. However, it is also present in other plants like hops, mangoes, and lemongrass.
Myrcene produces an earthy, musky aroma. There are also subtle fruity and herbal flavors brought forth.
How might myrcene enhance the effects of cannabinoids? Supposedly, by promoting mental and physical relaxation. Some sedation may occur, so strains with an abundance of this one are probably best used at bedtime. And it may produce a sense of well-being. Finally, myrcene might have anti-inflammatory properties that work well with CBD.
This one is a very familiar taste and smell for most people because it’s found in all citrus fruits. If you enjoy lemons, limes, and oranges then it’s because of this particular terpene. The chemical is infused throughout the fruit and rind.
Limonene is believed by some to have possible mood-enhancing properties. If so, then it may help reduce stress and anxiety. Additionally, there are suspected antibacterial and antifungal benefits. There have been studies examining whether limonene might also have anti-cancer effects.
Obviously, this part of the hemp plant makeup has powerful potential.
Pine trees smell like they do because of pinene. Not only is this terpene found in coniferous trees, such as pine and fir, but also hemp.
Pinene is suspected of having anti-inflammatory properties. This could be useful for those with arthritis or even many respiratory conditions. Ongoing research also suggests that pinene may have neuroprotective properties. So, it could aid in memory retention.
This one just might be very good for both your mental and physical well-being.
Caryophyllene is spicy and peppery. It is present in various herbs and spices like black pepper and cloves.
Unlike other terpenes, caryophyllene acts much like a cannabinoid. It does so by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system. Just like THC, it binds to CB2 receptors. Those are cellular binding mechanisms primarily found in the immune system.
This terpene exhibits potential anti-inflammatory properties, thus it may aid in pain relief. This may be why some chronic pain sufferers report relief from dosing with hemp products.
It has also been studied for possibly mitigating anxiety and depression symptoms. Thus, users might find hemp helpful in dealing with mental and emotional stressors.
Lastly for this list, we have linalool. This one is a floral-scented terpene. It has a delicate aroma reminiscent of lavender and jasmine. Besides hemp, linalool is found in many aromatic plants. You’ve likely encountered this one around flower gardens.
Some seek out this chemical for its calming and relaxing effects. It is therefore frequently used in aromatherapy. That’s because it supposedly promotes stress relief and improves sleep.
Linalool may possess anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties. That matches well the same reputed benefits of CBD.
Another therapeutic benefit might include a potential numbing analgesic effect. That means it could aid sore muscles.
And it’s not even done there because it may also have anticonvulsant effects. If verified through medical testing, that could be a boon for mitigating seizures.
Clearly, this is one of the most versatile terpenes.
There are a multitude of other similar compounds. The terps listed above are some of the major enhancement molecules.
Okay, you have an idea now of what some of these enhancers are and what they may do. But do they have any benefits on their own? Some seem to think so because you can buy them straight without cannabinoids.
What is Terpene Isolate?
Because of many potential benefits like those noted above, terpenes are sometimes isolated. An isolate is a concentration of a particular substance.
For example, CBD isolate is just the cannabidiol molecule solo. It’s extracted from all the other hemp cannabinoids and terpenes. That gives users the option of focused cannabidiol concentration.
Just like with cannabinoid isolates, hemp terpene isolate is produced through extraction. Both steam distillation and solvent extraction are methods used for separation. The result of this procedure is highly potent and pure.
The isolates can then be used in things like aromatherapy, topicals, and hemp consumables. The aromas and flavors provide a sensory experience and possible therapeutic effects. Many people enjoy using terpenes just like essential oils.
Besides aromatic qualities, hemp terpene isolates also possess potential health benefits. As noted earlier, these sensation-producing compounds are reputed to have therapeutic uses. With or without cannabinoids, they may indeed have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-anxiety effects.
So, they are fine by themselves or coupled with cannabinoids. Incorporating terpenes offers potential benefits associated with both kinds of cannabis compounds. However, isolated terps are an option for consideration.
Let’s review what we’ve learned about these cannabinoid enhancers.
Clearly, cannabinoids aren’t the only players when it comes to the hemp plant. Terpene enhancers may also provide some significant relief. They are substances within hemp plants that can often be utilized by our bodies for many purposes. Sometimes they provide pleasant tastes and smells. But they may have benefits beyond that.
Terpenes have a lot of potential, to be sure. They give a good taste and smell to many hemp products. And there are supposedly mental and physical plusses too. Furthermore, the non-psychoactive nature of terpenes means no buzz.
This is why The Mass Apothecary sells full-spectrum hemp merchandise with abundant terpenes. That way buyers can enjoy the entourage effect and the greatest possible benefit. This works for cannabinoids as well as their enhancers.
There are a variety of ways to enjoy any of our wares from vapes to oils, as well as edibles, topicals, and so much more. And there are options for pets as well. So, you just have to decide which choice makes sense for you. Then buy, try, and enjoy!