What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are a large group of compounds found in a variety of plants, including cannabis and hemp plants. They are oils secreted in plants and they are responsible for the various colors, smells, and flavors of plants and products like CBD Vape Oil. That famous smell of pot that you may be familiar with can be attributed to terpenes. Terpenes are also the basis for most essential oils and they are commonly used in products like soap, perfume, and lotion. Plants developed terpenes through adaptation to repel predators and to attract pollinators, and since then certain ones have been developed more through selective breeding by people. The role terpenes play in cannabis and hemp are a little different, so let’s make this distinction so you better understand.
Terpenes in Cannabis
At least 120 terpenes have been found in marijuana plants and they have taken on a much larger role in professional cannabis growing. With many states legalizing both recreational and medicinal marijuana, it has opened up creativity to growers to experiment with creating marijuana strains with different smells, tastes, and colors. There are many fruit-themed strains now like Strawberry Cough or Lemon Haze, which both taste and smell like the fruit they are named for. Also, there have been huge developments in different colored cannabis, such as Granddaddy Purple. All of these innovative developments can be attributed to growers experimenting with terpenes.
Terpenes in Hemp
Let’s focus on terpenes’ role in hemp now, as that is what all of our CBD products like CBD Capsules are extracted from. Hemp plants don’t have as strong of a flavor or a smell as cannabis, and hemp isn’t produced with thousands of different CBD strains like cannabis is. There simply isn’t a huge culture around hemp like marijuana, so terpenes in hemp haven’t really been selectively bred to produce different smells, flavors, or colors. However, hemp contains at least 120 terpenes like cannabis and the role of terpenes in hemp primarily has to do with its natural color and smell. Terpenes aren’t found in as near of high percentage in hemp, but there are still many that are there and they contribute to the plant.
Why Would You Want Them?
Besides adding unique flavor, color, and smell to plants, they also can have medicinal benefits when combined with the cannabinoids CBD and THC. If they were just used by themselves, they wouldn’t have much of a therapeutic effect, but they have been shown to have a synergistic effect when combined with these cannabinoids. Let’s get into some common specific terpenes and a little bit about them.
This is the most commonly found terpene in hemp and it can be characterized as having a fresh piney, floral smell. While hemp doesn’t have nearly as strong of a smell as cannabis, its natural herbal smell can largely be attributed to Terpinole. Besides being common in hemp, it is also found it sativa-dominated marijuana strains, apples, nutmeg and tea trees. Combined with cannabinoids, it has some of the most versatile medicinal effects. It has been shown to be a strong sedative, anticancer, antioxidant, and antibacterial.
Myrcene is probably the most well-known terpene as it is found in many cannabis strains and in hemp in trace amounts. It has strongest medicinal benefits out of all the terpenes, as it is a sedative that is good for relaxing muscle tension, pain, inflammation, and sleeplessness. It can be described of smelling of cloves and has a very herbal and natural smell to it. The interesting thing to note about Myrcene is what it is also found in: mangos and hops. That is why many people who drink heavy hop beers like IPAs note that it has a much more relaxing and sedative effect than other beers. Also, it has been shown that eating mangos after smoking weed or taking a CBD tincture can enhance the effects, even of products like CBD Edibles, and Myrcene plays a role in this.
The last popular terpene you should be familiar with is Alpha-Pinene, which is common in both cannabis and hemp. It has an extremely pine smell, which makes sense because it is the most active terpene in pine needles, basil, parsley, and dill. This terpene has some medical benefits as well as having a strong aroma. It has been shown to increase alertness and memory retention, as it actually counteracts some effects of THC.
Are There Terpenes in CBD Extracts?
As all of our products here are pure CBD extracts, there aren’t going to be much, if any, terpenes in these products especially the CBD Capsules and CBD Edibles. The CBD in these products like CBD Crystals are all extracted from hemp plants, but the terpenes will mostly be left in the hemp plant. However, if you ever smoke hemp or cannabis plants, you now know the powerful role terpenes play in these plants and many other plants out there. Next time you look, smell, or taste any plant, know that terpenes are playing a large role in what you are experiencing.