Have you ever heard the word terpenes before? Do you already know what they are but you're just looking for more information about terpenes? Or are you someone who is looking for an in-depth explanation of terpenes, from start to finish? No matter where you fall on the spectrum of knowledge relating to terpenes, we are here to give you an entire rundown of terpenes.
Starting with what they are, we will define terpenes and explain why they are important. We'll jump into a discussion surrounding the function of terpenes as well as the benefit of them. There are numerous different kinds of terpenes, which we will be sure to go over in full, and from there, we'll point you in the right direction for buying terpenes-containing medicinal remedies.
Although terpenes are more often discussed in relation to cannabis than any other plant, they are not special nor are they unique to marijuana. Terpenes interact with our olfactory systems every time we smell a scent. From pine cones and cherry blossoms, to rosemary and lavender, terpenes are the reason that plants and flowers all smell different from each other.
The Definition of Terpenes: What Are They?
If you've heard of terpenes before, you probably already know that these mysterious things are always referenced in discussions about marijuana. As you might already know or have already come to suspect, terpenes are found in the cannabis plant. They are so strongly associated with cannabis for one reason in particular.
The reason is that terpenes are the culprits responsible for that oh so unique smell of weed. Cannabis contains oils, called terpenes, that account for the aroma of cannabis. Also found in THC and CBD oils, terpenes are also the reason why CBD and THC have a taste to them. From pine-scented fumes to fruit-flavored aftertastes, terpenes create a variety of flavors and aromas, making for quite an array of cannabis in terms of how it interacts with both the gustatory system and the olfactory system.
Terpenes are metabolites. As such, terpenes play a key part in the metabolization processes of our bodies. Naturally, terpenes influence the way our bodies respond to our environments, which is absolutely incredible because it means that terpenes can help us exist in places that might not be incredibly suitable as they are. For example, if you are an anxious person who lives in the heart of a city and who finds over-stimulation hard to manage, certain terpenes can alter the way your body -- and your mind -- approach the busy lifestyle of downtown living. This, in turn, will make the place you live less stressful and more manageable.
Are Terpenes Necessary for Health Benefits?
Despite being called essential oils, terpenes are not literally essential. Just like cannabis in general, terpenes are not necessarily vital for a healthy lifestyle. You do not need the terpenes found in cannabis, but like an supplement or vitamin, terpenes certainly can improve your life. Together, terpenes can create some of the most profound changes in the way you feel on a day-to-day basis. You might not even realize how much better terpenes can make you feel until you introduce them into your lifestyle. People report feeling less stressed and more energized after making terpenes a staple in their everyday lives.
One terpene on its own can be magical, but when multiple terpenes are combined, their effects are far greater and more likely to be life-changing. When terpenes interact with each other, they play off the qualities of one another. Terpenes help to enhance the effects of other terpenes, so in a way, they work as a team.
Another fascinating aspect of terpenes is the ease of manipulation when it comes to tailoring terpenes for certain medicinal purposes. Increasing the concentration of one terpene within a strain of cannabis can subsequently increase a certain quality of the cannabis. For example, a terpene called beta-caryophyllene, which we will soon explain in detail, is incredibly efficient in lowering stress levels. If a particular strain of cannabis is curated so that it contains a higher concentration of beta-caryophyllene, then that strain will have even greater rates of stress reduction than you might expect naturally.
So while terpenes can surely increase your quality of life, they are not an absolute necessity. But sometimes, even though you don’t need something, it can be really good for you, in the proper doses. Terpenes are not all the same, however, and their effects differ greatly, depending on the intended uses behind the terpenes being taken. Let’s talk more about the various kinds of terpenes and the effects they typically have.
The Eight Types of Terpenes that You're Most Likely to Come in Contact With
Extensive research has shown that there are more than one hundred terpenes that we are currently aware of, but when it comes to terpenes that you should pay attention to, only eight are really worth mentioning. Not that the other ninety-two or so aren’t important, but in terms of health benefits and noticeable effects, the following eight terpenes are the most influential.
Very briefly, we want to preface these individual descriptions by mentioning that all of these terpenes have similar underlying health benefits. Naturally, since terpenes are found in cannabis, and cannabis is recognized for its healing properties, it is not a surprise that terpenes are also very calming and soothing. There are slight differences among the eight prominent terpenes, so we will discuss those disparities below!
Terpinolene is similar in scent to Beta-Caryophyllene and Alpha-Pinene in that Terpinolene smells a bit like wood and trees. Think about the smell of Christmas pine as a terpene, and there you have it! Terpinolene is incredibly beneficial for the overall well being of people who are prone to being nervous or who fall anywhere on the spectrum of anxiety disorders.
Linalool is a terpene that smells like a bouquet of flowers with its floral aromatic properties. As expected, linalool is known to elate moods and activate dopamine receptors in the brain. Also found in lavender plants, linalool makes people feel more at ease. From genuine pain and low moods, to mental illnesses and difficulties sleeping, linalool is recommended for anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed mind.
Alpha-Pinene is a terpene that smells the way you would expect a forest of pine trees to smell. This is easy to remember because the word pine is part of the terpene's actual name. Interestingly enough, alpha-pinene is known for increasing awareness of your surroundings and storing experiences more readily in your brain. Wondering why alpha-pinene smells so similar to pine trees? Well, that is because it is found in the needles of pine trees!
If oranges and lemons were a terpene, they would be Limonene. Even the name itself makes you think of citrus, doesn't it? Limonene smells like orange peels and lemon rinds, among other similar scents. If you can envision yourself slicing open a citrus fruit, you will have an idea of smells that the terpene, limonene, exudes. And who doesn't feel lighter and happier upon smelling citrus? The calming and uplifting smells so often associated with oranges and lemons are due to the fact that limonene induces a slight elevation in moods. As such, limonene is recognized for its impressive ability to lower rates of depression, anxiety, and stress among those who use it for such purposes.
Humulene has an earthy smell to it, like a mixture of dirt and open air. Most terpenes tend to have a range of medicinal benefits associated with them, but when it comes to humulene, the primary healing property of this terpene is its ability to counteract inflammation. Basil and coriander are two of a few other plants that contain humulene.
Myrcene is an impressively powerful terpene. As a brief sidenote, cannabis that contains THC is broken down into two categories: indica and sativa. Indica strains of cannabis are known for their calming, sedative effects on the body and mind, whereas cannabis considered to be a sativa will actually energize someone who takes it, making them more active and their brain more alert.
If you have ever wondered how this is possible, you've finally found the answer to your question. The terpene, myrcene, is the determining factor that separates indica strains from sativas. Cannabis with higher levels of myrcene will result in an indica strain, whereas cannabis with a lower concentration of myrcene will be a sativa. That said, myrcene has a calming effect on the body and the mind, making it an excellent sleep aid for anyone looking to counteract the symptoms of insomnia.
Ocimene is interesting because the aromatic properties of this terpene are a mix of sweet floral scents and dense forest-like smells. Ocimene can be thought of as having a light, woodsy scent. As a terpene that you can also find in fruits like kumquats and seasoning plants like basil, Olocene is well-known for its protective nature against virus. While it cannot cure infections or illnesses caused by viruses, olocene can certainly help keep you out of harm's way and increase the possibility of evading viruses.
Beta-Caryophyllene is most commonly used, and known, for its ability to lower stress levels in the brain, making people feel more well-rounded and relaxed overall. Beta-caryophyllene has a bit of a kick to it, aromatically speaking. Aside from being found in cannabis, beta-caryophyllene is commonly found in spices, particularly cinnamon and pepper.
The Phenomenal Effects of Terpenes: All About the Entourage Effect Phenomenon
There is one phenomenon in particular that is directly correlated with terpenes. Called the entourage effect, this phenomenon is defined as the understanding that utilizing all aspects of the cannabis plant is far more effective than deriving one cannabidiol -- like THC or CBD -- and consuming it on its own. If you think about the fact that entourage refers to a group of people or a conglomeration of things, then the concept begins to make more sense.
Just as there is more power in a group than one person can exhibit on their own, multiple components of cannabis are more impactful when used together than they are when they’re set apart and used separately.
Now that you have some more background information on the entourage effect, you might be wondering how in the world terpenes come into play. That’s a solid pondering to have! Let’s talk about that now. So, to briefly recap, terpenes are the compounds that contribute to the aroma that cannabis gives off.
From there, let’s think about all the different kinds of cannabinoids contained within the cannabis plant. The two most commonly talked about cannabinoids are CBD, or cannabidiol, and THC, which is short for tetrahydrocannabinol. However, despite the fact that these two have heightened levels of popularity, there are actually sixteen main cannabinoids in total.
Here is a list of the other fourteen cannabinoids, beyond THC and CBD:
- Cannabichromene -- CBC
- Cannabichromevarin -- CBCV
- Cannabidiolic acid -- CBDA
- Cannabidivarin -- CBDV
- Cannabielsoin -- CBE
- Cannabigerol -- CBG
- Cannabigerol monomethyl ether -- CBGM
- Cannabigerovarin -- CBGV
- Cannabicyclol -- CBL
- Cannabinol -- CBN
- Cannabicitran -- CBT
- Cannabivarin -- CBV
- Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid -- THCA
- Tetrahydrocannabivarin -- THCV
Every single cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant has its own properties and they each influence the body -- and the mind -- in their own ways. For the sake of simplicity, let’s focus on CBD and THC. Let’s say you consume about 0.5 milliliters of CBD oil. The effects you’ll receive are very calming on the body, producing a chilled-out experience without subsequently affecting your mind. Remember that CBD is not psychotropic, so the effects do not cause any alterations to the ways your mind functions. Anxiety symptoms, and the anxiety itself, are often resolved with CBD, but not in a way that makes you feel other-worldly.
That said, if you compared your experience with CBD to a situation in which you inhale about fourteen milligrams of THC, the latter scenario will result in very different effects. THC is absolutely psychoactive, which just so happens to be one of the main reasons people smoke, eat, or consume THC in the first place.
By influencing the reward system in the brain and activating various cannabinoid receptors, tetrahydrocannabinol causes an uproar of stimulation among various neurons. As a result of THC entering the brain, the parts of our brains that contribute to the release of dopamine become activated. From there, the pleasure centers of our minds illuminate with activity, at which point we recognize that we feel good.
As is human nature, anything that creates a positive sensation in our minds and our bodies will be sought out and chased. While this instinct can be detrimental in many cases, the thing about cannabis -- whether it be THC, CBD, or any other cannabinoid -- is that it’s entirely natural. There is nothing harmful about these substances, and better yet, they work impressively well as alternatives for many prescription drugs intended to treat pain.
From here, we’re going to zero in on CBD and the terpenes found within CBD oils. Cannabidiol has been detected as being an incredibly effective substance for the treatment of anxiety and panic disorders. While many psychiatrists are quick to prescribe Xanax and Propanolol for the treatment of mental illnesses of this nature, CBD has been proven to do the trick in an all-natural way.
While Xanax can causes changes in your brain’s chemical makeup by influencing GABA receptors, Propanalol is less dangerous for the long-term. However, neither these medications nor any other prescription drug curated in a lab are necessarily good for you, considering the fact that they are manmade. Holistic, natural approaches to medical concerns are far better for you. That’s where CBD comes into the equation.
Terpenes and CBD: The Magic Duo
As a cannabinoid found in cannabis, CBD also contains terpenes. Are you wondering, “What are terpenes in CBD oil?” If so, take note: CBD oil with terpenes is not psychoactive. People who are in search of an all-natural remedy for certain ailments are sure to find comfort and relief in CBD oils. The terpenes found within CBD of any form are specifically tailored for relaxation, calmness, and obliteration of stress. Cannabidiol does not contain the primary ingredient responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis, which is THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. This means that you cannot get high from CBD! All you will feel is a greater sense of calm. What could be better?
Where to Buy CBD Oil and Other THC-Free Cannabis Products
VitaLeaf is a reputable online retailer of all-natural, terpene-containing CBD for people like you and me! From CBD oils to capsules containing CBD, VitaLeaf has an inventory that is sure to spark your interest. If you read this article and you feel that terpenes are the solution to an ailment of yours, we highly recommend that you test CBD oil from VitaLeaf for yourself! Our CBD is specifically tailored for people who want to calm their minds, relax their bodies, and soothe their souls. Everything is better with the help of CBD. But don’t take our word for it. Try our VitaLeaf CBD oil for yourself!