What are terpenes? For one thing, they’re one of the most common and abundant aromatic compounds in plants. Although you might never have heard of them, you have definitely encountered terpenes before. If you’ve ever enjoyed the scent of a rose or marveled at the blissful aroma of blooming wildflowers, you’ve experienced terpenes.
If you’re a CBD consumer, you’ve surely come across the term on the label of your CBD oil. But where are these wonderfully, fragrant compounds — and what exactly do they do?
In today’s article, we explore exactly these questions.
What’s Exactly Meant By The Term ‘CBD Terpenes’?
Terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids represent three distinct classes of chemical compounds found naturally in hemp. If you’re looking for a complete, comprehensive list of terpenes, however, you’re going to have to keep looking.
While over 200 distinct terpenes have been identified, there are likely many more to be discovered – particularly if you take into consideration things like terpene analogs and isomers.
The expression CBD terpenes simply refers to terpenes that are commonly found in hemp. When a full spectrum CBD oil is made, it includes all the natural phytocompounds of hemp — and this includes the range of terpenes that are present in a specific genetic strain.
While the following is by no means a comprehensive list of hemp terpenes, it does represent some of the plant’s most commonly found compounds:
Myrcene terpenes are some of the most common terpenoids associated with hemp. They have a wonderfully rich, earthy, herbal scent – just like you’d expect from a freshly-cultivated hemp plant. Despite being the smallest terpene in a structural chemical sense, myrcene appears to boast a range of unique benefits.
The name alone gives this one away immediately. The limonene terpene is commonly found in the rinds of citrus fruits, especially lemons. It’s also a crucial terpene in many hemp extract products, and adds a wonderful boost in terms of a CBD oil’s flavor and aroma profile.
One of the most abundant terpenes of all, caryophyllene is found in cloves, cinnamon, and black pepper, as well as hemp. It offers a brilliantly spicy, woody aroma. Not much research has been done on caryophyllene benefits, but we’re hoping this is an area of study wherein increased attention is given in the years to come.
To date, there are few (if any) terpinolene-dominant CBD products on the market. With increased research and accessibility, however, we expect this to change in the years to come.
Pinene terpenes are, unsurprisingly, found in pine needles. But they’re also found in several distinct strains of hemp. Pinene also occurs in a number of conifers, as well as a few citrus trees. It possesses a wonderfully distinct aroma, and it’s presence is immediately recognizable in a variety of CBD products.
Another common compound in hemp, the humulene terpene is best described as ‘hoppy.’ Perhaps not surprisingly, this compound is found abundantly in various brews around the world – responsible for giving beer its rich, distinctly hoppy taste and aroma.
Even though it’s common in hemp, little is know about ocimene terpenes. These have been some of the most obscure and least-research compounds in the hemp terpenoid spectrum.
Another very common terpene in hemp is linalool. This is a compound that many are probably already familiar with, as it boasts a floral, delicate aroma that’s common in many plant species (most notably lavender). As far as linalool terpene effects, some brands add linalool to their range of topical products for its lovely scent, which is commonly used in aromatherapy.
What Are Terpenes in CBD?
The above-listed compounds are some of the most common terpenes in CBD oil. Sometimes, however, brands will add in extra terpenes to supplement naturally occurring ones that are present in a specific strain of hemp.
It’s key to point out that terpenes in CBD oil are most abundant in full-spectrum products. CBD isolate oils are heavily fractionated from the initial hemp extract, meaning many of the natural components of the plant are lost — including both cannabinoids and terpenes.
If you’re looking for a CBD oil that contains a range of beneficial, naturally-occuring terpenes, you’ll want to opt for a full-spectrum product.
Potential Terpenes Benefits When Using CBD Oil
Little research has been done on the potential benefits of terpenes. However, some suggest there may be a synergistic relationship between naturally-occuring hemp terpenes and cannabinoids. In other words, it’s possible that hemp cannabinoids (like CBD) function more efficiently when in the presence of terpenes, rather than when they’re isolated by themselves.
If true, this would suggest that full-spectrum CBD products would be more effective in a physiological sense. Still, much more studies will need to be carried out in order to better understand the complete range of CBD terpenes benefits.
Is There A Difference Between Terpenes and Terpenoids?
Depending on the brand or specific product in question, you may have seen variable use of the words terpenes and terpenoids. These terms are completely interchangeable; they are simply different words that describe the same range of chemical compounds.
Research and Studies on Terpenes
While much more research must be carried out to better understand terpene benefits, it appears these aromatic compounds do possess their own unique range of benefits — which is why they’re often a welcome addition to CBD oil.
In the future (pending adequate research), it’s possible that novel terpene health benefits may allow CBD users to tailor their overall experience when using hemp-extracted products.
For example, users looking to use CBD oil in the evening may opt for a product that contains linalool and myrcene; two terpenes that are known for their gentle, relaxing properties.
On the other hand, a CBD product with terpenes like limonene and caryophyllene, may be used to help provide energize and increased levels of focus.
Bottom Line on Terpenes
All in all, it’s clear that terpenes are essential not only in hemp, but also a countless variety of plants and their essential oil extracts. Terpenes can provide an extra boost to any hemp-based product, and may even offer their own range of particular benefits, as well.
One of the advantages of using a CBD terpenes product is you get a more complete “CBD experience.” These compounds are a natural component of hemp, and they are therefore a crucial element to the range of beneficial action that hemp extract has on the human body.
If you’re interested in experiencing the effects CBD oil with terpenes, be sure to invest in organic, high-quality products that are backed up by authentic lab reports verifying cannabidiol and phytochemical content.
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