If you’re not familiar with cannabidiol (CBD), you’re more than likely confused as to what terpenes are and what they do. While terpenes play a big role in how your CBD products may interact with your mind and body, they’re not limited to just cannabidiol. In fact, terpenes are everywhere.
What Are Terpenes?
You can find terpenes in a wide variety of plants and are responsible for the aromatic profile you associate with many of the common scents you find in your everyday life. Whether it’s the lemony scent of citrus fruits, the refreshing pine smell of certain plant life, or the relaxing fragrance of many flowers such as lavender — you’ve certainly experienced terpenes before.
Now, CBD, which comes from cannabis (or hemp), already has hundreds of naturally occurring terpenes found within its unique structure. However, many CBD companies add terpenes to their products for what is called the “Entourage Effect.”
What's the Entourage Effect?
Hemp has many strains, each with its own composition of compounds and terpenes. It’s the reason why cannabis can have so many unique aromatic profiles, distinguishing each strain from the next. However, before diving into the ins and outs of the entourage effect, you need to know how cannabinoids and terpenes operate.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical compound commonly found in hemp that is known as a cannabinoid. Contrary to what many may think, cannabinoids are already present in the human body, whether you’ve used cannabis or not. That’s primarily due to our endocannabinoid system, a relatively new discovery in the human body that helps promote homeostasis and maintains healthy functioning in many of our crucial organs. It’s a neurotransmission roadway that is improved by cannabinoids, which regulate the complex system within the body.
On the other hand, different terpenes interact with the body and brain as well, affecting various aspects in some fairly incredible ways. Certain terpenes may promote alertness, while others can have antibacterial properties. Some terpenes can even boost the effectiveness of other terpenes.
Together = The Entourage Effect
When terpenes and cannabinoids work together, it’s called the CBD entourage effect. As mentioned, cannabinoids work with the endocannabinoid system and their receptors, which may include the nervous system or immune system (along with others). Binding to these receptors, cannabinoids help the body regulate the amount of certain chemicals that should be produced (which is where homeostasis comes into play).
Terpenes assist and enhance the effectiveness of cannabinoids by impacting how productive they are at regulating certain systems. It’s why certain terpenes can impact certain moods or bodily functions, as their interaction with the endocannabinoid system fluctuates based on the type of terpenes.
How Terpenes Can Impact Your CBD Experience
1. Chill You Out
Many CBD users are looking for a natural way to help with stress or promote a healthy sleep schedule. Well, luckily, there are relaxing CBD products to help soothe the mind and body with the help of incredible terpenes like Linalool, Limonene, and Beta-Caryophyllene.
• Linalool is commonly found in lavender or birch bark, and has calming and relaxing effects.
• Limonene comes from lemon or orange rind and helps with anxiousness and stress relief.
• Beta-Caryophyllene is found in hops, cloves, cinnamon and black pepper and may help users elevate their mood and combat negative feelings (studies still pending). It’s also one of the only known terpenes that also acts as a cannabinoid.
3. Relieve Discomfort
There are a ton of great CBD products that offer relief. Whether it’s helping with achy joints, fatigued muscles, or overall soreness — certain terpenes work alongside CBD for anti-inflammatory effects that may offer the relief you’re looking for. Be on the lookout for these terpenes.
• Eucalyptol, which comes from eucalyptus (big surprise), has not only powerful antifungal properties but can also be used for bringing down swelling and relieving discomfort.
• Myrcene is a common terpene in cannabis and has antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and relief properties that make it a staple for many CBD products. While it does get the bulk of its effectiveness when combined with THC, it can do some serious work alongside other compounds as well.
Linalool can not only give your immune system a boost but also help with achiness and has sedative properties as well.
2. Elevate Your Mood
If you’re looking for a pick-me-up with your CBD oil or product, you’ll want to look for terpenes that help uplift your mood and mental clarity. Because terpenes have so many diverse functions, you’re going to see some pop up more than once on this list, such as beta-caryophyllene and limonene.
• Limonene can help elevate a user’s mood, relieve stress, and can help with the absorption of other terpenes as well.
• Pinene, which can come from pine needles, rosemary, and basil, has calming effects and can relieve bodily discomfort due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
• Terpinolene can be found in nutmeg, lilacs, and even cumin — offering some incredibly awesome uplifting properties due to the entourage effect.
4. Give You Balance
As we’ve learned, CBD plays a major role in helping with the endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for the healthy regulation of many physiological and mental functions. So, some CBD users may be looking for something to help with overall balance — hitting many of the terpenes for uplifting the mood, managing stress, and even helping relieve discomfort in the body. If you’re looking for a balanced formula, you’ll want to look for a combination that hits all the marks.
• Nerol can be found in a wide range of products in the fragrance industry for the smell of roses. It has an interesting aroma, one that is both rosy and citrusy when extracted and isolated. It is antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial with some pain relief and sedative properties.
• Humulene can be found in wood and hops and has an herbal aroma. It has both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
The rest may be a combination of stress relief terpenes like linalool or beta-Caryophyllene — along with uplifting terpenes such as terpinolene, pinene, or limonene.
Get the CBD Experience You're Looking For
If you’re taking advantage of all the benefits CBD has to offer; there’s probably a reason why it’s in your wellness routine. Taking the time to research what different CBD oils and products contain, along with the terpenes that could affect your experience, makes a difference.
If you’re taking CBD first thing in the morning, you probably don’t want any terpenes with sedative effects. And if you’re taking CBD before bed, you’re not going to want uplifting terpenes that could keep you up. It’s all about finding the right product with the right combination of terpenes to fit your needs.