June 16, 2020 8 min read
It doesn’t matter if you are new to the industry or consider yourself a veteran. The CBD world is evolving quickly, which means things change fast. So there is always something new to learn. If you’ve been around the CBD world for some time, you’ve probably heard the term terpenes get tossed around at some point or another. There is a positive connotation with the word terpenes, which seems to indicate that the existence of these so-called terpenes is a good thing. But what are terpenes in CBD?
Even if you have not heard of their name, you’ve come across them before. Terpenes are found everywhere and are more common than you might realize. Whether you’ve seen it listed as an ingredient on your CBD oil or a beauty product, it is almost everywhere. So today, we will talk about the different types of terpenes and their role in broad spectrum CBD.
We are going to start simple with what broad spectrum CBD is. Broad spectrum products are the ones that contain all the components of the hemp plant, except THC. These products are similar to broad spectrum CBD, which contain all the cannabinoids including THC, but they lack the psychoactive cannabinoid THC. Unlike traditional pharmaceutical companies that prefer to extract a single compound for drug development, we lean towards broad spectrum CBD to ensure we reap the benefits of the entire plant.
When we use the whole plant, other phytocannabinoids and terpenes are in the CBD product too. This distinction is crucial since CBD is just one of the hundreds of cannabinoids found within cannabis and hemp plants. Broad spectrum CBD is more beneficial than an isolate because the plant components amplify each other’s therapeutic benefits. Hence they achieve something known as the entourage effect. We’ll come back to this shortly.
So we know what broad spectrum CBD is. What are these terpenes that it contains? At a high level, terpenes are the aromatic, volatile compounds found in plants (not just CBD products). Whenever you smell flowers or fresh fruit, you are experiencing different types of terpenes at work. It may not be obvious, but terpenes surround us in our daily lives.
When it comes to cannabis, terpenes are the compounds that give the plant its individual, unique smell. Many don’t realize that THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids have no odor. So the fragrance comes from whichever terpenes are present. The terpenes in CBD products with THC are what produce the specific flavors.
Terpenes serve a more significant function than simply creating aroma or taste. Scientists believe they have additional beneficial properties. The existence of terpenes is not a new thing. And scientists who have been studying terpenes for a while have been led to believe specific terpenes could have different therapeutic effects. Several researchers have made notes of the role terpenes could play in aromatherapy, a holistic healing practice.
Now, a plant can have a large variety of different terpenes. When it comes to cannabis, there are maybe 200 various types of terpenes in the plant. But only a select handful of them appear in substantial amounts.
Think about all the different herbs and flowers we encounter with their distinct aromas and properties, from lavender to orange blossoms to rosemary--they are all brimming with terpenes. They have components that can make us feel good as well. For example, lavender has a calming effect. We can use orange blossom as a nerve tonic. And rosemary has long been known to be beneficial for the respiratory system. What might be surprising is that all of these terpenes are also in hemp.
Due to their healing properties, terpenes have long been the subject of scientific research. Dr. Ethan Russo was the researcher who ultimately described what the roles of terpenes in CBD are.
His paper coined the phrase the entourage effect. When it comes to hemp and CBD oil, we are not interested in all the individual properties of the various types of terpenes. Especially since the hemp plant itself has over 400 active compounds. Instead, we are interested in what all the components have to offer together. While modern medicine may favor the single extraction of compounds for drugs, whole plant extracts provide more benefits.
The blend of various compounds and substances creates this synergy that amplifies the overall effects, otherwise known as the entourage effect.
So now that we know what terpenes in CBD are and how they can help create the entourage effect, it is time to talk about the different types of terpenes and their benefits. Almost all our products contain trace amounts and sometimes, large amounts of terpenes. It’s crucial to understand what those individual terpenes are and what they add to the CBD products.
Much like its name suggests, pinene exists in pine needles, other conifers, sage, rosemary, and some citrus fruits. The aroma can be sharp and sweet. In aromatherapy, pinene can affect memory retention and alertness. Its therapeutic benefits include its use as an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agent.
Linalool is one of the terpenes in CBD with a delicate and floral aroma. It is present in lavender, rosewood, citrus, laurel, and birch. Many brands add linalool to their beauty products or topicals because of the pleasant scent. Linalool can have calming effects in aromatherapy as a sleep aid or anti-anxiety ingredient. It can also help with stress, depression, pain, and even convulsions.
When it comes to cannabis, the myrcene terpene is one of the most common terpenes in CBD to be brought up. It has a musky, earthy, and herbal aroma that people associate with cannabis. Although it is the smallest terpene, myrcene has powerful effects on the body. It also creates a drowsy, sleepy effect by making people feel tired. Outside of hemp and cannabis, it is present in mango, thyme, lemongrass, and bay leaves. Myrcene can have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antimicrobial, and antifungal effects.
Limonene is another type of terpene that is named accordingly. This terpene exists in citrus fruits, and it has the aroma of lemons. It is a mood booster terpene in CBD with the potential to alleviate emotional turbulence and provide general stress relief. As far as other therapeutic or medical properties, it is known to be an antifungal and anti-inflammatory agent. It can be helpful for anxiety, depression, and gastric reflux.
Now, what’s particularly interesting about limonene is the role it plays in CBD. It is a very important terpene because it expedites the absorption rate of other terpenes.
Caryophyllene is abundant in cloves, cinnamon, basil, oregano, and black pepper. It has a spicy, woody, or pepper-like aroma. The caryophyllene terpene in CBD is unique because it doesn’t have evident physical effects. Although, it has shown potential in helping with insomnia, muscle spasms, and pain. What sets it apart from other types of terpenes is that it may have the potential to interact with the endocannabinoid system, similar to cannabinoids.
Humulene is another common terpene in CBD that is also present in hops and coriander and has an earthy and woody scent. This terpene can act as an appetite suppressant and an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial agent.
An oversimplified way to think of terpenes is to think of them as essential oils. Hemp and cannabis plants have specific tastes and aromas due to the presence of their terpenes. And much like there are essential oils for everything, terpenes can also provide specific physical effects such as a calming sensation or help with alertness.
Not all labs test to know if there are terpenes in their CBD products. So they may not show in the lab reports or Certificates of Analysis. However, that does not mean they are not present. If you are ever concerned about the terpenes present in a product or do not see them listed in the COA, reach out to the company or brand directly.
At Envy CBD, almost all our products contain trace amounts of various types of terpenes because we prefer to lean towards creating broad spectrum CBD products. All our lab reports are made readily available, and we are more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Below is a breakdown of the terpene content for a few of our product categories.
To summarize what terpenes are in CBD products, we can point to the different roles they play. Because of their healing properties and distinct aromas, terpenes have several therapeutic uses, especially in aromatherapy. Broad spectrum CBD means that all of the terpenes and cannabinoids of the whole plant stay intact during processing. And this impacts how the body receives CBD.
Unlike in modern medicine, where they favor a single extract of a compound for the production of pharmaceutical drugs, broad spectrum CBD uses a combination of terpenes and various cannabinoids. The synergy between different substances working together creates the entourage effect. CBD isolate products cannot achieve this effect. And that is a big reason why Envy CBD leans heavily towards broad spectrum CBD products.
Plants contain hundreds and hundreds of different types of terpenes responsible for their aromas. Cannabis and hemp plants are no exception. While there are around 200 terpenes in the cannabis plant, there is only a handful that has significant amounts to be noticeable. Each terpene in CBD has different physical effects and medical properties with the potential to enhance the product. In other words, it works together to provide multiplied perks.
Whether or not you knew what terpenes were in CBD, it is more than likely that you’ve encountered them at various points throughout your life. Many of the scents we recognize, such as citrus, lavender, rosewood, sage, and so on, are the result of terpenes at work. We’re already very familiar with the benefits of some of these herbs and plants, so it is no surprise that the terpenes from these extracts also have similar benefits.
The most common types of terpenes in broad spectrum CBD are pinene, linalool, myrcene, limonene, caryophyllene, and humulene. Pinene at a high level is great for memory retention, alertness, and asthma. Linalool is recognized for its association with lavender and has calming benefits for anxiety and depression. Myrcene creates a musky and dank aroma that has come to be associated with cannabis. Limonene helps increase the absorption rate of other terpenes. Caryophyllene helps with insomnia, and humulene is an appetite suppressant.
Terpenes in CBD have much more to offer than just providing a distinct taste or smell. It is not common knowledge that terpenes have so many natural uses. Much like essential oils, there is likely a terpene for everything. While you can use CBD isolates on their own, the interaction of all the hemp compounds in broad spectrum CBD offers better overall benefits. When the terpenes interact with the other substances present, their properties are magnified, creating a better experience for the user.
An easy way to think about terpenes is to think about them the way you would with essential oils. While they are not the complete story, they add an extra layer to the CBD experience. Various types of terpenes have different properties, and everyone has a different preference for aromas or scents. While not all labs test for terpene content in their CBD products, this doesn’t mean they are not present. The next time you are looking for a CBD product to address specific pain points or needs, consider products that contain terpenes that may directly impact those needs.
We encourage all of our customers to do research and due diligence before making any CBD purchase. Reputable brands will always provide Certificates of Analysis that break down the exact contents. Envy CBD is proud to be a premium provider of potent and organic CBD products. See some of our CBD tinctures below, or visit our shop to choose from our vast collection of premium CBD products.
This CBD-infused tincture oil has the crisp, sweet, and ultra-satisfying flavor of green & red apples. It makes wellness a necessary and tasty part of life.Shop Now
This CBD-infused tincture oil features an incredible orange flavor, complete with zesty overtones and saccharine undertones. It provides a tasty alternative to achieving overall wellness.Shop Now
This CBD-infused tincture oil pairs the flavor of freshly-picked California strawberries with plump, juicy, and succulent watermelons. It helps you achieve total relaxation on a sweet note!Shop Now
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