Get to Know Terpenes

As you get to know more of the terms associated with CBD and the Cannabis plant family, you’ll come across the word “terpenes”. What are terpenes? They are naturally-occurring aromatic compounds that are found in flowering and fruiting plants throughout the world. Plants create them to ward off predators or to entice pollination.

Terpenes are particularly associated with the Cannabis family for their high concentration of them in the plant family’s flowers. Responsible for those “notes”, flavors and colors, terpenes are believed to work well with the plant compounds, encouraging and enhancing the entourage effect.

Depending on what strain that the Cannabis is, these notes and colors bring another variety of potential beneficial options for the consumer. The six most commonly talked about are Myrcene, Pinene, Caryophyllene, Limonene, Linalool and Terpinolene.

Myrcene is also found in mangoes, lemongrass, hops and basil. It can have an earthy and fruity note to it and can be described as being “clove like”. It is the most common terpene found in commercially available Cannabis and is known for its sedating effects.

Pinene is the most common terpene found in the natural world and it is found in pine needles, rosemary, dill, orange peels and basil. It, of course, has a pine-like scent to it.

Caryophyllene (beta Caryophyllene) is the only terpene that is known to also act as the cannabinoids do, by binding with the CB2 receptors (as CBD does, predominantly) which helps facilitate its anti-inflammatory effects. This terpene is most often found in black pepper but it is also in cloves, oregano and cinnamon. This means that it is most known for its “peppery” or “musky” note in strains that have it.

Limonene is found most in the oils of citrus peels hence the fruity and citrusy scents associated with it. It is also found in Juniper and, in aromatherapy, is used for its calming properties.

Linalool is a spicy and floral terpene that is found in over 200 different plants throughout the world. It is often used as a scent ingredient in bath and beauty products - so much so that anywhere from 60 - 80% of perfumed hygiene products are found to have it listed. It is the predominant driver behind Lavender smelling like it does and, therefore, it is found in a lot of forms of aromatherapeutic practices.

Terpinolene is not as abundant as the others can be and only about 1/10 of strains are terpinolene-dormant; however it is worth noting as it does bring a blend of common terpene scents (woodsy, fruity) and is also found in Lilacs, Nutmeg and Cumin.

These various plant compounds are getting more and more into the spotlight and consumers are learning more about them, their properties, and how they play with the cannabinoids that they come with. After all, the true beauty of this unique plant family is how it brings all of the parts of it in nature together, for such wonderful potential.

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