What are Terpenes?
In your discussions with friends and colleagues, you might’ve heard the term terpenes or “terps” and how they’re a necessity in any CBD or marijuana product. Of course, you acted like you knew what everyone was talking about… but in the back of your head, you wondered:
“What the heck are terps?…is it a new brand of chips…?”
So, to avoid looking like a fool in your next chat about cannabis, you did some Googling and now you find yourself reading this article. If that sounds about right, this article is for you. In this article, we’ll help you not only learn what terpenes are, we will also discuss how they work, and more importantly, how they can benefit you.
In simplest terms, terpenes are fragrant oils found in most fruits, herbs, and plants.
And yes, you guessed it—one of these plants is Cannabis.
In Cannabis, terps can be found in the plant’s sticky resin glands, where THC, CBD, and the other cannabinoids are produced.
Now, have you ever grabbed a really nice flower and after, smelled the sticky residue on your fingers? What you smelled were the plant’s terpenes.
That’s right—terpsare what gives the cannabis plant that wonderful smell. In fact, terps are the primary source of each strain’s distinct, natural aroma.
If you go crazy for the funky sour fragrance of Sour Diesel or smile when you smell the sweet berry scent of Jack Herer, you can thank terpenes!
The benefits of terpenes are not just limited to the wonderful aromatic experience they offer—terpenes also provide a wide range of health benefits.
What are the Benefits of Terpenes?
Most of us have probably heard of aromatherapy—the therapeutic practice of using aromatic compounds to improve physical and psychological well-being. Well, the aromas secreted from terpenes work the same way.
Let’s expand on that.
When we smell the fragrances secreted from terpenes, it activates receptors in our olfactory system—the membranes, neurons, and nerves that control our sense of smell. Our olfactory system then communicates with receptors in the limbic system of our brains, which includes the amygdala, hippocampus, thalamus, and hypothalamus. This system controls upper-level functions of our brain such as emotions, reactions, stress regulation, and memory recall. The activation of these receptors, which would have otherwise been dormant, opens the door to a wide variety of health benefits.
A cannabis terpene known as Myrcene has a musty, earthy fragrance. This terpene enhances the feeling of relaxation associated with indica-dominant strains and can provide increased stress-relief.
Limonene, on the other hand, has a wonderful citrus aroma, which can provide an elevated mood, heightened senses, and stress relief. If these benefits sound awesome, this is just the start. There are over 27 different cannabis terpenes found in the cannabis plant, each with a unique fragrance that activates different receptors in our brain, leading to a ton of health benefits.
Terpenes and CBD
So how does this all tie into CBD?
It’s simple. Just as we can extract CBD and THC from the cannabis plant, we can also extract the plant’s terpenes. These terpenes and the terpenes of other herbs and plants can then be combined with CBD oil to not only enhance its benefits but to increase its range of benefits and create a better overall experience. There are even companies like 505Terpenes who specialize in extracting terpenes from various herbs, fruits, and plants and provide them to companies and consumers to combine with their CBD.
So in a nutshell, terps are awesome.
So, next time you’re out shopping for a CBD product, be sure to check if it uses a terpene-blend. There are a ton of great options out there such as Koi CBD or Medterra CBD. Keep in mind that terps may not always be preferred (in flavorless products for example) and the lack of terpenes doesn’t necessarily discredit the product. If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to post in the comments section below.
Thank you for reading and we hope this article was helpful! Next time you’re out with your buddies and the subject of terps comes up, you can unleash your new found knowledge on them!
Stay happy and stay healthy!