What are Terpenes?

The word “terpenes” is heard a lot more these days, especially with the increasing popularity of CBD and other cannabis-related products. Here we’ll discuss how terpenes are specifically crucial to CBD, but first, let’s dive into what they are and the critical role they play in the natural world.

What are Terpenes?

Terpenes are organic compounds that have significant and diverse jobs that help both plants and insects. Often, terpenes will emit a strong odor, which can help ward off predators but can also emit a pleasing aroma for us to enjoy and use for health benefits. Terpenes also determine the color and flavor of plants.

In their natural state, terpenes can be smelled in a variety of ways already familiar to you by oils that are released; some scents are even well known for their therapeutic benefits, such as the ones found in the following plants:

  • Lavender - Known for soothing effects that promote sleep and calmness
  • Jasmine - Can help to elevate mood and relieve stress
  • Sandalwood - Can assist with digestion and help to balance emotions
  • Chamomile - Known to help with relaxation and sleep
  • Bergamot - Can aid in digestion, muscle relaxation, and work against depression

While these scents can be strong on their own when they are aerosolized at hotter temperatures, they are known to release more potent scents - thus, aromatherapy.

CBD Terpenes

Hemp just wouldn’t be the same without the CBD terpenes that are responsible for the smell, flavor, and color of the plant. Hemp naturally contains up to 120 terpenes, all of them with their unique properties and scents. 

Cannabis plant terpenes all contribute their different smells and potential health effects. When isolated, some of the most common terpenes found in hemp are:

  • Alpha-bisabolol - Smells floral and is thought to contribute to anti-inflammation
  • Caryophyllene - Smells of black pepper and clove and is thought to contribute to pain relief
  • Delta 2 Carene - Smells sweet and earthy
  • Eucalyptol - Smells like eucalyptus and is thought to combat breathing problems and improve circulation
  • Geraniol - Smells like a rose and is thought to be antimicrobial and act as an anti-inflammatory
  • Humulene - Smells like hops and is thought to fight tumor growth actively
  • Limonene - Smells like citrus and is thought to promote weight loss, treat cancer, and treat bronchitis
  • Linalool - Smells like lavender and is thought to reduce anxiety and depression
  • Myrcene - Smells like hops and is thought to have a sedative effect
  • Pinene - Smells like pine and is thought to be an anti-inflammatory and to assist with opening airways
  • Terpineol - Smells like lilac and is thought to act as an antibiotic, antioxidant, assist in combating tumors, a sedative, and anti-inflammatory
  • Trans-nerolidol - Smells woody and is thought to be antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiparasitic
  • Valencene - Smells citrusy and is thought to act as an anti-inflammatory and antifungal

Many people prefer to have terpenes as an active ingredient in their CBD products because they believe it contributes to the “entourage effect,” which is the balance of all parts of the cannabis plant that can lead to maximum health benefit potential. If you are interested in the effects any of the terpenes listed above can provide for you, there is CBD oil available for purchase with some of the terpenes mentioned above as active ingredients.