Terpenes 101: Going Beyond Cannabinoids for Health

There is no doubt that cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are well known for their beneficial properties.  But did you know that the hemp plant also contains another type of therapeutic compound?

They are called terpenes. 

Terpenes are the aromatic compounds that give all plants, fruits and fragrant vegetables their distinctive smell.  They are what gives a plant its distinctive flavour and smell, and what makes mint smell like mint, and lavender like lavender.

The strong odours of terpenes are also responsible for protecting plants by warning and putting off animals and insects that might want to take a nibble.  Similarly, terpenes also attract insects like bees and butterflies to help with pollination.  And because of


WHY TERPENES ARE IMPORTANT

Terpenes originally evolved to repel predators and lure pollinators by working on the olfactory system and act directly on brain cells to modulate activity.  And scientist have found that because of this, terpenes can also have a therapeutic benefit.

This ability of terpenes to interact with our sense of smell and our brain is why aromatherapy works, or why you feel better after spending time in a forest, or why certain smells can boost your mood and make you feel more energised.

But hemp terpenes in particular are quite adept at providing additional therapeutic benefits.  The reason for this is because hemp terpenes are formed in the same resinous trichomes as the cannabinoids.  And because of this, the terpenes found in hemp have the same ability as cannabinoids to then also bind to the same endocannabinoid receptors located throughout the brain and body.

What’s more is that, scientist have found that when terpenes work together with cannabinoids in a process known as the entourage effect, these beneficial properties actually increase.  In other words, terpenes and cannabinoids work better together than they do on their own.

 

8 Main Terpenes in Hemp

There are ten main terpenes found in cannabis and hemp, each with their own aromas and therapeutic benefits.

 

1. Humulene

Herbal, woody aroma

Also found in:

Hops, sage, ginseng, coriander, cloves, basil and ginger

Vaporises at:

106ºC

Therapeutic Benefits:

 

2. Limonene

Citrusy, lemony aroma

Also found in:

Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes, rosemary, juniper and peppermint

Vaporises at:

176ºC

Therapeutic Benefits:

 

3. Pinene

Fresh, pine aroma

Also found in:

Pine, conifers, rosemary, basil, parsley and dill

Vaporises at:

155ºC

Therapeutic Benefits:

 

4. Myrcene

Peppery, spicy, herbal aroma

Also found in:

Mango, thyme, lemongrass, parsley, hops and bay leaf

Vaporises at:

167°C

Therapeutic Benefits:

 

5. Linalool

Floral, spicy or woody aroma

Also found in:

Lavender, birch bark, some citrus, rosewood, laurels and coriander

Vaporises at:

198°C

Therapeutic Benefits:

 

6.  Caryophyllene

Peppery, spicy, woody, clove aroma.  Also the only terpene that acts as a cannabinoid and activate the endocannabinoid system.

Also found in:

Black pepper, cloves and cinnamon

Vaporises at:

130ºC

Therapeutic Benefits:

 

7.  Terpinolene

Piney, floral, herbal aroma

Also found in:

Nutmeg, tea tree, conifers, apples, cumin, and lilacs

Vaporises at:

186ºC

Therapeutic Benefits:

 

8.  Ocimene

Sweet, herbal, woody aroma

Also found in:

Mint, parsley, pepper, basil, mangoes, orchids, and kumquats

Vaporises at:

50ºC

Therapeutic Benefits:

 

All these different terpenes in hemp are thought to have their various benefits because of the way in which they interact with our sense of smell, brain cells, but also cannabinoids by means of the entourage effect. 

That is why all our Otherside CBD oils are full-spectrum, also including a range of naturally occurring hemp terpenes to help ensure that you get the best the whole hemp plant has to offer.

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