What are terpenes and why do we care?
- Growing

What are terpenes and why do we care?

In recent years, cannabidiol has gained popularity as a potent natural remedy for various physical and mental ailments. As a result, the cannabis market has grown exponentially and is a significant vertical within healthcare and wellness. The rising cost of healthcare services in the US has pushed more and more individuals to alternative medicines and natural remedies. Researchers have also been experimenting and analyzing such compounds to study their effects in detail. One of the chemical compounds that remains a mystery to most cannabis users is terpenes. Are you unaware of how these substances contribute to the overall impact that marijuana provides? If so, here’s a look at everything you need to know about terpenes and why they are so essential.

What are Terpenes?

Terpenes are essentially aromatic compounds found in plants and everyday products that produce natural scents. Their smells are prominent in substances like orange, pine, lavender, rosemary, and cannabis. The latter is famous for having large concentrations of these substances; most people associate them with marijuana. Since having higher concentrations of terpenes produce a more significant impact on the aroma and effect of cannabis, manufacturers use the following strategies to improve their flavor profile.

  1. Add nutrients and use the best soil to boost terpene growth
  2. Stress the plants and pinch their branches
  3. Use UVB lights
  4. Change the humidity within the greenhouse
  5. Use modern harvesting techniques

Terpenes Vs. Terpenoids

Terpenes have become a common buzzword within the healthcare and wellness vertical. As a result, they are now finding their way into different products across segments, from kombucha to sparkling water. These powerful aromatic hydrocarbons provide these products a unique smell and flavor profile. Another common scientific term used in tandem with such substances is terpenoids, and people often get confused between them. The primary difference between them is that terpenoids act as modified terpenes, which are essentially hydrocarbons. These compounds work as derivatives of the former, and so though people often use these words interchangeably, they don’t point towards the same products. Plants secrete these compounds from their glands to repel predators and harmful insects. However, these aromatic substances also attract beneficial insects that act as pollinating agents. You can order them online from any reputable company or Weed Delivery Services.

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Why Should We Care about Terpenes?

Terpenes play a crucial role in maintaining the balance of our environment, making them integral to plants and nature as a whole. These compounds are responsible for helping plants attract pollinating agents and repel predators and external threats. Additionally, such substances also improve plant immunity and help combat infections and bacteria. Since these chemical compounds are bioactive, they can interact with our bodies. The more terpenes a product has, the more pronounced impact it will have on our bodies. Most of these substances are responsible for inducing relaxing, calming, and therapeutic effects. Studies also highlight their antioxidant properties, making them effective in skincare products.

Additionally, they work in tandem with cannabinoids to propagate the entourage effect, wherein cannabinoids perform better when combined with other compounds. As a result, their presence in cannabis can help boost the overall impact of marijuana. Scientists are analyzing and researching this synergistic effect to unlock the secrets behind them working together.

The specific terpene profile found within the cannabis plant depends on its strain, method of harvesting, and growth cycle-specific environmental factors such as curing, sunlight exposure, and ambient temperature influence the terpene profile. As a result, brands understand the nature of their harvest only after testing them. Individuals with insomnia or chronic pain can benefit from products containing higher concentrations of linalool and caryophyllene. On the other hand, individuals combating harmful infections should opt for items containing myrcene and humulene, which have potent antibacterial properties.

How Can We Use Terpenes Effectively?

We have identified ways to extract terpenes from plants and use them as fragrances in our perfumes and skincare products. However, they do much more than merely provide a scent to such items, as they help enhance the impact of cannabinoids. Additionally, the intensely calming nature of these smells helps them induce aroma-therapy-related benefits. Hence, they work efficiently as a part of essential oils, aerosols, and candles. Scientists have found over 100 different terpenes within the cannabis plant, and the following are some of the most common ones.

  1. Lymonene – Citrusy and tangy
  2. Myrocene – Antioxidant found in thyme, hops, and lemongrass
  3. Pinene – Pine and rosemary aroma
  4. Linalool – Lavender smell
  5. Humulene – Part of clove, ginger, and hop
  6. Caryophyllene – Spicy aroma resembling cinnamon and cloves
  7. Terpinolene – Flowery smell mixed with hints of citrus and pine
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Some of the other terpenes commonly found in cannabis are as follows.

  1. α-pinene and β-pinene
  2. β-myrcene
  3. α-terpineol
  4. α-humulene
  5. Caryophyllene oxide

However, individuals should not consume them in their concentrated form without diluting or mixing them in solvents. Most manufacturers use carrier oils, PED, coconut oil, and PEG to achieve the appropriate strength. The traditional rule followed is to never utilize more than 10% terpenes in any skincare product. However, most brands experiment with amounts from 1% onwards to achieve the optimal effect and flavor. Individuals should buy products based on their personal needs, preferences, tolerance, and requirements. They can choose pure hemp oil with no other cannabinoids if they want something pure without any intoxication. On the other hand, they can opt for full-spectrum products with higher amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol if they don’t mind the extra buzz.

Since all bodies react to bioactive components differently, consumers should be intelligent and sensible about utilizing such compounds. They should adopt a start-slow-and-low approach and begin by using smaller concentrations of such products. After monitoring the impact it produces, users can change their dosing patterns to maximize their returns. It is advisable to consult a doctor before starting such a regime to prevent allergic and drug-induced reactions. While no studies have found such compounds to produce any ill effect in humans, the other additives in products can trigger allergies in people.

What are terpenes?

Closing Thoughts

Terpenes are an integral part of nature’s apothecary and provide various medicinal and therapeutic benefits. These substances have the power to enhance the effect of cannabis through the entourage effect, making them a vital part of cannabidiol-infused products. They also help spice everything from essential oils to skincare products by providing a unique and therapeutic aroma. Such products can induce calmness, boost healing and offer relief to those suffering from chronic pain. How has using products containing potent terpenes transformed your life? Help others start their aromatic journey to better physical health and wellbeing by sharing your experiences below!

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What are terpenes, and why do we care?

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