Terpenes have for some time been the subject of scientific research. But it is the American Neurologist and Pharmacology Researcher, Dr Ethan Russo who has shone a light on terpenes in the context of their therapeutic importance in the hemp plant.
We created Spirit of Hemp because we believe in the health promoting properties of the whole hemp plant, that’s why we weren’t satisfied with CBD oils with less than a full terpene profile.
What Are Terpenes?
The result – our ‘Life Force’ CBD oil – is one of the only true whole plant CBD oils on the market, giving our customers the best opportunity to benefit from the precious synergy of the entourage effect.
However, when it comes to hemp and CBD oil, it’s not the individual, therapeutic properties of terpenes that we are most interested in. The hemp plant is made up of over 400 active compounds including over 100 cannabinoids (including CBD and CBDA), over twenty types of flavonoids, and approximately 200 terpenes.
In his influential paper,‘Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects,’ Russo describes how “terpenoid components in concentrations above 0.05% are considered of pharmacological interest,” meaning they most probably have medicinal properties, and how “mice exposed to terpenoid odours inhaled from ambient air for 1 h demonstrated profound effects on activity levels, suggesting a direct pharmacological effect on the brain, even at extremely low serum concentrations.”
These compounds have tremendous therapeutic effects, as these three terpenes demonstrate. On top of all that terpenes can accomplish, a growing body of research suggests they play a major part in one other benefit – the Entourage Effect.
You should look for either Full Spectrum or Broad Spectrum products when you purchase CBD. Full Spectrum products contain all phytochemicals naturally found in hemp plants, including CBD, cannabinoids, terpenes, and essential oils. They have THC content of .3% or below. Broad Spectrum products contain CBD and all other compounds from the hemp plant, but all THC has been removed.
There’s more to CBD’s therapeutic benefits than CBD itself
The Entourage Effect is usually discussed in relation to cannabis but still applies to CBD. Cannabis produces a high, and a lot of people mistakenly attribute that high to THC and THC alone. But several other ingredients in each specific strain of cannabis affect or enhance the high. The Entourage Effect occurs when all of the chemicals in cannabis – THC, terpenes, flavonoids, cannabinoids, and hundreds of others – work synergistically to create psychoactive effects. Chemist Chris Emerson described this as “the magic or power of cannabis” in a 2017 Scientific American report about the Entourage Effect.
What are terpenes?
Aside from CBD, limonene is often found in the rinds of fruit. This terpene gives them their citrusy smell. But it does a lot more than offer a pleasant scent. Limonene has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antidiabetic, and anticancer properties. It has also shown some effectiveness in aiding weight loss and healing peptic ulcers. Plus, it helps with stress relief and combatting depression symptoms.
Terpinolene is present in an odd mix of plants including citrus fruits, mint species, parsnips, and juniper. It’s hard to pin down the flavor profile of this elusive terpene—one moment, it smells like citrus, and the next moment, it smells like flowers. Most hemp experts agree, though, that terpene is an essential component of the energetic buzz that sativa-dominant strains provide.
Dough Boy is a hybrid strain, and this cultivar’s unique mix of myrcene, pinene, and linalool terpenes provides it with a taste and aroma that’s just like cake batter. This strain produces big, dense nugs, and like all Secret Nature flower options, Dough Boy is lab-tested and ships in a hermetically-sealed tin.
The separation of cannabis strains into “indica” and “sativa” phenotypes might have been the result of a taxonomical error , but these categories effectively describe the varying effects that different terpene profiles exert. Research continues to indicate that it’s the terpenes in hemp flower that make a strain either indica or sativa—not the cannabinoids.
Sabinene is a rare terpene that’s present in Norway spruce, carrot seeds, and black pepper. This terpene has a spicy, woody aroma, and it appears that sabinene has antioxidant and antibacterial properties.
The best way to use terpenes is to consume these beneficial oils in CBD flower or in a different kind of full-spectrum CBD product. Terpenes have the best effects when they are used in combination, and it also appears that these oils are more effective when combined with cannabinoids.
As producers of the planet’s finest hemp products, the Secret Nature team is well aware of how to extract terpenes and how to dilute terpenes. For most hemp users, however, it’s only necessary to know how to consume terpenes, not how to prepare them.
Phytol has a grassy aroma, and it is extremely rare in cannabis. When present, however, it appears that phytol provides potent antioxidant properties. This terpene is also present in green tea, and in the pharmaceutical industry, phytol is used to synthesize vitamin E and vitamin K.